Belfast Telegraph

Nico Rosberg can't wait for new F1 season after win

By Philip Duncan

Nico Rosberg wants to begin his quest to for a maiden Formula One championship immediately after bringing down the curtain on his 2015 campaign with victory in Abu Dhabi.

Rosberg, returning to the Yas Marina Circuit for the first time since he lost out to Lewis Hamilton in last year's title decider, won in emphatic fashion to seal a hat-trick of consecutive grands prix victories for the first time in his career.

The German, also on a streak of six straight pole positions, has now won every round since he gift-wrapped the title to Hamilton at last month's United States Grand Prix - a stark contrast to much of the season in which Hamilton has dominated.

Here, at the final race of the year, Hamilton attempted a different strategy to his Mercedes team-mate in a bid to stop his losing streak, but it failed to have the desired effect as he crossed the line 8.2 seconds behind his team-mate and rival.

"Austin was the low point of the season," Rosberg commented.

"It was a tough weekend and since then I've just come back a lot stronger and I'm very happy about that.

"I'm excited about how the end of the season went and next year could come at any moment. It could start tomorrow for me. I don't need any holidays," Rosberg added.

Unfortunately for Rosberg, he will have to wait until March 20 - the provisional date for next year's curtain raiser in Australia - before he can take the challenge to Hamilton once more.

While Mercedes are way of the threat posed by Ferrari next year, it is the all-conquering Silver Arrows who will remain the team to beat.

"I'm sure the team is going to give us an awesome car again," Rosberg, whose Mercedes team have won 32 of the last 38 races, added. "Of course we're aware of the threat from the red guys and we don't want them to come to close."

For Hamilton, his championship-winning year has somewhat fizzled out after losing to Rosberg at the ensuing rounds in Mexico, Brazil and here in Abu Dhabi after claiming the title in Austin.

But the Briton, who will celebrate his third championship at the swanky Viceroy Hotel, which overlooks the Yas Marina Circuit, on Sunday night, is nonplussed about his winless streak.

"I think being the world champion sounds a lot better than winning the race," he said.

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen took to the final step of the podium for Ferrari.

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