No Love for Nico as Lewis Finds Winning Formula in Abu Dhabi
November 24, 2014
6 years after his first World Championship in 2008 Lewis Hamilton is once again the fastest man in Formula 1. He moves level with Brits Graham Hill and Jim Clark on two titles, and is now just one behind Sir Jackie Stewart. The 29 year old was dominant in Abu Dhabi securing the World Championship with yet another race win in 2014. Hamilton kept his head under immense pre-race pressure as Rosberg remained in the title hunt after his victory in Brazil, but the German’s challenge never eventuated. Lewis led from the opening corner to cap a stunning season in superb fashion.
Hamilton Heroic in Final Grand Prix of the Season
Heading into the final Grand Prix of the year the race for the World Championship was between just 2 men. While Hamilton headed the standings Nico Rosberg knew could overhaul his teammate with double points on offer in Abu Dhabi. If Rosberg could claim his sixth win of the year Hamilton would have to finish second to take the main prize and the Brit was philosophical before the event. The Championship leader expressed ‘he’d be happy to lose the battle if it meant he’d win the war’ referring to finishing behind his teammate.
The German fired the first shot clinching pole position but when the lights went out Lewis lit the track from second and stormed straight past Rosberg. Hamilton led his teammate by over 1 and a half seconds after lap 1 and it was nearly 3 seconds by the time he pitted on lap 10. He looked calm and in control as the race was panning out perfectly. But while Lewis was loving his time under the night lights, Rosberg’s race went from bad to worse. After a bogged down get away left him frustrated, lap 23 left him dismayed. The 29 year old suffered a failure of the energy recovery system on his Mercedes and his championship dream was all but over, completely changing the odds. The German pleaded with his team to help him place at least fifth, the lowest spot he could finish to win the world title had Hamilton not finished the race. More problems saw Rosberg drop spots while Lewis kept it cautious and clean out front. Felipe Massa charged home late to try and spoil Hamilton’s perfect day, but the leader claimed the title in style, with his eleventh chequered flag of the season.
Double Points Puts Hamilton Miles Ahead
The double points finale that had Hamilton looking in his rear view mirror heading into Abu Dhabi actually saw him score a huge championship win. His total tally of 384 points put him 67 ahead of Rosberg. The German failed to score in Abu Dhabi finishing 14th as he remained on 317 points. Daniel Ricciardo placed third overall finishing his first year with Red Bull on 238 points. The Aussie outdrove Sebastian Vettel who finished fifth overall with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas splitting the pair in fourth, thanks to his podium finish in the final race.
Mercedes Maul Opposition while Williams Caps Off a Strong Season
Mercedes had already wrapped up the Constructors Championship but couldn’t add to their record of 11 one-two finishes in a season. Still the Silver bullet soared this year and finished almost 300 points above their nearest rival on 701. Red Bull Racing had the runners up position sewn up ahead of the final Grand Prix and wouldn’t have been too concerned with both cars starting from the pits after their front wings failed a post – qualifying – session check. Still Riccardo roared to claim a brilliant fourth while Vettel also finished in the top 10 as the team took 32 points to finish on 405 overall.
Williams had a season to remember claiming the bronze. They held an advantage over Ferrari heading into the last round and extended their lead over the prancing horse after winning the Constructors Title for Abu Dhabi, with both Massa and Bottas finishing second and third respectively. It was a tremendous team effort in 2014 after Williams finished ninth last year. At the other end of the table Sauber and Caterham were the only teams not to score.
So we turn our attention to 2015, where Hamilton will go from the hunter to the hunted. Rosberg will be desperate to claim his first World Championship, while former World Champs will also be out to add to their titles. The lights may now be out on this season, now we look forward to ‘lights out’ in Melbourne in March.