Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 23. marraskuuta 2014

Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton is the 2014 world champion!

There was some extra excitement in the air when the lights went out today as the championship-deciding season finale was about to get underway. And what a staggering start Hamilton got from P2! He started like a rocket and stormed to the lead leaving his team-mate Rosberg in second place. Bottas in his Williams also got a lousy start as the Finn had some issues with his clutch so Valtteri lost 5 positions at the start! His team-mate Massa benefitted from Valtteri´s poor start and the Brazilian made his way up to P3. Both Red Bulls started to the race from the pit lane as they had been excluded from the qualifying due to the front wing infringement. Both Vettel and Ricciardo were on the prime tyres as well as the Force India duo Hulkenberg and Perez, Vergne in his Toro Rosso and McLaren´s Magnussen.

Kimi had a promising start and the Iceman made his way up to P5, which made me really happy. But on lap 5 the Finn lost positions both to his team-mate Alonso and Kvyat in his Toro Rosso. So it seemed to be another difficult day in the office for Kimi! Kvyat was the first driver to retire as the Russian faced a technical failure on lap 16. At that point Hamilton had a 2,6 -second lead over Rosberg with Massa third some 5 seconds behind Rosberg. The Red Bull duo and Magnussen were the only drivers who still hadn´t pitted.

On lap 24 dark clouds started to gather over Rosberg´s title hopes. The German made a small mistake and went wide, which made the gap to Hamilton increase almost into 4 seconds. Only a lap later Rosberg suddenly lost power and the team told him on the radio that he had an ERS failure! What a dramatic turn in terms of the championship battle! Rosberg was able to continue racing but his lap times were seriously slower than his rivals´! It soon became inevitable that Rosberg was going to lose positions one by one. Massa at the wheel of his Williams was the first man to overtake the unlucky German and the Brazilian Williams pilot made his way up to P2! Bottas was over 10 seconds behind Rosberg but it was just a matter of laps when the Finn would move ahead of Rosberg.

On lap 28 it was Maldonado´s turn to face technical issues as the Venezuelan suffered a splashy engine failure and his E22 caught massive flames. With some 10 laps to go Massa pitted for the second time for a fresh set of supersoft tyres and when he rejoined the track there was a 10-second gap to Hamilton, who was leading the race. Massa drove lap times second faster than Hamilton and he managed to decrease the gap into 3 seconds but Hamilton didn´t even have to try to drive as fast as he could have. Ricciardo at the wheel of his RB10 also had to do a late second pit stop so Bottas´ 3rd place was secured.

With only a few laps to go Rosberg had dropped down to P13 and was out of points. The team urged him to drive to the pits and retire the race as there were so many technical issues in his car due to the ERS failure but Rosberg told his team that he wanted to drive to the chequered flag. That was such an honourable gesture from the German, something that a real racing driver would do in spite of losing his chances to win the title! So Hamilton cruised to the victory with the Williams duo Massa and Bottas completing the podium. Ricciardo finished 4th, Button 5th, Hulkenberg 6th, Perez 7th, Vettel 8th, Alonso 9th and Kimi 10th. At the checkered flag Rosberg was finally in P14. There´s not much to celebrate about Sebastian´s and Kimi´s results so I´m actually looking forward to the nest season already.

So Lewis Hamilton is the 2014 world champion! The Briton won 11 races this season whilst his team-mate Rosberg won only 5 so there´s no doubt that Hamilton really deserves the crown. Although Nico has been faster in the qualifying sessions in general, Hamilton has had the upper hand in the races. And it was so heartwarming to see Nico congratulating his team-mate after the race in spite of the huge personal disappointment. Nico proved to be a real professional and a sportsman who is able to handle a defeat, not everyone can do that! I´m sure Nico will be twice as hungry to win the championship next year!

So this is it: the last race of the season is over and Sebastian is no more a Red Bull driver! I can´t fully realize that yet. As there´s going to be a long off-season ahead, I´m going to look back at Sebastian´s years at Red Bull and write a blog post on the most memorable memories I have of those years so stay tuned! :)

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