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Billy on the box: Rosberg wins in Nico time as Lewis hams it up in season finale

By Billy Weir

Published 01/12/2016

Desert shake: It’s a dead heat in the Abu Dhabi mutual contempt decider
Desert shake: It’s a dead heat in the Abu Dhabi mutual contempt decider

And talking of bizarre openings, the beginning of the end for the F1 season started in unusual fashion as Channel Four's coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix began.

Actor Noel Clarke was wheeled in to build up the tension as Nico Rosberg looked to hold off Lewis Hamilton to clinch the World title for the first time.

"It's not rocket science but an intricately-woven soap opera that now reaches its series finale," he told us, and there was a presenting cast of thousands to see if Hamilton would bury Rosberg under the patio or chuck him off the top of the stand as is the way on Channel Four soaps.

"Joining us on what will be an historic race day are eight incredibly safe hands, technically it's 10 because Susie Wolff is pregnant - Wolff cub," bellowed presenter Steve Jones at her bump-to-be. It is Channel Four.

Also in tow were David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Mark Webber, and he who thinks Australian gives Australian responses when asked for his pre-race advice for Rosberg.

"He's the meat in the pack, he's got to focus on Lewis and he's got the other guys right up his chuff," he told us, which I believe is a technical term.

Just how far up would become clear later on as Hamilton, not giving a monkey's proverbial for team instructions, slowed down in the latter stages to try and get other drivers to pass his rival and thus allow him to take the title.

This did not go down well with his Mercedes team bosses.

"Lewis, we need you to pick up the pace to win this race, that's an instruction," came the message over the radio.

"I'm in the lead right now, I'm quite comfortable where I am," lamented Lewis, as drivers behind had to weave their way around a flurry of dummies, dollies and assorted soft toys thrown from the high-powered perambulator.

In the end it made no difference, Rosberg getting the second-placed finish he needed to clinch the crown and Hamilton stomping about like a spoilt brat behind the scenes until the podium where there was a staged awkward hug and handshake with his rival.

Afterwards, Susie's hubby, Mercedes boss Toto, was put on the spot by Jordan about Hamilton's antics.

"Yet again the management was weak in that he ignored your instructions, what are you going to do about it?" hinted Jordan.

"Either he sits in the car and disappears in the distance and shows he's the quickest guy out there, or he follows Christian Horner's instructions and banks everybody up.

Maybe he should drive for him," growled the bigger badder Wolff as the Red Bull boss, last seen on a galloping camel, prayed he wouldn't wing round his way to discuss matters further.

Coulthard urged restraint, but Jordan had a warning.

"I want to remind David that he is a father, he has a son, and when his son disobeys him and goes to nightclubs against his wishes…" he said before Coulthard nailed him with: "He'll find me there!"

So it is all over, bar the shouting, all that was left was for a big party, yes indeed, an Abu Dhabi do, minus Scooby, with Toto left wondering what to do with his pesky kids.

Belfast Telegraph

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