Lewis Hamilton has moved even further into rare air as a double World Champion in Formula 1 with his dominant win in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The 2008 champion cemented his second world title from the very start with a terrific start off the line to take the lead and never looked back. The British champion said it’s not in his nature to come to a race and shoot for second and he proved it today with a little help from his teammate, Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg needed help of his own this weekend. Sitting 17 points adrift of Hamilton, a win was not enough for the German—he needed Hamilton to finish third or worse and that was never going to be an easy bet given the performance advantage the Mercedes cars had over the rest of the field.

In essence, Nico needed a mechanical failure to thwart Hamilton’s race but fate would deal a lethal blow as it was an ERS failure on Rosberg’s car that ultimately ended his title hopes.

After the race, Rosberg said that even if had not had the ERS issue, beating Lewis was never really in the cards such was the champion’s pace. Nico did make his way to the waiting room to congratulate Hamilton and offer his praise of the newly crowned champion. Even Prince Harry radioed his congratulations to Hamilton after Lewis crossed the finish line.

“I won’t dwell on my issue today – he deserved to win today and he deserved to win the championship.

“He was this year that little bit better so it is fully deserved. He was the best driver on the grid this year.

“It was a great battle between us, and that’s what I race for. It was a very intense time of course, but also fantastic. Having such a strong car has been unbelievable.”

Lewis drove a measured race after his lightning start and held the gap when he needed to while nursing his car home having been given the news of Rosberg’s troubles. Hamilton slowed to near two seconds per lap off his pace in order to get his venerable power unit home in one piece and came under fire in the waning laps by a motivated Felipe Massa.

“This is the great day of my life,” Lewis 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.

“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.

“This is like an outside-the-body experience. I want to make sure I give my thanks.”

With the mileage stacking up on all the engines in F1, Lotus F1 driver Pastor Maldonado reminded the entire grid just what could happen as his engine terminated itself in dynamic fashion during the race.

The race itself was an average affair and while there where moments of decent racing and DRS-enabled passing, NBC Sports anchor Leigh Diffey ran out of over-blown adjectives to heap on to the grand prix to save it from being a pedestrian affair. Lewis’s title was the high-water and that is as it should be though. It would have been terrific if Nico hadn’t experienced his ERS issues but perhaps it’s a bit of comeuppance for a team who demanded complicated hybrids to offer a damp squib of a title-deciding race due to some bizarre ERS hybrid cock up.

Win

Win

It’s a big win for Lewis Hamilton who said this is the greatest day of his life—although we’ve heard that at least three times per year from Lewis, I’m inclined to believe it this time. It was hard to understand exactly how a guy who wins 11 races could still be at risk of losing the title but thanks to double-points, that was the case. Regardless, Lewis handled it impeccably.

It’s been a while coming and Lewis has been through some challenging times since 2008 but this year he had his head down and his focus in the right place to secure his second title. The season is a win for Lewis in many respects.

Also a big win for Williams who scored its first double-podium result since Monaco in 2005. Felipe Massa was charging at the end but ran out of tires in order to mount a realistic pass for the lead. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, claimed the third step on the podium. That’s a big win for the team who secured 3rd in the Constructor’s Championship with Bottas claiming 4th in the Driver’s Championship.

A win for Sergio Perez who took advantage of the double-points and finished 7th in the race which in turn gave him 10th in the driver’s title race. His teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, also did well with a 6th place finish on the day and this was even after a 5-second penalty was assessed to the German.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo had a win on Sunday as he started from pit lane and marched his way up to 4th while providing some great passes and driving in the process.

Jenson Button had a great day finishing 5th and while the result was great, his post-race donuts on the track sent shivers down my spine that he was celebrating his last time on a Grand Prix circuit in F1.

The 16th win for Mercedes this season has broken the all-time record of 15 previously held by Ferrari and McLaren. Hamilton also becomes the first Mercedes world champion since Juan Manuel Fangio, having claimed 11 victories in total this year. 

