2016 For­mula 1 cham­pion

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Was that your tough­est race?

NR: “Yes, def­i­nitely. I couldn’t not think about what was at stake. I heard Tony [Ross, his race en­gi­neer] say­ing it was crit­i­cal to pass Ver­stap­pen for the cham­pi­onship. Holy moly! That’s not a nice thing to hear – that was a hor­ri­ble feel­ing. But it worked out.”

What was your think­ing in those last 10 laps?

NR: “I had Vet­tel and Ver­stap­pen right be­hind. I wanted to try and hold onto sec­ond be­cause once I dropped one, who knows what kind of mess they are go­ing to get into in front. I didn’t want to have Ver­stap­pen right be­hind at the end.”

Did you want to risk a move for the lead?

NR: “I couldn’t, I was try­ing at times but Lewis was do­ing it well. He pushed flat-out for Turn 21 all the way to the first sec­tor and then half­way through the sec­ond sec­tor. And that’s where you over­take. I couldn’t get close enough. He was do­ing it per­fectly and there was no way for me.”

Were you ex­pect­ing Hamil­ton to back the pack up into you?

NR: “I wasn’t ex­pect­ing it, no. Maybe that was a bit naive. It’s easy to un­der­stand the team’s side, be­cause we do a cer­tain thing all year, it doesn’t change just in the last race. But at the same time, you can un­der­stand Lewis be­cause it’s the world cham­pi­onship and we are out there fight­ing.”

Did you have to go to an­other level to take the ti­tle?

NR: “It’s been my best sea­son and I’ve done my best races this year. The last cou­ple of races, that’s not the real Nico. The pres­sure slows you. Lewis on the other hand had noth­ing to lose. The last races have been the best Lewis we’ve seen be­cause he has no pres­sure, su­per mo­ti­vated, con­cen­trated, and noth­ing to lose.”

Ros­berg and Hamil­ton

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