Abu Dhabi GP - Sunday - Race Notes

Hamilton is champion

Lewis Hamilton, Abu Dhabi GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton, Abu Dhabi GP 2014 

 © The Cahier Archive


Lewis Hamilton took the victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tonight, winning the 2014 world drivers championship for the Mercedes GP, the second title of his career.

Hamilton took the lead by making a fast start ahead of his polesitter team mate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton leading for most of the race. Midrace, after running in second place, Rosberg started to have problems with his KERS system and fell back and out of the points.

Felipe Massa in the Williams-Mercedes finished in second place, 2.5 seconds behind, followed by his team mate Valtteri Bottas, a further 26.3 seconds behind in third place. It is the first time since Monaco 2005 that the Williams team finished both cars on the podium.

Hamilton takes his eleventh win of the season and his 33rd of his career - passing Fernando Alonso for fifth on the all-time list.

After becoming World Champion in 2008 for McLaren with five wins, six years later Hamilton takes his second title in style, the first World Champion for Mercedes since Juan-Manuel Fangio in 1954.

Daniel Ricciardo (8.3s), after starting the race from the pitlane in the Red Bull-Renault, finished in fourth, followed by Jenson Button (23.0s) in the McLaren-Mercedes in fifth, Nico Hulkenberg (1.8s) in the Force India-Mercedes was sixth, his team mate Sergio Perez (8.9s) was seventh, Sebastian Vettel (0.9s) in the second Red Bull was eighth, Fernando Alonso (13.7s) in the Ferrari was ninth and his team mate Kimi Raikkonen (2.0s) finished in the final points paying position in tenth.

Overnight the Red Bull’s of Ricciardo and Vettel are sent to the back of the grid for illegal front wings.

Rosberg, in his quest to overcome his team mate Hamilton with a 17 point lead, took the pole on saturday with Hamilton joining him on the front row.

If Rosberg wins, Hamilton needs to finish in second place to win the championship, while Hamilton takes the title if he finishes anywhere ahead of Rosberg.

Bottas and Massa will start on the second row, Kvyat and Button on the third row, Raikkonen and Alonso on the fourth row, and Magnussen and Vergne round out the top ten on the grid.

Pirelli have soft and supersoft tyres on offer for the drivers - all drivers starting on supersofts except for Magnussen, Vergne, Perez Hulkenberg, Vettel and Ricciardo starting on soft compound tyres.

The grid clears and Rosberg leads the field off on the formation lap. Vettel and Ricciardo starting from the pitlane.

The cars come to the grid, and the lights go out. The race begins with Hamilton jumping to the lead over Rosberg, Massa, Button, Raikkonen - Bottas falls back to eighth. Sutil and Magnussen make minor contact but continue. Grosjean pits.

On the first lap Hamilton pulls out a 1.2 second lead over Rosberg.

On lap 2 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m47.142.

On lap 5 Bottas complains of some graining on his tyres. Ricciardo passes Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi. Alonso passes his team mate Raikkonen.

On lap 6 Alonso pits, along with Sutil.

On lap 7 Button, Daniil Kvyat and Raikkonen pit, taking soft compound tyres.

On lap 8 Esteban Gutierrez and Pastor Maldonado pit for soft tyres. Some of the drivers who have pitted are facing traffic in the middle of the field.

On lap 9 Grosjean pits for a second time. Mercedes tells Rosberg that they will extend the first stint an extra three laps.

On lap 10 Hamilton pits from the lead, along with Bottas from fourth place, Rosberg takes over the top spot. Hamilton switches to soft tyres as well as Bottas. Hamilton rejoins in third place.

Hulkenberg is handed a five-second stop/go penalty for forcing Kevin Magnussen off-track on the opening lap.

On lap 12 Rosberg pits from the lead for soft tyres, and rejoins behind Hamilton in third place. Massa, yet to pit, takes over the lead. Vergne and Ricciardo fight over sixth place.

On lap 13 Ricciardo passes Vergne for sixth place. Massa pits from the lead, Vergne pits as well. Rosberg sets fast lap at 1m46.890s.

On lap 14 Bottas continues to come back and passes Magnussen for seventh. Perez pits.

At lap 15 Hamilton leads Rosberg by 2.3 seconds, followed by Massa (5.7s), Hulkenberg (9.2s), Ricciardo (2.8s), Bottas (3.9s), Magnussen (2.6s), Vettel (0.8s), Button (0.7s), and Alonso (0.5s) in tenth place.

Hulkenberg pits from fourth place, serving his stop/go penalty.

On lap 16 Kvyat pulls to the side of the track and retires with a mechanical problem.

Mercedes again tells Rosberg that they will run a longer stint than his team mate, as he sets another fast lap at 1m46.869s.

At lap 20 Hamilton still leads Rosberg by 2.6 seconds, followed by Massa (7.8s), Ricciardo (17.1s), Bottas (1.6s), Magnussen (9.9s), Vettel (1.3s), Button (0.7s), Alonso (1.0s) and Raikkonen (1.8s) in tenth place.

Ricciardo, Magnussen and Vettel have still not stopped for tyres.

Vettel complains that his rear tyres are starting to go off.

