YAS MARINA, Abu Dhabi -- Sebastian Vettel said Lewis Hamilton was playing "dirty tricks" at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he attempted to back up Nico Rosberg to win the title.
The title was decided in incredibly tense circumstances as Hamilton drove slowly in the final stages, allowing Mercedes' rivals to come into play. The Englishman needed Rosberg to finish off the podium to have a chance of winning the championship and continued to slow his speed despite several warnings from Mercedes.
Vettel nearly benefited from those tactics, having taken on super-soft tyres at his only stop of the race, which allowed him to charge from sixth to third late on. Despite spending the final portion of the race getting closer to Rosberg's Mercedes he was never able to attempt a pass.
After crossing the line, Vettel took to his radio and said: "It was a difficult situation in the end with Lewis playing some dirty tricks."
Speaking after the race, the German explained the final stint from his point of view, saying Hamilton was driving so slow he could have caused an accident.
"When I came out it as a question of how long are these tyres going to last and it proved to be just enough. Daniel was straightforward to pass, but when I pulled up behind Max the problem is you have car after car after car and then you start to slide and my tyres got worse. When I got behind Nico I was faster but also due to the fact Lewis was slowing down.
"I tried everything but they were very, very quick down the straight and with the Red Bull it was a little bit easier and also because Max didn't have DRS while Nico had DRS so it was difficult. On the second straight it was the spot I was having a look but Nico defended well and closed the inside so I couldn't really go anywhere. I couldn't try anything really stupid because Lewis was just ahead so if I really dived around the inside or outside I could have hit him.
"It was critical and I saw Max coming back in the mirrors. Those last laps were intense and I was thinking at some point to win the race because the chance was there but the two of them did there job well at the end. Nevertheless happy with the podium."