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Abu Dhabi analysis - Hamilton keeps his cool in desert showdown

24 Nov 2014

Nico Rosberg had done his best to pile the pressure on title rival Lewis Hamilton even before edging the Briton to pole in their Abu Dhabi showdown, but the Briton kept his cool to secure victory - and with it a second Formula One world championship crown.

Rosberg suffered the agony of technical problems, but was typically dignified in defeat. As he faded, Williams scored their first double podium in almost a decade, while Daniel Ricciardo staged a scintillating charge for Red Bull to come from the pit lane to fourth. His elation contrasted the emotional farewells of team mate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso - while Jenson Button claimed a superb fifth on what could be the final act of his illustrious 15-year F1 career. We take a team-by-team look back on the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix...


Lewis Hamilton, P1

Nico Rosberg, P14

Rosberg edged qualifying, but the moment the red lights went out at the start the race was Hamilton's. He sped away and had Rosberg under control even before the latter's ERS failed on the 24th lap. Later the rear brakes went away too, leaving the German to slide from second place all the way down to 14th. Hamilton then had to fight hard to keep ahead of the flying Massa, equipped with supersoft tyres on his Williams, but the Briton kept his head and control to clinch a worthy second world championship with an 11th win to Rosberg's five.

Thus Mercedes added the drivers' crown to the constructors' title. The former was their first since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955, the latter their very first - a fitting end to a dominant season in which they set new records of 16 victories and 11 one-two finishes.


Felipe Massa, P2

Valtteri Bottas, P3

Massa was in brilliant form for Williams, and a 30-lap middle stint on soft Pirellis enabled him to gamble over the final 12 laps with another set of supersofts. With them the Brazilian hacked after leader Hamilton, and was catching him at a second a lap until, with four laps to go, the tyres lost their edge. Nevertheless, his second place and Bottas' third despite debilitating clutch slip at the start, kept the Grove team firmly in third place overall, with 320 points to Red Bull's 405. What a difference a year makes!

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, P4

Sebastian Vettel, P8

Both Red Bulls started from the pit lane after they were found to have front wings that illegally flexed and were excluded from qualifying, where they had claimed fifth and sixth. Ricciardo drove superbly to climb up to a fighting fourth, 8.3 seconds adrift of Bottas. Vettel, in his final race for the team that made him a four-time champion, was trapped behind Perez however and could do no better than eighth.


Jenson Button, P5

Kevin Magnussen, P11

Once again it was good and bad news for McLaren: Magnussen got into a brush with Hulkenberg on the opening lap, was clobbered by Sutil further round, and never really figured on his way to an unspectacular 11th. Button, however, repeated what he did in Brazil, delivering a finely judged drive to fifth which he must hope has gone a long way towards protecting his drive in the team for 2015.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, P6

Sergio Perez, P7

Hulkenberg survived a first-lap brush with Magnussen but was incensed to get a five-second stop-go penalty as a result. Despite that he fought hard to beat Perez, and was closing on Button's McLaren after a later pit stop when the chequered flag fell. A 28-point haul was a good day's work, but with Button alone scoring 20, McLaren's fifth place in the constructors' standings was not threatened. Nevertheless, sixth overall was a great result for Force India.


Fernando Alonso, P9

Kimi Raikkonen, P10

Alonso's final race with Ferrari was one to forget. Neither he, nor Raikkonen, had the pace to do better than the lower reaches of the points scoring positions.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, P12

Daniil Kvyat, Retired lap 15, power unit

Kvyat was mixing it with the midfield points scorers when his Renault engine suddenly suffered a loss of power and sent him broadside across the road. Vergne's STR9 simply lacked the pace for anything better than 12th.


Esteban Gutierrez, P15

Adrian Sutil, P16

Sauber went into the race not expecting to score points, and a lack of pace restricted the unloved C33s to 15th- and 16th-place finishes as both drivers' careers with the Swiss team drew to their conclusion.


Romain Grosjean, P13

Pastor Maldonado, Retired lap 27, power unit

Another tough race for Lotus saw Grosjean lucky to pass Rosberg's stricken Mercedes in the closing laps, and Maldonado's E22 roll to a fiery halt after a piston shattered.


Will Stevens, P17

Kamui Kobayashi, Retired lap 42

Caterham gallantly made it back on to the track, but after a brilliant start Kobayashi steadily fell back before retiring with vibrations. Stevens, in his first Grand Prix, gave a decent account of himself and brought his car home, which was no mean feat.