The story of the 2016 F1 season

Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT) November 27, 2016
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Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg size each other up as the season begins in Melbourne. On race day, Rosberg starts where he left off in 2015, winning in Albert Park. A poor start relegated Hamilton from pole position to sixth but he fought back to finish second. SAEED KHAN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Another slow start and a first-lap collision with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas hampers Hamilton's charge. Rosberg ticks off another victory in the desert to stretch his lead as his rival finishes third. Lars Baron/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
In Shanghai, Hamilton starts at the back after an engine problem in qualifying. He fights back to seventh but Rosberg wins again to take a chunky 36-point lead in the championship. Mark Thompson/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
President Vladimir Putin was on the podium to hand out the victory laurels to Rosberg once more. Another engine problem left Hamilton back in second as his teammate moved into a 43-point lead. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
F1 arrived in Western Europe and served up an unforgettable race in Barcelona. In his first race since his shock promotion to Red Bull, Max Verstappen became the sport's youngest race-winner at 18 ... Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
But the Dutch teen only wins after the Mercedes rivals took each other out on the opening lap at the Circuit de Catalunya. LLUIS GENE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The wait is over as Hamilton wins his first grand prix of 2016 in his adopted hometown of Monaco. Seventh-placed Rosberg's championship lead is cut to 24 points. Lars Baron/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," says Hamilton as he dedicates his victory in Montreal to late boxing great Muhammad Ali. Rosberg slipped to ninth on the opening lap, but got off the ropes to finish fifth. Charles Coates/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
F1 arrives for the new street race around Baku and the historic win goes to a dominant Rosberg. Hamilton is frustrated by an engine mode setting during the European Grand Prix and crosses the line in fifth. Charles Coates/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
A thrilling duel between the Mercedes stars ends when the two cars make contact on the last lap. Hamilton survives to take the win while Rosberg limps home in fourth, seeing his lead cut to 11 points. Charles Coates/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Time for a spot of crowd-surfing after a perfect drive for Hamilton at his home track, Silverstone. Rosberg was relegated to third after being told how to solve a gearbox problem over the team radio, breaking rules governing in-race communications -- which were subsequently lifted. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Hamilton earns a hug from Hungarian model Barbara Palvin as he takes the lead in the world championship for the first time in 2016 thanks to a win in Budapest. The British driver moved into a six-point lead over Rosberg, who finished second. Mark Thompson/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
At the final race before F1's summer break, Hamilton rockets past pole-sitter Rosberg off the line and motors to a dominant win and a 19-point advantage in the title race. PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A month later, Hamilton had to start at the back of the grid after Mercedes chose to make a raft of engine changes in Spa. Hamilton worked his way up to third, but Rosberg romped to the checkered flag for his first win at the legendary circuit. Charles Coates/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Rosberg is on a roll once more as he storms to his first win at Monza and cuts Hamilton's championship lead to just two points. The defending champion had delivered an electrifying lap to start on pole but a poor getaway cost him and he eventually finished second. ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
F1's night race shines the light on Rosberg once more as the German reclaims the championship lead with a crucial victory. Rosberg holds off a thrilling late charge from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo as an out-of-sorts Hamilton is third. Lars Baron/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Hamilton arrived in Kuala Lumpur determined to reignite the title battle, and everything was going smoothly until lap 43 of the race when his engine caught fire. "Oh no, no," moaned Hamilton as he was forced to retire. Rosberg finished third behind Red Bull duo Ricciardo and Verstappen to extend his lead to 23 points. Charles Coates/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Ill-judged social media posts put Hamilton on the back foot. Rosberg narrowly took pole at Suzuka but pulled away for the win as Hamilton could only finish third. Rosberg moved into a seemingly uncatchable 33-point lead in the championship standings. Clive Mason/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Time to pull on the victory t-shirts! Mercedes wraps up its third straight constructors' championship in Suzuka. Clive Rose/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Hamilton keeps his title hopes on track in Austin with a win at the Circuit of The Americas. But Rosberg limits the damage with a second-place finish. Mark Thompson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Hamilton once again takes the spoils, winning his first Mexico Grand Prix. Rosberg follows him home in second and, as F1 heads to Brazil for the penultimate race of the 2016 season, just 19 points separate the Mercedes drivers. ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images
The Mercedes rivals share the podium at Interlagos as Hamilton dominates a rain-hit thriller to claim his first Brazilian Grand Prix victory ahead of Rosberg. The result sends the title race down to the wire in Abu Dhabi. Clive Mason/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
The moment of triumph: Nico Rosberg finishes second behind Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi to secure a first world title -- 34 years after his dad, Keke, won his. Lars Baron/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images