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2014 Abu Dhabi F1 GP: Hamilton And Mercedes Take Championship Victory Photo:
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Peter Anderson | Nov, 24 2014 | 0 Comments

Lewis Hamilton took a commanding eleventh win of the season and his second world championship. He took the victory after a tense weekend that saw Rosberg's car fail and put him out of contention.

Daniel Ricciardo secured third in the championship with a well-fought fourth place which started a long way back in the pitlane, finishing the season as he had begun, out-racing his illustrious teammate.

Felipe Massa finished Williams' brilliant season with a second place finish while Jenson Button performed a series of what might be farewell donuts.

 

PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING

As has been the case all year, the two Mercedes drivers battled each other for honours in the three practice sessions and qualifying.

Rosberg came out on top in both Saturday sessions, setting up a front-row battle for the championship and a race Hamilton would have to work for.

Daniel Ricciardo took P5 ahead of Vettel but the two Bulls were sensationally kicked out of qualifying, the FIA taking a dim view of a flexible wing element.

Raikkonen out-qualified Alonso, but neither would be happy with ninth and tenth respectively, which of course improved by two places with the absence of the Red Bulls.

Romain Grosjean's awful year concluded with being handed a twenty-place grid penalty for exceeding the number of engine components he was allowed to use.

 

RACE

Hamilton got the complaining in early, reporting on his parade lap that his practice start was rotten. It must have been a good omen, because he streaked off the line while Rosberg got involved with a Bottas.

Maldonado went wide but they otherwise got through in decent shape. At the beginning of the long back straight Magnussen tangled with Hulkenberg and Sutil, but without major drama for any of the combatants. Except, sadly, for Hulkenberg who was later given a five-second stop go for his part in allegedly pushing Mangussen off the track.

Bottas fell back to eight, getting mugged by Kvyat in the Toro Rosso.

Button had got a good start, jumping to fourth with the Ferraris squabbling.

By the time DRS was enabled, Hamilton had 1.6 seconds over his teammate and looked in no mood to coast to the championship at this early stage.

Fellow Finn Raikkonen lost his place to Alonso and then Kvyat as his tyres went away. Further back Ricciardo went on a bombing run, clearing both Sutil and Kobayashi in one move.

Alonso pitted for softs on lap six as the sun dipped below the horizon. Button, Kvyat and Raikkonen pitted together next time around, leaving in the same order despite a super-quick Ferrari stop.

Bottas received some good news over the radio as he was the only one of the front runners - bar the Mercedes - who had pitted and wasn't caught in traffic.

Another driver caught in traffic was Sebastian Vettel. Despite heading Ricciardo out of the pits at the start, he found himself bottled up behind Magnussen.

Hamilton Rosberg pitted a lap apart on lap 11 and 12, the order unchanged and no real change to the gap between them.

Ricciardo had scythed his way to seventh - albeit without having yet stopped for fresh tyres - and came upon Jean-Eric Vergne.

Ricciardo tried muscle his way past but Vergne threw caution to the wind and battled the Red Bull through several corners. Ricciardo nabbed the place but then Vergne got by again having got the better exit from the corner.

The Australian began to reapply pressure the Toro Rosso driver. Vergne seemed to be distracted by a lock-up from Sergio Perez and Ricciardo nipped through, this time holding the spot.

Magnussen's sixth place had a number of suitors - behind the McLaren was Vettel, Button, Alonso and slightly more distant, Raikkonen.

Magnussen radioed in to say he was happy with his tyres, which would doubtless have disappointed Vettel, had he heard it.

The German told his Red Bull team that he was starting to lose his rear tyres. Either way, the pair pitted at the same time on lap twenty-two, with Magnussen taking on super-softs and Vettel taking on another set of softs and having a slow stop to boot.

Ricciardo lost his place to Bottas, but didn't bother putting up a fight because he wasn't really racing the Williams.

On lap twenty-four, Rosberg complained of losing engine power - his times were falling away and the gap to Hamilton blew out to almost ten seconds.

He was informed that he had lost his ERS - Rosberg felt it was more and asked the team to investigate further. It was all downhill from there.

Felipe Massa could smell blood and closed in on the second Mercedes. He picked up three seconds over a lap and was on the German's gearbox by the end of lap 26. The Brazilian passed easily, pushing Rosberg to third with Bottas thirteen seconds behind.

In the mid-pack, Vettel finally passed Magnussen and on lap 28 both Ricciardo and Alonso pitted. Pastor Maldonado could only dream of a pit stop as his Lotus turned into a torch.

The Renault engine let him down for the final time, firstly with a huge plume of smoke and then a flamethrower from the exhaust.

Button pitted on lap 29 and came out just metres ahead of Fernando Alonso. Button fought hard down the back straight and kept Alonso at bay, but two corners later he was behind the red car.

Hamilton pitted on lap 32, having slowed a little. He came out behind Rosberg but quickly got by and drove away to chase down Felipe Massa fifteen seconds down the road.

Rosberg was called in to the pits on lap 35. Despite having to pull away without the assistance of the electric motor, he got going without drama. Ricciardo passed as Rosberg motored down pitlane.

