Last race of the season. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his second Driver’s Championship, first Mercedes Benz champion since Fangio.
A pitty Rosberg could not fight for the championship due to technical problems in his car. His team asked him to return the car to the pits a few laps before the end of the race, but decided to finish the race instead as a matter of pride. Congratulations on a fantastic season.
The now reigning world champion was escorted to the podium by Massa and Bottas. It is the third podium this year for Massa, and the sixth podium for Bottas, who secured a fourth place finish in the driver’s world championship. Also a fantastic last race this season for Daniel Ricciardo who —despite starting from the pit lane behind team mate Sebastian Vettel after disqualification— showed great pace and fighting abilities finishing just 8 seconds behind the Finn and once again several positions ahead of team-mate and four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Button had one of his best finishes this season in what might be his last race as a Formula One driver. He had a wheel to wheel battle with Fernando Alonso in the early stages of the race and had to hold off Nico Hulkenberg —who had been penalized earlier in the race— by the end. He was followed by team-mate Sergio Perez, who had its own share holding off Vettel. A very good season for Force India and Toro Rosso, despite the latter not accumulating any points this race. The same cannot be said, however, for Lotus and Sauber, with 10 and 0 points in the championship this season.
This race marks also the end of an era for Fernando Alonso. He leaves Ferrari after five years, 96 races, 11 victories, 1190 points, and thrice a world champion runner-up.
Following, I provide some plots so you may draw your own conclusions.
This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.
The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average.