The race was to determine whether Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg would become World Champion of 2016. Hamilton took his third pole position at the Yas Marina Circuit, with Rosberg second on the grid. Hamilton and Rosberg both made good starts, but although Hamilton backed Rosberg into the field in the closing stages, Hamilton won the race while Rosberg finished second to become the 2016 World Champion, winning his first ever F1 title. Sebastian Vettel completed the podium. Five days later, Rosberg confirmed his retirement from Formula One.
At the last race in Brazil, Lewis Hamilton took his first Brazilian Grand Prix win, while Nico Rosberg took another second-place finish, moving Hamilton another seven points closer to Rosberg in the Drivers' Championship, putting the gap to twelve points. Rosberg was on 367 points, while Hamilton was on 355. Daniel Ricciardo had already secured third place in the standings, but an eighth-place finish gave him four more points to be forty-nine points ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth in Brazil. Kimi Räikkönen's accident in the aforementioned race promoted Max Verstappen, who finished third, to fourth in the standings, five points behind Vettel.Mercedes were still the Constructors' Champion of 2016, having 722 points. Meanwhile, Red Bull secured second place with 446 points compared to Ferrari's 375. Force India opened their gap to Williams to twenty-seven points, after Williams failed to finish in the top ten in Brazil.
Like the previous year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the drivers used soft and supersoft tyres, and this time also used ultrasofts. Hamilton and Rosberg took the same number of sets, being seven ultrasofts, two supersofts, and four softs. Vettel, Felipe Massa and McLaren all chose just one set of supersofts, along with five soft sets and seven ultrasoft sets.