By Alan Baldwin
ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Germany’s Nico Rosberg can win his first Formula One title in Abu Dhabi on Sunday while Lewis Hamilton remains in contention to become Britain’s first four times world champion.
The following details the Mercedes drivers’ road to the championship showdown:
Rosberg started the season as he had ended 2015, with a victory. Hamilton, who was on pole position but made a poor start and dropped to seventh, finished second.
Rosberg 25 points, Hamilton 18
Hamilton again started on pole but Rosberg won, his fifth in a row. Rosberg led away at the start while Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas collided. The Briton fought back from seventh at the end of lap one to finish third.
Rosberg 50, Hamilton 33
Rosberg started on pole, led throughout and collected his sixth successive victory. Hamilton started last after failing to set a time in qualifying due to engine problems, made 18 overtakes and finished seventh — his lowest in 41 races. He made five stops after a first lap collision.
Rosberg 75, Hamilton 39
Rosberg led all the way from pole and set the fastest lap for his first ‘Grand Slam’. The win was his seventh in a row. Hamilton started 10th and anchored the team’s second one-two of the season, despite a water pressure problem. The gap between the Mercedes pair ballooned to 43 points.
Rosberg 100, Hamilton 57
Rosberg’s winning run ended when he and Hamilton, on pole, collided at the start while fighting for the lead. Dutch teenager Max Verstappen won on his Red Bull debut.
Rosberg 100, Hamilton 57
Hamilton’s first win of the season. The Briton started third and set the fastest lap. Rosberg was asked to move aside for his team mate after suffering tire and brake temperature issues.
Rosberg 106, Hamilton 82
Hamilton won again, from pole. Rosberg finished fifth. The German started second but banged wheels with his team mate at the first corner and went off, fighting back from 10th. He also pitted after a slow puncture but set the fastest lap.
Rosberg 116, Hamilton 107
Rosberg started on pole, led all the way and set the fastest lap. Hamilton started 10th and struggled to resolve an engine-setting problem. He finished fifth.
Rosberg 141, Hamilton 117
Hamilton won from pole and set the fastest lap. Rosberg led for much of the race but finished fourth after the Mercedes drivers collided on the last lap. The German, who started sixth after a grid drop for a gearbox change, collected a 10-second penalty and a reprimand.
Rosberg 153, Hamilton 142
Hamilton’s fourth win in five races, and from pole. Rosberg finished second but collected a 10-second penalty for advice received over the radio, dropping him to third.
Rosberg 168, Hamilton 167
Hamilton won and took the overall lead for the first time this season. Rosberg started on pole but finished second.
Hamilton 192, Rosberg 186
Hamilton won for the fourth race in a row. Rosberg started on pole but finished fourth, behind the two Red Bulls. Hamilton went 19 points clear.
Hamilton 217, Rosberg 198
Rosberg, on pole, cruised to an unchallenged win. Hamilton finished third after starting on the back row due to a 55-place grid penalty because he had exceeded his permitted allocation of engine-related components with three power-unit changes.
Hamilton 232, Rosberg 223
Rosberg took his seventh win of the season and first at Monza, with Hamilton second. The race was decided at the start when Hamilton made a slow getaway from pole.
Hamilton 250, Rosberg 248
Rosberg celebrated his 200th Formula One race by retaking the championship lead after a pole-to-flag win. Hamilton finished third.
Rosberg 273, Hamilton 265
Hamilton started on pole and led until his car’s engine blew with 16 laps remaining. Rosberg fought from 21st to third after being spun by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the start. He also collected a 10-second penalty for causing a collision with Raikkonen.
Rosberg 288, Hamilton 265
Another dominant win for Rosberg, who started on pole. Hamilton, whose Snapchat antics and frostiness towards the media marked the weekend, recovered from a woeful start which left him in eighth place after the first corner and finished third. Mercedes won the constructors’ title.
Rosberg 313, Hamilton 280
Hamilton, starting on pole, took his 50th career win and seventh of the season. Rosberg dropped to third on lap one but regained second thanks to pitstops and a virtual safety car. The gap is 26 points.
Rosberg 331, Hamilton 305
Hamilton started on pole with Rosberg alongside, and recorded his eighth win of the season and 51st of his career, equaling Alain Prost’s career tally in second place on the all-time list. It was Mercedes’s sixth one-two of 2016. Rosberg’s lead shrinks to 19 points.
Rosberg 349, Hamilton 330
Hamilton chalked up his 11th pole of the year, and Mercedes’s record 19th of the season, and went on to take his ninth win of the season. Rosberg was second, his advantage cut to 12 points with only Abu Dhabi remaining.
Rosberg 367, Hamilton 355
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Ian Chadband/Peter Rutherford)