Abu Dhabi – From the chequered flag in Sâo Paulo, the world knew that the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship would end with a bang. With double points on the line, and a mere 17 point gap between them, the fight was on between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg once again proved himself as the fastest in qualifying, beating Hamilton out for pole by a mere 0.386 of a second. Close behind the Mercedes were the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who played a major factor in Sunday’s season ending race at Yas Marina. Meanwhile, the starting grid was shaken up after the FIA disqualified the qualifying times of the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo due to a pair of illegal front wings.
The race began with Hamilton getting an amazing start over his teammate, rushing up the left-hand side of the track and never looking back. Rosberg held his own against Massa, while Bottas was swamped by the pack, falling back considerably from his 3rd place start.
Rosberg’s troubles began on Lap 23, when his car suffered an ERS failure, crippling the German’s Mercedes and leaving Hamilton wary to push his own car too hard. In part because of this, Hamilton laid off for a good portion of the race, letting Massa take the lead, and have a decent chance at his first Grand Prix win since that fateful day in Brazil in 2008 when Hamilton won his first World Championship, beating the Brazilian out by just a few seconds. Rosberg was able to stay in the race to the end, despite the recommendations from the team that he retire. He finished the race in 14th, having been lapped by Hamilton on the last couple of laps.
Red Bull was able to recover from their pit-lane start, with Daniel Ricciardo challenging Williams’ Valtteri Bottas for 3rd and Vettel taking the fight to his 2015 team Ferrari. Fernando Alonso finished his final race at the Scuderia in 9th, finishing the season in 6th with 161 points. The Spaniard has yet to conform where he will be in 2015, though the rumours of a return to McLaren are still circulating.
McLaren’s Jenson Button had a good finish in 5th, on what could be his last Formula 1 race. The Briton has been in the sport since 2000, winning the World Championship in 2009. His Danish rookie teammate, Kevin Magnussen, finished in 11th, having spent the race in a dogfight with the Ferraris, Toro Rossos, and Force Indias.
Sunday saw only one incident, with Pastor Maldonado’s tailpipe erupting in flame on Lap 26. Other retirements included Toro Rosso’s Russian rookie, and soon to be Red Bull driver, Daniil Kvyat on Lap 14, and Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi of Japan on Lap 42. Caterham’s No. 2 driver for the weekend, Will Stevens of Great Britain, finished in 17th.
The results of the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are as follows:
- Lewis Hamilton, Great Britain, Mercedes AMG Petronas, 1:39:02.61, 50 pts
- Felipe Massa, Brazil, Williams Martini Racing, +00:02.500, 36 pts
- Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Williams Martini Racing, +00:28.800, 30 pts
- Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, +00:37.200, 24 pts
- Jenson Button, Great Britain, McLaren-Mercedes, +01:00.300, 20 pts
- Nico Hülkenberg, Germany, Sahara Force India, +01:02.100, 16 pts
- Sergio Pérez, Mexico, Sahara Force India, +01:11.000, 12 pts
- Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, +01:12.000, 8 pts
- Fernando Alonso, Spain, Scuderia Ferrari, +01:25.800, 4 pts
- Kimi Räikkönen, Finland, Scuderia Ferrari, +01:27.800, 2 pts
- Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, McLaren-Mercedes, +01:30.300, 0 pts
- Jean-Éric Vergne, France, Scuderia Toro Rosso, +01:31.900, 0 pts
- Romain Grosjean, France, Lotus, lapped, 0 pts
- Nico Rosberg, Germany, Mercedes AMG Petronas, lapped, 0 pts
- Esteban Gutierrez, Mexico, Sauber, lapped, 0 pts
- Adrian Sutil, Germany, Sauber, lapped, 0 pts
- Will Stevens, Great Britain, Caterham, lapped, 0 pts
- Kamui Kobayashi, Japan, Caterham, retired, 42 laps, 0 pts
- Pastor Maldonado, Venezuela, Lotus, retired, 26 laps, 0 pts
- Daniil Kvyat, Russia, Scuderia Toro Rosso, retired, 14 laps, 0 pts
There will be a season recap article coming your way in the next week or so, looking back at the key moments of 2014. Also, the 2015 Formula 1 season preview will be on its way come New Years’ under the banner of my new newspaper, The Tern.
Thanks so much for following the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship with me here at sthosdkane.com . I will be back in a week or so with a season recap article.