A win for Will Stevens to complete his first F1 race even though his team didn’t take the fight to anyone.

Fail

Fail

Mercedes gets a fail for the ERS problem Nico Rosberg had. The team bosses were almost foreshadowing the weekend by saying that a mechanical issue would be a real tragedy if the title was decided by something on the car failing. That notion seems to be lost now that Rosberg was the recipient of the ERS issue with post-race commentary from the team offering platitudes about Nico living to fight another day and boy didn’t he do a good job this season. While team boss Toto Wolff says the ERS issue is a bit of a bummer, it wouldn’t have changed the results anyway so let’s not bicker and argue about who had ERS issues.

A big fail for Ferrari who had a guy finish outside the top 10 in the driver’s championship and another one seemingly phone it in for his final race for the team. A difficult year for the Scuderia and let’s hope Sebastian can find the “utmost and commitment” to bring the team back.

NBC Sports waited until near the end of the race to half-heartedly mention that young star, Daniil Kvyat, had…oh, by the way, stopped on track and is out of the race. Uh…thanks.

WTH

Caterham made it to the race and that’s great but they failed to mount any challenge for 10th place in the championship while Marussia couldn’t even crowdfund their way to the race in order to collect their 10th place and $30 million. This, if I have my math right, leaves Sauber—who scored no point sand looked miserable all year long—as the 10th place finishers for 2014. What an odd way to back yourself into the points and money.

I enjoyed Nicole Scherzinger’s pensive and pouty entrance to the paddock in her LBD and her “friend” who appeared to be in some sort of skimpy bathrobe. I may have seen more of them than Lewis and that’s not helping Nelson Piquet’s obsession with Nicole by the way. Regardless, I am sure it was a big emotional boost for Lewis as well as a carnal boost for Nelson.

The NBC Sports crew explained how this season was the best one in the last 30 years. Let that soak in for a moment. You feel it? Yeah, me too. The massive network also decided to cut away to a special Jenson Button graphics package—during the race—in order to really unpack the career and future of the 2009 champion. I like Jenson as much as the next guy but I care very little about his career highlights when there is racing actually happening.

Speaking of NBC Sports, I’ll be glad when they get new B Roll of Lewis and Nico. The continual use of the highly bleached video of the two walking around in a sterile garage is getting old, I think I’m starting to dream that B Roll in my sleep now. Every time my dream comes in to focus, it then cuts away for a commercial and that’s really frustrating.

In the end

In the end, it all finished the way Lewis wanted and I suspect Bernie Ecclestone is perfectly happy with it as well:

hamilton ecclestone abu dhabi

Pos Driver Car
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault
5 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault
14 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari
17 Will Stevens Caterham/Renault
Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault
Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault

FINAL DRIVERS’ STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 161
7 Felipe Massa 134
8 Jenson Button 126
9 Nico Hulkenberg 96
10 Sergio Perez 59
11 Kevin Magnussen 55
12 Kimi Raikkonen 55
13 Jean-Eric Vergne 22
14 Romain Grosjean 8
15 Daniil Kvyat 8
16 Pastor Maldonado 2
17 Jules Bianchi 2
18 Adrian Sutil 0
19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Max Chilton 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi 0
23 Will Stevens 0

FINAL CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS:

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull/Renault 405
3 Williams/Mercedes 320
4 Ferrari 216
5 McLaren/Mercedes 181
6 Force India/Mercedes 155
7 Toro Rosso/Renault 30
8 Lotus/Renault 10
9 Marussia/Ferrari 2
10 Sauber/Ferrari 0
11 Caterham/Renault 0

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jeoff42
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jeoff42

Great summary from a top site. Love your podcasts. Thank you all at f1B

Rapierman
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Rapierman

No, I’m sorry, but you’re not allowed to mention that auto racing series without paying a hefty sum to the management group, the name of which we’re not allowed to mention for that very same reason.

