Hamilton Dominates F1 - But Double Points In Abu Dhabi Brings Rosberg Back Into Championship Race
November 17, 2014
When ‘Double Points’ in the final round of the 2014 Formula One season was decided many were critical but officials believed the historic moment would make the end of the campaign more exciting. How right they were! Even those who disagree with the rule will admit it’s made the finish to this year one the most thrilling finales to a Championship in the sport’s history. All eyes will be on Abu Dhabi this weekend as the fight for the title goes on the line. It’s car versus car, Mercedes versus Mercedes and man versus man as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg race to be the number 1 driver of 2014.
Scenarios for the Season Ending Event
Hamilton holds the slight advantage with a 17 point lead over his teammate and in years gone by he’d be feeling pretty confident heading into the final race. However with the controversial double points in play he’s no certainty to claim the Championship. In 2013 Lewis would have only needed to finish sixth to take the title if Nico claimed the checkered flag, but the extra points on offer has helped Rosberg’s cause. Hamilton MUST finish second if his German counterpart collects the win. The Englishman could just win and deliver a dominant final standings result while plenty of other scenarios could play out which would have both men doing their math.
Second for Nico and Lewis would need to finish fourth or higher, while third for Rosberg and Hamilton would require a sixth place or better. If the German finishes fourth his team mate could finish as low as eighth, while Rosberg could still win the title if he finished fifth and Lewis failed to come ninth or higher. But Nico needs no lower than a fifth or the title is his rival’s no matter what.
Lewis Leading a Brilliant Battle
Hamilton and Rosberg have dominated this season with the pair collecting 15 wins from the 18 Grand Prixes held so far. Mercedes wrapped up the Constructors Championship in Russia in round 16 before setting a new record of One-Two finishes in a season in Brazil. Their eleventh First -Second finish surpassed McLarens ten time effort way back in 1988.
Hamilton has had a remarkable run in 2014, securing 10 wins so far. Another victory in Abu Dhabi would see him join Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel as the only men to win 11 or more times in a single season. He became Great Britain’s driver with the most race victories (eclipsing Nigel Mansell’s record) after the 32nd triumph of his career in the USA, his fifth consecutive first placed finish.
And to think at the start of the season Hamilton retired in the opening race in Australia. But four wins from four races later had him in pole position in the Championship standings. He came unstuck as his car failed him in Canada, before that well documented coming together on the track with his teammate in Belgium. While Lewis ultimately had to retire after the crash, Rosberg recovered from the incident to finish second and gain crucial points.
Retirements have also impacted Rosberg; he’s recorded 2 DNFS in Singapore and England. But he’s also recorded 5 race victories which is why he’s still in with a chance to claim the Driver’s Championship. Rosberg began brilliantly topping the podium in Australia before breaking a string of seconds to Hamilton with victory at the Monaco Grand Prix. The 29 year old also won in Austria before taking out his home Prix in Germany. But his latest win in the penultimate round in Brazil could be his most important, having kept the Championship race alive heading into this weekend’s final event.
While Rosberg is aiming for a maiden World Title Hamilton is after number 2. It’ll be a long time between drinks for Lewis if he’s successful with his first coming back in 2008. Both men have landed big blows in a title fight that’s had swings and drama throughout. After that infamous bump in Belgium Rosberg opened up a 29 point lead before Hamilton came roaring back with those 5 straight victories. But Brazil breathed life into their battle and the underdog can still deliver an upset in Abu Dhabi. A fascinating duel is expected once more but who’ll come out on top?