I think being World Champion feels a lot better than winning races, that was Lewis Hamilton's response after again having to settle for the runners-up spot for the third race in a row in Abu Dhabi behind Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton trailed Rosberg all afternoon, and while he did hold the lead for a period after the German made his second stop, the decision to stay out longer ultimately didn't work.

Indeed he finished 8.2s adrift at the chequered flag, but did maintain afterwards that a one-stopper might have been possible.

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"I think being World Champion feels a lot better than winning races," Hamilton reflected after the F1 2015 season finale.

"I did what I was told most of the time. I tried as hard as I could, in the first stint trying to stay with Nico but the fronts went. I was quicker in the second stint, got closer, could go longer but then it was up to the team to decide which tyre to use.

"I think in hindsight once Nico had pitted, I probably should have backed off a little bit and made those tyres last a lot longer. The tyres were still fine at the end. I honestly felt that I could have potentially taken it to the end. But it didn't work out, going too long was probably not the right thing to do, but we gave it a try and did the best job we could with it.

"The engine mode went up and down all race, but I'll ask why in the debrief."

Meanwhile, Hamilton conceded he was glad the season was now over, although he is very much looking forward to 2016.

"It's been an amazing year and happy birthday to the UAE - what a great crowd we've had today," he added.

"It's been a good year. I'm happy and I am happy it is over, for sure - now we can really enjoy it.

"I have to take my hat off to this team, great car, great pit stops, everything surpassed our expectations and Mercedes-Benz is the best team in the world. I'm proud to be part of it.

"I'll be another three years with this team and I'm looking forward to come back with them in 2016," concluded the three-time F1 World Champion.