On lap 21 Magnussen and Vettel make their first stop, Magnussen switches to supersoft tyres while Vettel stays on another set of softs. Grosjean pits for the third time.

On lap 23 Sutil stops for a second time and takes more soft tyres. Rosberg locks up his tyres but continues. Vettel passes Gutierrez for 14th.

On lap 24 Hamilton’s lead is up to 7.1 seconds.

On lap 25 Rosberg complains that he is losing engine power. Bottas passes Ricciardo for fourth place.

Rosberg's engineer reports to him that his ERS has failed on the car. Rosberg is lapping 4 seconds slower than Hamilton. Massa is closing on Rosberg.

On lap 27 Massa passes Rosberg for second place.

Rosberg tells the team that he thinks something else besides the ERS is holding his car back.

On lap 28 Ricciardo and Alonso both pit, Ricciardo taking on more soft tyres.

Maldonado pulls off the track - his Lotus on fire, and he retires.

On lap 29 Button and Gutierrez both pit.

On lap 30 Alonso passes Button for 10th. Magnussen now closes on Button. Magnussen pits for a second time switching to soft tyres. Vergne pits as well.

Hamilton is slowing his pace to make sure he does not stress his car.

At lap 30 Hamilton leads Massa by 9.0 seconds, followed by Rosberg (9.0s), Bottas (6.4s), Perez (24.2s), Ricciardo (0.7s), Hulkenberg (2.3s), Vergne (4.6s), Vettel (4.7s) and Button (7.5s) in tenth place.

Ricciardo passes Perez for fifth place.

On lap 32 Hamilton pits from the lead and rejoins behind Rosberg in third place with Massa leading the race. Hamilton easily passes Rosberg for second place, and continues on. Rosberg tells Mercedes to figure out how to keep him in the top five - so if Hamilton drops out he can still win the championship.

On lap 33 Bottas passes Rosberg for third place. Ricciardo sets fast lap at 1m46.735s.

On lap 35 Rosberg pits for his second stop taking on more soft tyres, and rejoins in seventh place.

On lap 36 Bottas pits for more soft tyres, and rejoins in fourth behind Ricciardo.

Ricciardo sets another fast lap at 1m46.646s.

Rosberg asks his team how his position is looking in case Hamilton drops out, and the team responds “not good”, and tells the German that all he can do is drive flat out.

On lap 38 Vettel passes Rosberg for seventh place. Hulkenberg pits and switches to supersoft tyres. Bottas sets fast lap at 1m46.304s as he chases Ricciardo for third place.

Mercedes tells Hamilton that Massa is lapping in the 1m46s, and he needs to up his pace. Hamilton replies that he is not racing Massa anymore.

Bottas closes to under a second behind Ricciardo.

At lap 40 Massa leads Hamilton by 14.2 seconds, followed by Ricciardo (23.8s), Bottas (1.0s), Perez (15.7s), Vettel (0.7s), Button (5.5s), Rosberg (4.0s), Alonso (7.1s) and Vergne (1.0s) in tenth place.

On lap 41 Rosberg complains to the team that his problems continue, reporting that the car shut down at one point and that he is having problems with the throttle.

Perez and Vettel are fighting over fifth place, Vettel gets past the Mexican driver.

Hamilton sets fast lap am 1m46.166s and closes to 12.5 seconds behind Massa.

Hulkenberg passes Alonso on the outside of turn 8 to take over eighth place.

On lap 43 Massa pits from the lead and switches to supersoft tyres. Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m45.923 seconds. Massa rejoins in second place, 10.8 seconds behind Hamilton.

On lap 45 Perez passes Raikkonen for 11th place. Vergne makes his final stop. Kobayashi pits, as his team looks at his car and retires the Caterham.

Massa responds and sets fast lap at 1m45.342s, and again the next lap at 1m44.953, closing his gap to 9.3 seconds.

On lap 47 Vettel pits from fifth for a mandatory stop for supersoft tyres.

On lap 47 Massa sets another fast lap at 1m44.826s, closing the gap to 8.0s with 8 laps to go. Ricciardo makes his mandatory stop for supersofts as well. Perez passes Alonso for eighth. Vettel closes on Alonso as well.

On lap 48 Massa takes another second from Hamilton lead, the gap down to 6.8 seconds.

Vettel passes Alonso for ninth place.

On lap 49 Vettel passes Rosberg for eighth.

At lap 50 Hamilton leads Mass by 5.0 seconds, followed by Bottas (23.6s), Ricciardo (14.8s), Button (14.0s), Hulkenberg (5.5s), Perez (7.3s), Vettel (2.4s), Rosberg (4.8s) and Alonso (0.8s) in tenth place.

Ricciardo sets fast lap at 1m44.496s.

Rosberg continues to slow, now in 13th place and out of the points.

On lap 52 Massa continues to close the gap on Hamilton to 3.2 seconds. Hamilton is closing on Rosberg to put his team mate a lap down.

Mercedes asks Rosberg to pit the car, and Rosberg says he would like to finish the race. Hamilton laps Rosberg. Massa gets past Rosberg as well.

Hamilton holds on to take the win and his second title. Hamilton picks up a British flag as he performs doughnuts on his way back to the pits on the cool-down lap.

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