The world F1 title for 2014 went without any hesitation to
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG Petronas after he won a brilliant race at the
Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on November 23, 2014. With this win, Hamilton
claimed his 11th win of the season and his second world drivers' crown. The
first time he won this coveted crown was in 2008. The Briton described his
second title - and the first for Mercedes since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955 - as
the greatest day of his life.
For Mercedes AMG team it was a one-two overall as usual with
Nico Rosberg winning the second slot overall, but at Abu Dhabi, Rosberg had to be
content with 14th position. Second to come in was Felipe Massa of
Williams, followed by Valtteri Bottas too of Williams, Among those who earned
points included Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing who came in 4th,
Jenson Button of McLaren in 5th, Nico Hulkenberg of Sahara Force
India in 6th and his teammate Sergio Perez in 7th.
Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing came in 8th followed by Fernando
Alonso of Ferrari in 9th and his teammate Kimi Raikkonene driving in
From the word go, the two teammates Rosberg and Lewis were
neck and neck, separated no more than two seconds. Unfortunately as the race
moved on to Lap 24, Rosberg's car began to slow as he lost ERS and then other
systems began to fail.
Rosberg did his best to hang on to a top-five result -
crucial for his title chances - he gradually slipped out of contention.
True sportsmanship, however, made things even better as Rosberg
was one of the first to congratulate his teammate and arch rival Lewis Hamilton.
For Mercedes -Benz, however, it was a triumphant end to the 2014 Formula 1
season as Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Hamilton won the 2014 F1 crown for them.
Mercedes-Benz already clinched the F1 constructors’ championship in the Russian
Grand Prix at Sochi. With eleven one-two wins in a single season, the team
surpassed the previous record set by McLaren in 1988.
“Congratulations to the new Formula 1 world champion Lewis
Hamilton,” said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of
Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars in a press release. “He has truly
earned that title with a fantastic performance this year. At the same time, I
would also like to congratulate his team-mate Nico Rosberg and all of our staff
in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart on this fascinating and highly successful
season. Formula 1 is a team sport, and they have all achieved a magnificent
result from their joint efforts this year. The fact is that world champions
drive Mercedes-Benz. Motorsport has a long tradition at Mercedes-Benz. The very
first Mercedes in 1901 was a racing car. Ever since the invention of the first
automobile by Karl Benz, our company has been a force for innovation in the
automotive industry. Right from the start, Mercedes-Benz regarded racing as a
proving ground for some of our most important developments. The new Formula 1
regulations on hybrid power units have taken the sport in the same direction
that the automotive industry was already heading. Formula 1 is carrying out
pioneering work in areas that will also be of great importance in the car
industry of the future,” he said.
Mercedes AMG Petronas became the first team to win the
trophy in the new Formula 1 hybrid era. The knowledge gained from using this
advanced technology has already proved of immense benefit in car manufacturing.
A prime example is the latest series of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles from
Mercedes-Benz, namely the S500 Plug-In Hybrid, the release said.
"Today was the greatest race of my life," said
Hamilton after his victory.
FIA reports: At
the start, Hamilton made a superb getaway to leave Rosberg standing. Behind
them, Bottas had a bad getaway and by the end of the first lap had dropped from
third to eighth.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kyvat also has a bad start and dropped
from fifth to seventh. Jenson Button took advantage of that and moved up from
sixth to fourth behind Massa. Button was followed by the Ferraris of Kimi
Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
At the end of the first lap Hamilton was one second ahead of
his title rival and by the time DRS use was permitted he had widened the gap
beyond its use to 1.2s.
Further back, Alonso and Kvyat passed Raikkonen and the
Spaniard immediately got on the radio to inform is team he would pit to shed
his starting supersofts. That triggered a round of stops as a number of option
tyre starters, including Button, Kvyat and Raikkonen, headed for pit lane.
Hamilton, though, stayed out until lap 10, taking on soft
tyres, and he was told to enrich his fuel mixture to up his pace as Rosberg
tried to push to close up during the title leader’s stop. Rosberg’s in-lap
wasn’t good enough to make an impact and after a 2.6s stop he rejoined just
behind the Briton.
On lap 15 the first of the soft tyre starters began to pit,
with Jean-Eric Vergne heading in after being passed for sixth place by Daniel
Ricciardo, who had also started on softs and risen to the position after
starting from pit lane, to where both Red Bull cars had been sent following
exclusion from the qualifying result due to an illegal front wing.
Kvyat became the first runner to retire, the Russian taking
an escape road and stopping his Toro Rosso on lap 16.
