Rosberg gracious in title defeat, says Hamilton deserved championship

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ABU DHABI – Nico Rosberg has graciously accepted defeat in the 2014 Formula 1 drivers’ championship to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton after an engine failure meant he could only finish 14th in Abu Dhabi today.

Rosberg lost the lead to Hamilton off the line, but was comfortably running second until the ERS system on his car failed during his second stint.

Nursing the car, the German driver aimed to finish high up enough so that he would win the title if Hamilton retired, but ultimately dropped outside of the points.

Despite being asked to retire the car with two laps to go, Rosberg said that he wanted to finish the race regardless, eventually being classified in 14th place.

Speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton after the race, Rosberg made no secret of his disappointment, but was quick to send his congratulations to Hamilton.

“Very disappointed with the ending of course, but congratulations to Lewis,” Rosberg said. “He deserves to be champion this year. For me it was not a nice ending. The problem didn’t have an impact, I could have tried to keep the pressure up.

“All in all it’s been a great season for the team, I’m proud to be a part of that. Lewis was tiny bit better in the races only, so he deserves the win.

“There have been some great things about this year. I have been quicker in qualifying, and have a very good base to work on. I have to improve my racing, hopefully I can find that little bit for next year.

“Now I need to try to gather some positives. I’m not sure how I’ll party tonight, but it would be nice to go crazy a bit.”

Having failed to score at the double points round in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg eventually finished 67 points behind Hamilton in the final standings. However, this still marks the best year of his career, and he will be gunning to win his first world title in 2015 with Mercedes.