Nico Rosberg gave Mercedes-AMG teammate Lewis Hamilton a challenge at the end of the season, winning three races in a row and beating Hamilton by eight seconds in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale. But the run didn’t help, because his three-straight wins came after Hamilton won the championship in Texas.

Rosberg started on pole for the season finale at Yas Marina Circuit—his sixth in a row—and topped the podium over Hamilton, logging the team’s 12th top-two finish of the season. Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the podium, which means we got no hilarious comments from his Scuderia Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel in the podium press conference.

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After Rosberg entered the pits for his second stop, Hamilton gained a 15-second lead and wanted to stay out if he could keep ahead of his teammate. The team decided to pull Hamilton into the pits 10 laps later, and Rosberg took the win instead.

Vettel started in 15th and climbed up to fourth, but couldn’t pass Raikkonen for the final spot on the podium. Sergio Perez rounded out the top five in the race, and the championship standings settled out with Rosberg in second, Vettel in third and Raikkonen in fourth overall.

The third-straight win comes after Rosberg topped the Brazilian Grand Prix podium, and Niki Lauda said that Rosberg is better than his championship-winning teammate at the moment. When told on the Brazil podium that he could have had more of a chance against Hamilton in the championship if he performed like this the entire season, Rosberg responded with, “I could have figured that out myself.”


AP Photo/Luca Bruno

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