Congratulations Lewis Hamilton
After one of the most compelling title races in years, Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious over his Mercedes-Benz teammate, Nico Rosberg, at the Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. With double points on offer in the Middle East and just a slim 17 point Drivers’ Championship lead for the Briton, the deciding race looked set to be a nail-biting climax to the season and, when the German took pole position, the pressure landed squarely on Hamilton’s shoulders.
Rosberg was unable, however, to capitalise on his grid advantage and could do little as Lewis sailed ahead before the first corner and quickly established a two second buffer. The German managed to hang onto his teammate’s coat-tails through the first stint but could not muster the pace to threaten him.
At this point, it looked odds on that an attritional struggle would follow and that tyre strategy would be decisive but on the 25th lap Rosberg ran into trouble. His Energy Recovery System (ERS) began to fail him and with the loss of power he slowly dropped back through the field. The German’s title hopes now rested on claiming a fifth place finish to secure enough points to topple Hamilton should he himself suffer mechanical issues and retire.
That was a forlorn hope, however, as Lewis looked imperious throughout and was able to pace himself to the end, despite a brave push in his final stint by Williams’ Felipe Massa, the man who had almost denied Hamilton the title back in 2008. The Brazilian tracked Hamilton to within 2.5 seconds by the end but, in reality, after Rosberg’s hopes faded the result had been in little doubt.
The German had dropped back to a pointless 14th position and faced the ignominy of being lapped by his teammate at the death. Hamilton on the other hand became only the fourth British driver to take a second World Championship and the first since Jackie Stewart claimed his third in 1973. Lewis, rumoured to be negotiating a new Mercedes-Benz contract and safe in the knowledge that the team’s car was vastly superior to all others this year, will now have his sights set on matching the Scot’s achievement.
The double dose of 50 points gave Hamilton a 67 point victory over his rival and one that looks much more emphatic than it was. This season the Briton has indeed won a remarkable 11 races to Rosberg’s five but the German spent 12 races at the top of the table and regularly out-qualified Lewis. Some now argue that the German made too many mistakes under pressure in the last third of the year, whereas others point to Hamilton’s consistency on race days and a lethal ability to take his chances.
Many factors brought Lewis Hamilton this second title and the fact that he has had to overcome technical problems of his own in the summer reinforces the idea that this has not been a walk in the park for him. The driver knows how tough it has been, pushed to the wire by his teammate, and is evidently even more satisfied than he was in 2008.
On the podium, an emotional Lewis said to Johnny Herbert’s Sky colleague, “This is the greatest day of my life. 2008 was special but the feeling I have now is way past that. It's the greatest feeling I have ever had. I can't explain how much this means, it means even more than the first one.”
After a season of intense rivalry, Rosberg was gracious in defeat, saying “I’m very disappointed, the chance was there, but it didn’t work out. But in the end, my race didn’t make a difference because Lewis won the race fair and square. He deserved to win today and also to win the championship."
Johnny Herbert is available for corporate entertainment and after dinner speaking globally. For more information please email email@example.com or call Charles Krarup of Champions Celebrity on 07896660734.