The Duel in the dessert was an appropriate name for the final Formula 1 race between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the two Mercedes drivers were the only drivers vying for the Formula One title.
Lewis Hamilton had won one championship with McLaren while Nico Rosberg was looking to win his first ever championship. Nico Rosberg had to finish ahead of Hamilton by two places to have any chance of winning the Championship. Nico started on pole while Hamilton was second place on the grid.
The race itself did not go as to plan for Nico, having started from pole position, he didn’t make the best start and was overtaken by Hamilton in the first corner, thus negating the aspect of controlling the pit stops for the team
Hamilton soon got into his rhythm and was able to open a 2.5 second gap from Rosberg who was told to keep a manageable gap from Hamilton so that he could attack later with a different set of tyres. Rosberg needed to overtake Hamilton and hope one of the other cars could overtake Hamilton.
The day got worse for Rosberg as he started suffering technical problems for his Mercedes car, first losing the energy recovery system (ERS) which drastically reduced his top speed and the likes of Massa and Bottas started to close
Rosberg got the problem at half race distance, which meant he had to cover almost 25 laps with a car which did not have 160 bhp, greatly affecting his performance. Seeing Rosberg’s problems, Mercedes decided to turn down Hamilton’s pace so that he could get the car home without any problems like Rosberg.
The other race was all about Felipe Massa trying to win the race for Williams, in the last stint of the race the team put on the super soft tyres in hopes of catching Hamilton but he had to be content with coming in second and confirming Williams position in the World Championship coming in third ahead of Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes but behind Red Bull racing.
Williams celebrated the second position for Massa with a third position for Bottas who finished ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who drove brilliantly to finish 4th inspite of starting from the pit lane with team mate Sebastian Vettel, for qualifying with illegal front wings.
Jenson button finished 5th in what could be his last race for McLaren, Nico Hulkenburg and Sergio Perez finished 6th and 7th for Force India while Sebastian Vettel, who is moving to Ferrari from next season finished 8th for Red Bull.
Fernando Alonso, driving his last race for Ferrari finished 9th and could be on his way to McLaren who partner with Honda for next seasons engines, Kimi Raikkonen finished 10th to get the final points.
Nico Rosberg finished the race in 14th position with a car that really let him down; his team mate celebrated a victory and another World Championship to his name while Rosberg will be hoping for better luck next season.
Hamilton, after crossing the line was congratulated by Prince Harry who was present in the camp, Hamilton, finally has a second Championship and now will be looking to make it three, next season.
Picture courtesy: BBC sport & The Guardian