Nico Rosberg finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in third place today with Lewis Hamilton in seventh position. Nico started and finished P3, scoring his fourth podium finish of the year and the team's ninth in total.
In spite of a clear performance advantage, Lewis did not have the car performance at the right point of the lap to overtake.
He also followed a two-stop strategy, running option/prime/prime, making his stops on laps 7 and 29.
Nico Rosberg (P3 1:44.458): "I had a great start to the race and was able to catch Mark off the line. I thought there might be a chance to get Seb but it wasn't quite possible. I was able to push hard in the first stint on the option tyres but the second stint wasn't quite as good as the car had a lot of oversteer on the primes and Mark was able to pass me.
After the second stop, the set-up worked much better and we were able to set some really good lap times. We didn't quite manage to take the challenge to the Red Bulls today but we were closer at least to one of them and hopefully we can make it happen in the last two races. As a team, we scored some great points for the Constructors' Championship this weekend and I'm very happy about that.
Lewis Hamilton (P7 1:45.463): "That was a tough race this evening for me. My race just didn't quite come together and I'm not really sure why as I gave it my all out there. I had some problems with grip and, of course, it's so difficult to overtake here when you are in traffic but we also need to figure out why I'm not getting the maximum performance from the car at the moment.
The guys worked so hard this weekend to get my car repaired and ready for the race so it's frustrating not to have delivered a better performance for them. A massive thank you to everyone for their efforts and it's great that we have extended our lead for P2 in the Constructors' Championship.
All points count but Nico did a really good job today to maximise the potential of the car. Hopefully the last two races will be stronger for me and I look forward to that challenge."
Ross Brawn: "Nico drove a great race this afternoon. We don't yet have the car to compete with Red Bull but he put in a superb performance with good tactics, the right strategy and great pit stops. Our crew has had a tough weekend here in Abu Dhabi and it's to their great credit they performed so well today.
It was a perfect race for Nico and delivered the maximum we could achieve today. Lewis got tangled up in other people's races after his first stop and found it impossible to overtake in traffic. This is a clear weakness of our package at the moment and he spent most of his race behind slower cars, unable to demonstrate his true speed.
This is an issue where we need to get our thinking caps on in order to find a more effective compromise because there's little point having a quick car if we can't use that performance in the race. Even so, he still managed to collect valuable points with seventh place which further strengthened our championship position. We've had a good run in this sequence of races and we need to keep that going."
Toto Wolff: "A great race from Nico who drove a strong opening corner, made an important move on Webber and opened up the race from there. From that point, he was clever at managing his pace, the traffic and his tyres; the strategy worked out well and a second consecutive podium finish was a just reward.
I have to apologise to Lewis because he had the pace to finish much higher up today but things just didn't come together, not through any fault of his own. Overall, we can be pleased with the last two races: we have out-scored Ferrari by 21 points and Lotus by 14 points, which has put us back in the driving seat to finish P2.
But we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. The final two races will be just as hard fought and we will need to address some of our weaknesses if we want to cement second position in the Constructors' standings.
Mercedes AMG Petronas