Fumes, fuel and madness are only a few words to describe the buzz that circulates everyone from the racers to the spectators. A capacity, sell-out crowd of 60,000 fans watched Nico Rosberg hold off current World Champion Lewis Hamilton, as he took advantage of his sixth straight pole to snatch victory from his Mercedes teammate at a thrilling close to the 2015 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This season of Formula 1 had us at the edge of our seats. Following a series of press conferences where thoughts were expressed pre- and post-qualifying, the drivers were set to compete on a cloudy Sunday in Abu Dhabi. The sound of revving engines bounced off the walls at the grandstands surrounding the Yas Marina Circuit in the lead-up to the final race of the season. With Rosberg on pole, Hamilton in second place and Kimi Raikkonen starting from third, the drivers were ready and the lights were out.
Strategy did not seem to play well in the hands of Hamilton as his switch to the soft-compound Pirelli tyre was an attempt to close the gap on Rosberg. He later explained in the press conference that he had been experimenting with the car, altering the suspension prior to qualifying, which led to uncertainty in the drive performance. Rosberg took the win, while fireworks and the crowd cheered and congratulated him in the background. When asked how he felt about being second, Hamilton responded: “I think being World Champion sounds a lot better than winning the race, so that’s good.”
But what happened with the chaotic first place run? Raikkonen, in third, said: “It doesn’t make an awful lot of difference if you’re second, wherever you finish.” Sebastian Vettel, in fourth, started from 15th on the grid, with his Ferrari almost gaining on the top three. Fernando Alonso finished 17th following an encounter with Pastor Maldonado, which forced the Lotus to retire.