Rosberg's problems continued as his championship hopes took hit after hit, with Perez and Vettel firing past to leave Rosberg seventh and almost a minute down on Hamilton.

His brakes were cooking as the loss of the electric motor's engine braking overheated the rear brakes - the same problem Mercedes had earlier this season. Worse, his engine cut out, forcing him off the road.

Ricciardo and Bottas were together again on lap 40, Bottas having stopped a final time and Ricciardo yet to stop. Red Bull told their man he'd be better off in front of Bottas but the Williams' gigantic speed advantage saw the Finn eventually take third.

Massa pitted on lap 44, handing the race lead to Hamilton. The Mercedes driver had already told his team he wouldn't be racing the Williams, so the British team threw caution to the wind and sent the Brazilian out to chase his old rival.

Vettel pitted for the last time as a Red Bull driver on lap 47, taking on the super-softs to get him home. He came out behind Perez and Alonso.

Massa took chunks of time away from Hamilton, lopping two seconds over two laps, another nine-tenths on lap 49. Ricciardo pitted and allowed Bottas through to third again, the Australian resuming in fourth, where he would finish.

"I think it was pretty much a faultless race from all sides, from the strategy, to myself and the pit stops, everything was good so we did everything we needed to. I had fun passing, it wasn't boring out there, so it was pretty much what I asked for."

Nico Rosberg's misery looked to be at ane end on lap 51 as he slowed to a sad, dejected crawl on lap 51. Massa's hopes for challenging for the lead were cruelled by unco-operative backmarkers, the 2008 champion weaving to try and make himself more apparent.

Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag and his long awaited second world championship, topping a drama-filled year for the emotional Englishman. The points gap was unrepresentative given he took fifty points and Rosberg none.

But with more wins and a never-say-die attitude, he proves a worthy champion.

"This has been an incredible year, I cannot believe how amazing it has all been - coming to this team, when people said it was the wrong choice, and the steps we took last year and this year is unbelievable," Hamilton said.

"2008 was a special time in my life; the feeling I have now is way, way past that and above and beyond. It's the greatest feeling I've ever had."

A worthy and honourable runner-up was Nico Rosberg, who despite a badly ailing car, elected to stay out on track to take the flag.

Formula 1 will return in March for the Australian Grand Prix, kicking off the 2015 season.

 

2014 Abu Dhabi F1 GP Results

  1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1h39m02.619s
  2. Felipe Massa - Williams/Mercedes +2.576s
  3. Valtteri Bottas - Williams/Mercedes +28.880s
  4. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull/Renault +37.237s
  5. Jenson Button - McLaren/Mercedes +1m00.334s
  6. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India/Mercedes +1m02.148s
  7. Sergio Perez - Force India/Mercedes +1m11.060s
  8. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull/Renault +1m12.045s
  9. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari +1m25.813s
  10. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari +1m27.820s
  11. Kevin Magnussen - McLaren/Mercedes +1m30.376s
  12. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso/Renault +1m31.947s
  13. Romain Grosjean - Lotus/Renault +1 Lap
  14. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes +1 Lap
  15. Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber/Ferrari +1 Lap
  16. Adrian Sutil - Sauber/Ferrari +1 Lap
  17. Will Stevens - Caterham/Renault +1 Lap

DNF
Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham/Renault - Vibration
Pastor Maldonado - Lotus/Renault - Engine
Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso/Renault - Electrical

 

F1 Drivers' Championship 2014 (after round 19 of 19)

Driver - Team - Points

  1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 384
  2. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 317
  3. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull-Renault - 238
  4. Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes - 186
  5. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull-Renault - 167
  6. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 161
  7. Felipe Massa - Williams-Mercedes - 134
  8. Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes - 126
  9. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India-Mercedes - 96
  10. Sergio Perez - Force India-Mercedes - 59
  11. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 55
  12. Kevin Magnussen - McLaren-Mercedes - 55
  13. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso-Renault - 22
  14. Daniil Kvyat Toro - Rosso-Renault - 8
  15. Romain Grosjean - Lotus-Renault - 8
  16. Pastor Maldonado - Lotus-Renault - 2
  17. Jules Bianchi - Marussia-Ferrari - 2
  18. Marcus Ericsson - Caterham-Renault - 0
  19. Adrian Sutil - Sauber-Ferrari - 0
  20. Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber-Ferrari - 0
  21. Max Chilton - Marussia-Ferrari - 0
  22. Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham-Renault - 0
  23. Andre Lotterer - Caterham-Renault - 0
 

F1 Constructors' Championship 2014 (after round 19 of 19)

Team - Points

  1. Mercedes-AMG Petronas - 701
  2. Infiniti Red Bull Racing - 405
  3. Williams Martini Racing - 320
  4. Scuderia Ferrari - 216
  5. McLaren Mercedes - 181
  6. Sahara Force India - 155
  7. Scuderia Toro Rosso - 30
  8. Lotus F1 - 10
  9. Marussia F1 - 2
  10. Sauber F1 - 0
  11. Caterham F1 - 0

 
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