The ‘Abu Double’ 2014 that Saw Lewis Hamilton Take the Championship
March 20, 2015
When Hermann Tilke designed the Yas Marina Circuit to host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it is highly likely he never contemplated the drama it would bring to the championship in 2014. Formula One had already witnessed a lot of thrilling moments, some bordering on the tragic, over previous races.
The highlight of the season was the dominant jugular competition between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both of Mercedes. At one time things were nasty, but with the two drivers going to the race with Hamilton leading by only 17 points, it was obvious the double points rule was bound to spice things up.
Exhilarating Moments of the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP
If you really love Formula One then you appreciate the need to have the top moments at the tip of your fingers. It makes following this thrilling action even more fun. Well, here are the best moments that will earn this race a place in the hall of fame of great races:
- Hamilton vs. Rosberg rivalry: Going to the race on 23rd November, things were already icy between the two childhood friends. Hamilton had already criticized the double points back in October, but Rosberg was obviously relishing the latent chances to upturn things here.
- Rosberg wins pole: During Saturday’s practice, Rosberg had already put down the gauntlet by winning pole position. As usual it was the calm driver who won the pole while the Briton seemed ragged and unsure. The excitement created by Nico’s win of pole had set the tempo for a great race come race Sunday at Yas Marina.
- The convoluted scenarios on the eventual Championship winner: Well, there could only be one winner, but trust sports pundits to spice things up by presenting scenarios on who can win if what happens. For instance, if Rosberg was to win at Abu Dhabi, Hamilton would still have clinched the championship by coming in second. And on and on they went speculating that if Rosberg was to finish fifth, then Rosberg had to finish ninth to win.
- Swing of chairs for the teams: Marussia’s luck seemed to have run out after Bianchi’s accident and financial issues. The team unfortunately had to withdraw from the last race. Caterham was still in dire straits but their fund sourcing through crowdsourcing eventually saw them participate in this crucial final race.
- The party of farewells: The last race of the F1 is always the climax of the silly season where gossip whirls at a dizzying rate. Well, Jenson Button was poised to be turning out for his last race with McLaren, while Fernando Alonso was already headed to Button’s team. Sebastian Vettel was to replace Alonso and many more moves were expected. This was definitely a high point for fans.
- Bernie Ecclestone and the ‘Cartel’ slur: Desperate times call for desperate actions and this is exactly what Force India’s deputy team principal proved by using the word ‘cartel’ to describe the ownership of Formula One. Of course smaller teams were facing financial constraints and Eclestone was quick to use the word ‘beggars’ which he later apologized for.
- Safety focus: The death of Senna in the 90s and Jules Bianchi’s accident at the Suzuka GP has highlighted the need for more safety. The 2015 virtual safety car was tested during 2014’s last race at Yas Marina. Drivers and fans can now sigh with relief hoping that these safety measures will deal with risks on the track.
- Illegal cars on the track: It might sound surreal but yes, Red Bull’s Vettel and Ricciardo were forced to the back of the grid due to movable aerodynamic parts in form of flexible front wings. Stewards also noted Lotus-Renault’s Romain Grosjean had exceeded his power unit components.
- Lewis Hamilton thrills to win 2014 F1 Championship: With a 17-point lead and Rosberg on pole position, it was a risky race for Hamilton. However, he proved naysayers wrong by beating the charging Felipe Massa by 2.576 seconds. Of course this was still a win for Massa representing his best performance with Williams.
Whatever Abu Dhabi 2015 GP presents to fans, it is obvious that this iconic track will always be a scene of scintillating race action. You just need to sit back, relax and let the adrenaline flow. If you want to see the action first hand the hop over to www.senategrandprix-abu-dhabi.com to book your race viewing tickets and hotel.
Nico Rosberg vs. Hamilton: Reincarnation of Aryton Senna and Alain Prost Rivalry?
March 2, 2015
The year was 1984 and Prost, who was already a legend in racing circles, was leading in the wet Monaco GP conditions and was destined to win.
But, on this June 3rd, it seemed luck was not on Prost’s side as a rookie by the name of Senna had zoomed down from 13th position and was virtually on his wings. Well, things went bizarre from there when Prost requested the race to be stopped due to the rain.
This denied Senna his first victory in Formula One triggering the most intense rivalry in Formula One between the two.
Sense of Dejavu 2014
30 years down the line, a very similar scenario played before the eyes of F1 enthusiasts when Hamilton and Rosberg who were formerly childhood friends turned into bitter rivals while driving for the same team Mercedes. Could this be a reincarnation of the situation exactly three decades back?
To answer this question you need to compare the genesis of Hamilton and Rosberg’s rivalry to that of Senna and Prost. Whether you have or have not watched these modern drivers from their rookie stages, let’s examine what really happened over the 2014 F1 championship and observe whether it tallies to what really happened between the two previous drivers?
Highlights of Hamilton vs. Rosberg Rivalry
- The lull before the storm: Two ambitious drivers, a wonderful machine and a superb technical team behind them. This is the situation that you see when you look at the whole scenario, but before this, these guys were friends since karting days. Hamilton was coming into the 2014 season a comfortable Mercedes driver having managed 4th position in the 2013 GP while Rosberg was struggling the same year at 6th.
- It’s on! Bahrain: With Mercedes performing exemplarily, the two drivers seemed to be the only ones on the track. Rosberg lost the lead but managed to cut in. Hamilton played hard and won back almost clipping Nico’s front wing. As they say, the game was on when the German complained over the team radio.
- The Spanish bulls are out: Hamilton was ready to up the game and he did so by using an engine mode he wasn’t allowed by the team to use. It was all or nothing, and obviously Nico was hurt, though he had used the same in Bahrain.
- Hunger Games on the track: Forget the movie, because this was not what Hamilton was talking about, and concentrate on the two driver’s upbringing. Simply Lewis wanted to tell Nico he was more hardcore based on his upbringing and he would take this to the wire.
- A 2006 ‘packing incident’ replay in Monaco: Schumacher is remembered for many things, but his worst display was deliberately blocking Alonso from pole in 2006. In fact, it earned him a penalty and this seemed to be a trick his fellow German wanted to apply when he locked up on his final lap in qualifying thus instigating yellow flags and denying the faster Hamilton from pole position.
- Define a friend please: After Rosberg won at Monaco in May you could tell Lewis was vexed and a remark he made later about Rosberg not being his friend showed the rivalry was now spiraling out of control.
- No to team orders: By the time the two were going to Hungary the tension was palpable. When Hamilton was asked on the radio to allow Rosberg to pass as he had a different tire strategy he declined and finished second with Nico finishing third.
- A crazy Schumacher Move at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium: This was the last straw that recalls one of Schumi’s moves against Damon Hill in 1994. Nico clipped and punctured his teammate’s left rear tire at the start of lap two. The Brit was aghast on team radio. When it emerged that the German said he did it on purpose, fans started booing Nico and the tide begun to turn.
From this point going to Monza, Italy, Nico starts to crack and with more wins by Lewis in Singapore, Suzuka Japan, Russia, Austin USA and finally Abu Dhabi, he wins the championship comfortably.
Can these two drivers compare to the legendary Senna and Prost? For one, none is a daredevil like Senna and none has yet the composure of Prost. Maybe time will tell. What’s your take?