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Nico Rosberg ends Lewis Hamilton two-year reign by clinching maiden Formula 1 title in Abu Dhabi

Nico Rosberg celebrates winning his maiden F1 title. Credit: PA

Nico Rosberg ended Lewis Hamilton’s two-year reign as Formula 1 World Champion as he followed his Mercedes team-mate home to finish second in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to secure his first world title.

The German, who went into season-ending race with a 12 point advantage over the three-time world champion, only needed a podium finish to guarantee him the title and he duly delivered.

But his drive to second in a car which has been the class of the field all year did not come easily.

Nico Rosberg does 'doughnuts' in celebration of his first F1 world title. Credit: PA

Early in the race he had to make a bold pass on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, before Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel made a late charge through the field on fresh super soft tyres.

But Rosberg held on to second from his fellow countryman, to become only the second son of a world champion to win the title himself.

Addressing the crowd on the podium, Rosberg said: "That was definitely not the most enjoyable race I've ever had. With Max in the beginning then with those guys coming up in the end, really not very enjoyable those last laps.

"(I'm) very, very glad it's over and unbelievably ecstatic."

Nico Rosberg secured the podium finish he needed in Abu Dhabi. Credit: PA
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg shake hands on the podium. Credit: PA

Hamilton's victory was his 10th of the season, meaning he won more races over the year than Rosberg, who notched up nine.

But Hamilton, who endured engine failure while leading in Malaysia, was the first to congratulate his team-mate, as the pair shook hands on the podium.

"It's been a real privilege being a part of this team and achieving the success we had this year and I never would have thought when I joined this team that I'd have that many wins," said Hamilton.

"I think that's 32 wins with this team, so a big thank you to everyone here and back at the factory.

"Big congratulations to Nico, of course, for his first championship."

Jenson Button failed to finish his last F1 race in Abu Dhabi. Credit: PA

Elsewhere there was disappointment for McLaren’s Jenson Button, whose last F1 race ended with retirement after he suffered suspension failure.

Speaking to Channel 4, the 2009 world champion said: "As a team that's one thing we pride ourselves on and we don't have failures, and we had one today and it's so unusual.

"It's unlucky but to be fair I don't really care. It doesn't change anything with my feelings and ending my career. I'm very content with what I've achieved and I know tonight is going to be a hell of a lot of fun."