Vettel eighth for his last
Lewis Hamilton became World Champion for the second time in his career, thanks to a victory in the final in Abu Dhabi. He has succeeded Sebastian Vettel, the title-holder over the last four seasons, who finished eighth for his last race with Red Bull.
Nico Rosberg and Hamilton, competing for the title, once again found themselves sharing the front row, as has often been the case. The start went in the British driver’s favour and the duel commenced, before technical problems hit the German’s single-seater, forcing him into slow-motion all the way to the flag. When his team asked him to withdraw, he insisted he wanted to finish.
Hamilton won with night falling, ahead of the two Williams driven by Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. The first of the Red Bulls, Daniel Ricciardo’s, took fourth place. The Australian achieved a magnificent comeback after starting (as did Sebastian Vettel, 8th) from the pit lane. Vettel scored a few points for his last race with Red Bull and can now turn to face his new challenge, Ferrari, where he will have the difficult task of replacing the Spaniard, Fernando Alonso.
The 2014 season came to a difficult end for Lotus. Pastor Maldonado withdrew before mid-race when his car’s engine burst into flames. His team mate, Romain Grosjean, finished out of the points, in 13th place, just in front of Rosberg. With two appearances in the top ten for Grosjean, and only one for Maldonado, the 2014 final result is meagre; we can hope the Enstone team will do better in 2015 with a car powered by a Mercedes engine that has proved itself in performance this year.
5 – Vettel, 8th in Abu Dhabi, finished fifth in the Championship, his worst ranking since his arrival in Red Bull in 2009. Nary a win, nary a pole position – perhaps the time for a change had come.
“Danke”(German for thanks). This word was written on the Red Bull garage floor as a valediction for Sebastian Vettel. The quadruple World Champion also sported that word on the top of his helmet. After six seasons crowned with many successes, his “childhood dream” of driving for Ferrari is coming true.
For this last time, Vettel started last. He was penalised, along with team mate Daniel Ricciardo, for a front wing the race committee considered too flexible. Consequently, the two Red Bulls began the last Grand Prix of the season, from the back of the pack.
Rendez-vous in 2015!