The Captain
Member
The Captain

Great write up Todd, I also wrote up my thoughts on this race, some of which I started yesterday (so the tense may be a bit off). I may write up a post for the forums on my thoughts on NBC and the world feed for the year. I’m already annoyed by this race. Everything about it is some sort of microcosm of whats wrong with F1. From the glaring finical issues to the fake drama for “show” to the terrible F1 broadcast. First, this race is more of a “show” than another on the calendar. And not the good… Read more »

telfish
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telfish

I usually watch on NBC, and almost always tear my hair out in exasperation!

I now get sky sports and most of their other channels in the USA cost me $30 a month, streams flawlessly and I plug my laptop into the big TV.

Coverage is superb, informative and zero adverts.

nem0
Guest
nem0

I need to try that. Even the NBC Sports Xtra stream is terrible. The streaming quality is great, but it cuts to what seem to be online-only commercials (sometimes you see the TV broadcast commercials for a second before cutting to the same 4 sponsor spots every break), and half of them are significantly louder than the base audio. NORMALIZE YOUR AUDIO, NBC. I’m already annoying my roommates by watching TV late at night, I don’t need to be blasting them straight out of bed every 3 minutes when the military decides to REALLY GET MY ATTENTION by being obnoxiously… Read more »

John M
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John M

I thought you nailed it with this one. I’ll be honest I’m not a big Lewis Hamilton fan but I am kind of glad he won so double points didn’t really come into effect.

HAL9000
Guest
HAL9000

I had the misfortune of watching the NBC coverage of one race this year. Why there are any formula 1 enthusiasts in the U.S. with coverage like that is beyond me. It was painful and annoying, when I think there was a race going on in the background. Can someone down there sit them (NBC) down and make them watch some BBC or Sky race coverages? The brits figured it out a while ago… Keep the cameras on the cars, try to show the best battle on track, and get a minimum of 2 knowledgeable hosts. Sounds simple to me.… Read more »

Runnah
Guest
Runnah

Yeah I will echo your sentiments on the coverage. I literally cursed out loud when they went to commercial with 5 laps left!!!

I miss Speeds coverage and that is saying something!

Samouri
Member
Samouri

You wasn’t alone…..I’m lucky to still have a tv. SPEED really wasn’t much better, regarding commercial breaks,.

Runnah
Guest
Runnah

Boy was I hoping Massa could win this race! Although it was made pretty clear that Lewis was only toying with Massa and could have easily doubled the gap if he wanted to.

Shame that we didn’t get the fight we were all hoping for. I imagine folks will be crying conspiracy for the way things turned out.

Overall it was a good season with some decent battles. Can’t say I am happy that Lewis won as his persona bugs me but he certainly deserved it.

adaptable1
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adaptable1

While it would have been much more dramatic to see Nico and Lewis battle it out until the very end, I am grateful that the championship wasn’t decided by some artificial technicality. Lewis was the better racing driver this year. I thought Nico was graceful in defeat, and I hope the rivalry continues into 2015… but I also hope that the other teams step up to make next season much more formidable for the Silver Arrows. NBCS? You still watch them? Learn some Spanish! Or at the very least stream the BBC audio from the mobile app while watching the… Read more »

Benalf
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Benalf

Congrats to Hamilton. He deserves the WC; he managed the most wins and made no mistakes when it mattered. I hope this season helps Rosberg to grow up some teeth and keep focused, again, when it matters; he lost his WC as much as Hamilton won it. It’s hard to read and listen to F1 “experts” hailing the season as “the best in years”…..seriously? Mercedes was so way above the rest that the dominant 2013 season RBR had looks now like a fluke. Both Renault and Ferrari were so flawed on their engine development that no team was able to… Read more »

