FORMULA 1 2014
procedural error in reaching for his extra
ERS boost as Hamilton prepared to pounce,
allowed his teammate to pass for the win.
At the penultimate race in Interlagos,
Brazil, Rosberg again took pole and led
from the start, with Hamilton this time
making the mistake and spinning while
chasing him down. When Hamilton did
eventually catch him, Rosberg stood firm.
That meant Rosberg went to double-points Abu Dhabi still in the hunt. But he
needed to win, with Hamilton lower than
second. Yes, it was only right that he was
still in the hunt, for time and again he raised
his game to take the fight to Hamilton.
And, yes, it was also only right that he
lost, with the ERS loss that relegated him
to 14th place making no difference to the
destiny of the crown as Hamilton charged
to his 11th GP victory of the season.
Ultimately, while Rosberg was the
superior qualifier, Hamilton was the more
rounded performer. Considering the
question marks hanging over him and his
ability to integrate the operation of the
complex, new-for-2014 power units with
his seat-of-the-pants style, that is to the
new World Champion’s immense credit.
Heading into next year, Hamilton will
be clear favorite. But Rosberg, who left
Abu Dhabi with a clear idea of where he
needs to improve, has shown an ability to
up his game at every step of his career.
Hamilton’s certainly the better, more
complete driver, but Rosberg proved a
worthy adversary and the experience of
losing a title fight should help him eliminate
some of the errors and areas of weakness.
Then, he needs to find the same race pace
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
mopped up more victories in a
Formula 1 season than any pair of
team-mates in history. But they must
build on that success before they are
considered as one of the great duos.
Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna held
the previous record with 15 wins (out
of 16 races, rather than today’s 19)
for McLaren-Honda in 1988. Both
were multiple world champions, and
most would cite them among the
greatest drivers in F1 history, so they
must be considered one of the truly
great duos. But while they swept the
board in ’ 88 and ’ 89, winning a title
apiece (Senna first; Prost the
following season) and consecutive
Constructors’ Championships, it was a
destructive alliance. Undoubtedly one
of the best driver pairings in terms of
outright firepower, they fall just short
of being the greatest partnership.
The combination of Juan Manuel
Fangio and Stirling Moss at Mercedes
in 1955 is difficult to resist. Fangio was
well established as the top dog of the
era, while Moss, was still on the up. It
was the classic blend of the master
and the apprentice. The Argentinean
dominated, but Moss was learning
every step of the way, winning his
home grand prix at Aintree, classily
backed up by Fangio in second place.
The only frustration is that the ’ 55
Le Mans disaster forced Mercedes out
of motor racing, so they were no longer
together when Moss was closer to his
peak. That would have been fascinating.
(ABOVE) Prost and Senna had two fractious,
but successful seasons at McLaren. (TOP)
Fangio and Moss, the master and his student.
F1’S GREATEST DOUBLE ACTS
(left) and Hamilton
face the media at the
Singapore Grand Prix.
In a season dominated
by Mercedes, their
season-long duel was
F1’s go-to storyline.
(LEFT) In the end,
Mercedes its first F1
since Juan Manuel
Fangio in 1955.
“It just went completely
wrong and I don’t
understand it because it
was an easy situation”
Hamilton consistently delivered in the
second half of the year. Way easier said than
done, but the goals are at least tangible.
But Hamilton, too, is likely to start 2015
a stronger package than he ended this
season. His second title was his greatest
triumph, no question, but he aspires to
join the all-time greats and the process of
constant self improvement that’s already
added superior racecraft and admirable
restraint – knowing when to pull the trigger
– to an arsenal previously dominated by
outright speed is set to continue.