Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg claimed his first ever Drivers’ Championship title on Sunday but has admitted the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the toughest of the season.
The German led team-mate and rival Lewis Hamilton in the title race heading into the final event on Sunday and knew a top-three finish would see him stay at the summit.
Rosberg had to start second on the grid with the Brit holding pole position and there was no disappointment for the fans as it provided a tense finish to the campaign.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen managed to take second place in the early stages and Rosberg was urged to get past the Dutchman and put pressure on Hamilton.
The latter stages of the race saw Hamilton slow the pace as he looked to bring Sebastian Vettel, who was in third, and Verstappen in fourth, back into contention.
However, Rosberg was able to hold them at bay and clinched the world title by just five points, 34 years after his father Keke won the Championship.
Rosberg said: “I couldn’t not think about what was at stake – it didn’t work. I had to. “I heard Tony [Ross, his race engineer] saying it was critical to pass Verstappen for the championship.
“I thought ‘Holy moly!’ “That’s not a nice thing to hear, that was bad, a horrible feeling. “It was not good but it worked out. “The feelings I had when I realised I had passed him, I have never had that in a racecar before.”