Keke Rosberg: Lewis got lucky twice, Nico just once

Keke Rosberg has rubbished suggestions his son Nico was fortunate to win the 2016 drivers' title, saying title rival Lewis Hamilton "got lucky twice" in 2014 and 2015.

Nico emulated his father's 1982 title triumph at Abu Dhabi on Sunday, scoring the podium finish he needed to win the world championship after a tense finale. Rosberg edged Mercedes teammate Hamilton by five points to cap a season which saw the pendulum swing dramatically between both men, none more so than when the latter suffered an engine failure while leading the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton's engine unreliability through the season led to suggestions from the media that Rosberg had lucked into his title triumph, though Keke pointed to the previous two years of Mercedes dominance where the British driver beat his son to the title. The Finn, who won just one race in 1982, said it is unlikely that any world champion -- his son or Hamilton included -- would win a title without some good luck along the way.

When the question of luck was put to him in the Abu Dhabi paddock, Keke replied: "I thought Lewis was lucky twice so why shouldn't he be once? If you want to win the championship in F1 you can't have a lot of bad luck.

"I could have won the [1982] championship [a race early] in Monza, I needed to finish fifth, but my rear wing fell off -- from a Williams can you imagine? That is the sport. Or like Jenson broke his suspension. Why? Because he hit the kerb so hard he was lucky the car didn't break into two halves and then he says 'oh bad car'. The nature of the drivers."

Keke watched his son's triumph from Dubai before driving down to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi to celebrate, having kept his distance from the paddock for much of this season to minimise distractions. He admits the final portion of the race, where a desperate Hamilton unsuccessfully attempted to back Rosberg into the clutches of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen in an attempt to knock him off the podium he needed for the title, made for unpleasant viewing.

When asked if it was hard to watch the last stint, he replied: "I would say so, yes, it was relatively easy, until the last two laps I thought that we would see something we wouldn't want to see in the last two laps but luckily it wasn't to be. I think it is the hardest sport and championship ever, right down to the line."

Nico's triumph makes him the second second-generation champion in Formula One, following in the footsteps of Damon Hill.