jeff
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jeff

Not the “best” finale in 30 years; it was its own beast. That it was a culmination of this year’s stories (massive Formula shift, reigning World Champion being outpaced, significant driver moves, inter-team battling) made it very exciting for me, but I understand others’ perspectives that the battle failed materializing. If one doesn’t understand the new technology, dislikes the sound, or wants multiple drivers/teams fighting close rather than development, perhaps this race/year sucked. Individuals in groups tend to follow the sentiment of a publishing’s tone; if this story was spun enthusiastically, the commentors would respond more positively, as we are… Read more »

jeff
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jeff

Apologies Todd; realized my message sounded like I was criticizing your POV. Didn’t mean that at all; rather that I don’t mind the fluffed-up positive message, as it at least encourages us caring. I appreciate constructive negative criticism as long as it affords opportunity for debate and includes the greater fan base, which attempt doing.

Sorry if I came across negatively.

Dr T
Member
Dr T

Correct me if I’m wrong – Marussia were wanting to show up to gain 9th place (given Sauber had scored nothing and were 10th, Caterham 11th). So I would have thought this moved Sauber up into 9th place

jsimm57184
Guest
jsimm57184

Congratulations to LCH for winnng the 2014 WDC! You like to see excellence rewarded where Mercedes had by far the best car on the grid. Hamilton had a supreme year with 11 race wins. Also, Hamilton is good character with a high social media presence, soap opera life, and this diverse fan base, which can only be positive for Formula 1. With his second title, he has an strong opportunity to achieve two more in the coming years. Especially with the current engine regulations, it could be difficult for McLaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull to challenge Mercedes for the next… Read more »

dude
Guest
dude

I think that’s a bit early to say. I would argue there are more competition right now and more talented young drivers coming in. There is also Honda even despite the engine freeze, which may not be for long because there’ll be some interesting political development over this winter. Even Rosberg is a tough teammate to Lewis than Weber to Vettel.

John
Guest
John

Please, please do some ranting on the podcast about the Senna v. Prost comparison! UGH! I am going to try and watch it through Sky next year. I cannot take the commercial breaks anymore. A shame, because I really like Matchett a lot (his book was great!) I like Will Buxton, I’ve had the pleasure of shaking hands with him, but I’m so tired of him trying to talk up a “grandstand finish” every race. The writing was on the wall that Massa couldn’t catch Lewis. Great article, glad Lewis won, and I hope Jenson gets some sort of proper… Read more »

@_canuck_
Guest
@_canuck_

Glad this season is over I’m tired of the Lewis and Nico drama, hopefully other teams can challenge next year.
Abu dhabi track is a fail the layout is poor for racing.
Vettel just beating Alonso in the standings again I found amusing.
Good job F1B for your informative Blog.

Cody Carrete
Guest
Cody Carrete

The finale could have been decided without double points coming into play, but the likelihood of that happening were about equal to turkeys jumping into the deep fryers. I’m so glad it didn’t happen because I would’ve been in that mob. Vulnerable instead of venerable? All these races I have boycotted because of NBC’s terrible coverage will continue next season unless they adopt at least an approach that showcases races instead of montages and interviews and too frequent commercials. Sky’s format will never happen with NBC and I’ve come to accept that. It would be like Comcast or Brighthouse having… Read more »

jeff
Guest
jeff

Question for MIE or any tech and reg savvy: Can the teams reprogram steering wheel shift lights and audible cues from the pit wall, or does that contravene the 2 way telemetry ban? Can the driver adjust in-cockpit? I drove a 1M sedan tonight with an aftermarket shift light wheel, and it reminded me that Rosberg’s engineer recommended he hold gears after he lost the Hybrid systems. Makes sense, Rosberg leaning on the ICE’s broad power band to somewhat compensate for lossed ERS power in lower gears/lower RPM, but then he’d just be guessing when to shift. Random thought, but… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

I thought you might include space in your ‘Fail’ section for Red Bull being caught flagrantly flouting the rules again.

Jeffrey Hamlin
Guest
Jeffrey Hamlin

As Lewis’ team said while he rolled in on his prior win, ‘Epic Mate’ article that is :)