Still out on track on lap 18 on the soft tyres were
Ricciardo – now in P4 behind Hamilton, Rosberg and Massa – McLaren’s Kevin
Magnussen in P5 and Vettel in P6. They were followed by Button, Alonso and the
top 10 order was rounded out by Raikkonen.
Vettel and Magnussen made their first stops on lap 21, with
the Dane taking on supersofts and Vettel opting for more softs. Vettel’s stop
wasn’t a good one, however and his 4.3 seconds in front of the Red Bull garage
saw him rejoin in P15 and now two seconds down on Magnussen. That left
Ricciardo, in fourth, as the last man out on track not to have made a pit stop,
with the Australian having completed 23 laps on his starting softs.
But there was a limit to attempt to eke out life from his
tyres, however, and on lap 24 he was passed by Bottas.
Ahead, Nico Rosberg was suddenly in trouble, however. On lap
25 he reported that he was losing engine power. The Mercedes pit wall quickly
informed him that his ERS system had failed and with the German massively down
on horsepower and running slowly, the title battle was effectively ended.
His lap 25 time was a 1:51.791 compared with Hamilton’s
1:47.963 and within a lap the German was under pressure from Massa. The
Brazilian swept past the Mercedes man on lap 27.
Ricciardo finally headed to the pit lane on lap 27 and he
took on another set of softs. Meanwhile, Raikkonen was the first to make a
second scheduled stop and he was followed by Button, from P5.
At the front, Hamilton’s pace also began to drop and Massa
closed to within nine seconds of the leader. It was straightforward race
management, however, and the Briton was told that if he needed to turn the car
back up again he was free to do so.
The race leader made his second stop on lap 31 and when he
rejoined he was marginally behind Rosberg. The severity of the troubles
afflicting the German’s car was underlined when Hamilton swept past, with
Rosberg still needing to make his second stop. It was further emphasised when
Bottas eased past the wounded Mercedes on lap 33 to demote Rosberg to fourth.
Rosberg made his second stop a lap later and when he emerged
he found himself embroiled in a battle for P6 with Nico Hulkenberg.
Hamilton returned to lead of the race when Massa pitted on
lap 44, taking on supersoft tyres. The stop left Massa 10.8s behind the
champion elect and a lap later he closed by half a second. On the following lap
the Williams man took a whole second out of Hamilton’s advantage and a race to
the flag looked on.
Behind them Ricciardo made his final stop, taking on the
supersoft tyres he had not yet used. He rejoined in fourth place, behind Bottas
who was racing on an older, final set of soft tyres. With the gap to the Finn
at 20s, however, the task of reeling in the Williams in the final laps was
The order on lap 50 of the 55-lap race was Hamilton, with
Massa now just six seconds behind. Bottas was third ahead of Ricciardo, with
Button fourth. Hulkenberg was sixth ahead of a forlorn Nico Rosberg.
In the end Rosberg slipped back to 14th and was offered the
chance to retire the car by his team. The German, though, bravely insisted that
he would like race to end.
Ahead, Massa’s bid to overhaul Hamilton almost worked, with
the Brazilian getting to within three seconds of the Mercedes man. Hamilton,
though, wouldn’t be denied and he crossed the line 2.5s ahead of the Williams
to take his second title.
Massa was a worthy second, with team-mate Bottas third.
Ricciardo finished an excellent fourth place, after starting from the pit lane,
with Button fifth. Hulkenberg ended his season with sixth place at the Yas
Marina Circuit, finished ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez. Vettel was eighth in
his final race for Red Bull Racing and the final points position were filled by
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Race
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 55 Winner 2 50
2 Felipe Massa Williams 55 +2.5 secs 4 36
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 55 +28.8 secs 3 30
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 55 +37.2 secs 20 24
5 Jenson Button McLaren 55 +60.3 secs 6 20
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 55 +62.1 secs 12 16
7 Sergio Perez Force India 55 +71.0 secs 11 12
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 55 +72.0 secs 19 8
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 55 +85.8 secs 8 4
10 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 55 +87.8 secs 7 2
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 55 +90.3 secs 9
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 55 +91.9 secs 10
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus 54 +1 Lap 18
14 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 54 +1 Lap 1
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 54 +1 Lap 14
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber 54 +1 Lap 13
17 Will Stevens Caterham 54 +1 Lap 17
Ret Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 42 +13 Laps 16
Ret Pastor Maldonado Lotus 26 +29 Laps 15
Ret Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 14 +41 Laps 5
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