Nico Rosberg was typically gracious in defeat in Abu Dhabi, conceding that teanm mate Lewis Hamilton did a better overall job this year
He says he never gave up on his title hopes indespite dropping down the order after he hit ERS problems.
The German could still win the title by finishing fifth if Lewis Hamilton retired, and did everything he could to keep on target until he finally tumbled out of the points.
“I still believed in it for a long time, because there was still always the hope… there was always the possibility that also gets a problem or something, and then I only need to finish fifth or sixth. I believed until the end. The very last lap I was still pushing, because that’s what I do, I don’t give up, I just push all the way. That’s also why I wanted to finish the race.
“I’m very disappointed. All in all Lewis deserved to win the championship today, that’s clear.
Lewis won it because he won it, and whatever happened today didn’t make any difference to his championship win. So there’s no point to really focus on that at all.”
Rosberg said that whatever happened today, it had been a great year.
“All in all it’s been a great season for the team, I’m proud to be a part of that. Lewis was that little bit better driver this year, a tiny bit, in the races only. So he deserves the win. For me there’s some great things about this year, I’ve been quicker in qualifying over the two years, and that’s a very good base to work on. I need to work on my racing a tiny bit, and then I’m good to go.
“His level is massively high, his driving out there, he was the best on the grid this year. I was against him, the best on the grid. It was very close, a pity it didn’t work out. But I’m proud to be in this moment with the team, it’s a very special year, the car has been incredible. To be able to fight with for wins all the time and battle it out with Lewis has been great. Very intense was at times. It was an intense battle, but a great battle.
“That’s what I race for, the battles like that. Lewis has been the best driver on the grid this year, and to be up against him, and battling it out, the level was incredibly high. But I also have to find and deliver and be on a level playing field with him, and that’s been a great challenge for me. Most of the time it’s been enjoyable. Of course sometimes it’s not been enjoyable, but all-in-all, a great year.”