Hamilton now among greats after thrilling 2014 Formula 1 season
Finally, the 2014 Formula 1 season has come to a close. While fans and viewers would have wanted it to never end, there was an almighty sigh of relief for Lewis Hamilton, as he won his second Divers’ Championship, this time at the expense of his Mercedes teammate and rival Nico Rosberg.
The victory also places the Englishman among the all-time greats of the sport, and he becomes only the fourth British diver to claim multiple titles, and the first in 43 years. Hamilton is now second-equal with Graham Hill (champion in 1962 and 1968) and Jim Clark (1963 and 1965), and behind only Sir Jackie Stewart (1969, 1971 and 1973).
Coral already make the 29-year-old odds-on favourite at 8/15 for next season’s title, ahead of the likes of Rosberg (7/2), new McClaren driver Fernando Alonso (10/1 and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (14/1).
While nerves were running high in both the Hamilton and Rosberg camps, in the end it was fairly straight forward for the former, as he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, lapping the latter, who came 14th, along the way.
Rosberg suffered with car troubles throughout the race, but ultimately it wouldn’t have mattered as Hamilton beat off challenges from Williams duo Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas to top the podium.
It was the Brit’s 11th win of the year, which puts him level in second-equal for the most amount in a season, and finished 67 points ahead of Rosberg in the end.
Following the race, Hamilton said: “This is the greatest day of my life. 2008 (his maiden title) was a great year in my life. The feeling I have now is way, way past that. The greatest feeling ever.
He even had a congratulatory message over the radio from Price Harry, who was in attendance, with the Royal saying: “Lewis, well done for not making the British public sweat. You are an absolute legend.”
A legend of the sport he surely is now, and he now has the chance to win another accolade this year, in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, where he is the second-favourite at 11/4, behind golfer Rory McIlroy (odds-on at 1/4).
Hamilton, the first Mercedes winner since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955, was finally allowed to relax and smile, but for his compatriot, Jenson Button, it may have been his last showing in Formula 1.
World champion in 2009, Button may be forced out of the sport, with Spaniard Alonso’s arrival to McLaren, as he is on almost 20 times the salary of rookie teammate this year Kevin Magnussen. Button finished a convincing fifth in Abu Dhabi, but the popular 34-year-old is unlikely to move on to another constructor if replaced.