Niki Lauda: 'Abu Dhabi showed Nico Rosberg the right champion'

Nico Rosberg disintegrates after winning the Australian Grand Prix on March 20, 2016
© Getty Images
Niki Lauda says that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was proof in itself that Nico Rosberg deserves the 2016 world championship.

Niki Lauda has said that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was proof in itself that Nico Rosberg deserves the 2016 world championship.

As the controversy about Lewis Hamilton's 'backing up' tactics continues, Mercedes's team chairman said how the Briton and German Rosberg handled it is crucial to interpreting the outcome of their title battle.

"If Lewis had gone out the front and left everyone behind, everyone would have said 'That was the real world champion', " the triple world champion and F1 legend is quoted as saying by Auto Motor und Sport.

"But he put Nico on a pedestal that was as high as if he had won the race. Nico defended madly under enormous pressure.

"We offered to him that Vettel could pass him, because third place would have been enough. But Nico decided to fight. He showed that he is the right world champion."

Rosberg ended the championship with 385 points to Hamilton's 380.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes walks in the paddock during previews to the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 12, 2016
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes330
2Ferrari275
3Red Bull174
4Force India95
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso33
7Haas29
8Renault26
9Sauber5
10McLaren2
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari177
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes176
3Valtteri BottasMercedes154
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari98
6Max VerstappenRed Bull57
7Sergio PerezForce India52
8Esteban OconForce India43
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso29
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Pascal WehrleinSauber5
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren2
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
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