Lewis Hamilton’s 11th win of the season, making him the first non-German driver ever to win that many races in one year. Michael Schumacher (2002, 2004) and Sebastian Vettel (2011, 2013) were those who had previously achieved the feat.
Rosberg finished 14th after starting on pole position and 17 points adrift, the much-vaunted ‘duel in the desert’ becoming a nightmare after dark for the German son of Finland’s 1982 champion Keke.
He had suffered problems from the 25th of 55 laps, then complained about losing brakes as he fell down the order, still hoping against hope that a similar misfortune might befall Hamilton and revive his chances.
When the team asked him to pit and retire with only a handful of laps to go, Rosberg asked to stay out so he could at least end the season on track.
“I’m very disappointed,” says Nico Rosberg. “All in all, Lewis deserved to win the championship. What happened to me had no impact, it did not change anything so there is no point focusing on that.
“He did just a little bit better than me. The positive is I’ve been the better qualifier over the last two years and that gives me a good base. I came very close and it is a pity it did not work out. I’m proud to have been here with the team.
“It’s been very intense, a very special weekend for me with so much support.”
“There were lots of British fans and to get their respect and support was nice to see,” adds Nico Rosberg. “The attitude and everything was awesome throughout the weekend.
“I still believed for a long time. There was always the possibility that Lewis would get something wrong with his car. I never give up and always push and that’s why I wanted to finished.
“It’s been an intense battle but a great battle. I race for battles like that. Lewis has been the best and it has been a great challenge. Most of the time it has been extremely enjoyable.
“It’s pretty easy to come back next year. I will be testing Tuesday – although I don’t know what state I will be in.”