Red Bull yields its laurels
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) drove to his fourth consecutive victory, his ninth this 2014 season, ahead of his team mate Nico Rosberg and the Williams driver Valtteri Bottas. Mercedes also gained from the win, taking the Constructors’ World Championship title from Red Bull.
Hamilton, currently leading the Drivers’ Championship, who started on pole, was overtaken by his team mate who then locked his wheels while braking at the first turn. The German, who was obliged to make an immediate pit stop for a tyre change, left the route clear for the 2008 World Champion, who flew off ahead of the rest.
Rosberg, wearing the same boots for 51 laps, made a fine comeback to second place, chalking up a ninth 2014 Mercedes double in the process.
The Brackley team is beyond the reach of the others at the top of the Constructors’ Championship, three races from the season’s culmination.
The Red Bulls, who never quite got into their swing, had to make do with seventh and eighth places, Daniel Ricciardo beating Sebastian Vettel over the line.
10: The number of consecutive races without scoring a single point for the Lotus team. It has been a dismal 2014 for the Enstone team, ranking 8th in the Constructors’ classification with 8 points. By comparison, Mercedes, crowned in Sochi, has 565 points.
“Besides having an ‘un-driveable’ car, we are in the process of losing a friend.” Romain Grosjean, following his modest 16th qualifying place, reflecting the morose mood amongst the French, six days after the tragic accident resulting in Jules Bianchi’s continuing critical condition in Suzuka.
When the chequered flag came down on Sunday, Christian Horner, the Red Bull team boss, was the first to go and congratulate his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff, his successor on the honour roll. “The (Mercedes) team has done a stunning job this year,” he said. Respect.
USA (Austin) 31st October – 2nd November