Nico Rosberg outraced his team-mate Michael Schumacher to lead home the Mercedes charge at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the penultimate round in the F1 2011 World Championship.

Rosberg came out on top in a first lap battle over sixth place before pulling away from Schumacher over the course of the race. It was a strong performance from Rosberg at the Yas Marina Circuit, this time managing to overturn the recent trend, which has seen him beaten by his fellow countryman.

"The start didn't work out very well as I tried to overtake Felipe [Massa] but suddenly there was no space left. Michael was able to overtake me, and we had a fun battle before I took the place back," said Rosberg of the early duel, before going on to pull away from Schumacher.

Nor was this as far as Rosberg's excitement for the afternoon would go, losing out in a battle with Mark Webber's fresh option clad Red Bull and then being unable to overhaul Felipe Massa's Ferrari after the Brazilian spun late on.

"With the prime tyres, I had some understeer which made it impossible to overtake Felipe towards the end," stated Rosberg of this late drama.

Nevertheless it was an encouraging performance from the young German, coming with just one race left in the F1 2011 season.

"Thanks to my engineering team who did a brilliant job here and I was quite happy with my car all weekend," he concluded.

"It makes me look forward to Brazil now and hopefully we can achieve another good result there."

by Philip Barclay