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Doing the double - Hamilton's route to the 2014 title

23 Nov 2014

Eleven race wins, five further podiums, seven poles, 16 points finishes, three DNFs and seven fastest laps.

Those are the stats behind Lewis Hamilton’s hard-fought 2014 campaign, a campaign that sees him become the first British driver since Jackie Stewart to secure a second drivers’ crown. Here’s how he ultimately beat arch rival and Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to the title...

Hamilton: Q - 1; R - DNF
Rosberg: Q - 3; R - 1

The Mercedes F1 W05 is in a class of its own from the off and Rosberg wins as he pleases with none of the reliability or fuel consumption concerns that had been the subject of endless pre-season scare stories. By contrast, however, Hamilton’s car fades immediately after lapsing on to five cylinders and he retires less than four laps into the Albert Park race.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 25; 2 Magnussen 18; 3 Button 15; 4 Alonso 12; 5 Bottas 10

Hamilton: Q - 1; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 3; R - 2

Hamilton never puts a wheel wrong and dominates brilliantly to score a deserved first-ever success in Sepang. Nursing tyres and fuel perfectly, he trounces Rosberg to jump into second place in the drivers’ championship behind his team mate. Rosberg struggles initially with oversteer, but resists a potential challenge from Vettel and finishes second to increase his points lead.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 43; 2 Hamilton 25; 3 Alonso 24; 4 Button 23; 5 Magnussen 20

Hamilton: Q - 2; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 2

Hamilton and Rosberg run wheel to wheel in an epic fight for victory, producing the most exciting race yet under the new regulations. A safety car on lap 40 compromises Hamilton and favours Rosberg, but in a tremendous desert duel the Englishman just fends off the German. Both describe the race as one of the toughest they’ve ever driven.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 61; 2 Hamilton 50; 3 Hulkenberg 28; 4 Alonso 26; 5 Button 23

Hamilton: Q - 1; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 4; R - 2

Hamilton is simply unbeatable in Shanghai as he closes to within four points of Rosberg. His chosen set-up, selected on Friday evening but untried because it was wet on Saturday, proves just right and he describes the car as “perfect.” Rosberg struggles away at the start, hits Bottas, and then fights back from seventh while coping without telemetry to retain his championship lead.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 79; 2 Hamilton 75; 3 Alonso 41; 4 Hulkenberg 36; 5 Vettel 33

Hamilton: Q - 1; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 2; R - 2

Once again Mercedes let their drivers race and they put in a superb performance which makes the Barcelona round a slow-burning humdinger with Hamilton’s victory over Rosberg far from certain until the final corners of the final lap. Their disheartened opposition finish the best part of a minute adrift.

Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 100; 2 Rosberg 97; 3 Alonso 49; 4 Vettel 45; 5 Ricciardo 39

Hamilton: Q - 2; R - 2
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 1

After a run of four Hamilton wins, Rosberg stops the rot and regains the championship advantage. Following a controversial pole, he keeps the lead despite intense pressure from his rival, has to change his driving style for a spell to save fuel, and then gets back into his rhythm when things stabilise. Hamilton pushes as hard as he can until he gets some dirt in his eye late on and drops back far enough to have to spend the final laps fending off Ricciardo.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 122; 2 Hamilton 118; 3 Alonso 61; 4 Ricciardo 54; 5 Hulkenberg 47

Hamilton: Q - 2; R - DNF
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 2

Both Mercedes hit ERS problems mid-race in Montreal, losing them around 160 bhp and overloading their rear brakes. Hamilton's resulting demise comes shortly after, but Rosberg is able to nurse his lead until Ricciardo finally sweeps past with two laps to go. While Hamilton therefore suffers a disastrous day, Rosberg’s seventh podium of the season increases his title lead by 18 points.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 140; 2 Hamilton 118; 3 Ricciardo 79; 4 Alonso 69; 5 Vettel 60

Hamilton: Q - 9; R - 2
Rosberg: Q - 3; R - 1

Williams give the Mercedes an early run for their money on the supersoft tyres before Rosberg moves to the front, and Hamilton follows suit after the second stops. Both suffer front brake issues and the pair's duel ebbs and flows as Hamilton in particular is told to watch his temperatures. Unlike Canada, though, no one is able to take advantage and Rosberg secures a third win of the year.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 165; 2 Hamilton 136; 3 Ricciardo 83; 4 Alonso 79; 5 Vettel 60

Great Britain
Hamilton: Q - 6; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - DNF

After a disastrous qualifying - when he mistakenly abandons his final Q3 run - Hamilton hunts down Rosberg, who just as things are approaching crunch point hits his first insurmountable trouble of the year and is forced out with downshift problems. With a very popular home win, Hamilton hence cuts his team mate’s world championship lead to a mere four points.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 165; 2 Hamilton 161; 3 Ricciardo 98; 4 Alonso 87; 5 Bottas 73

Hamilton: Q - 16; R - 3
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 1

From his fifth pole of the season, Rosberg strolls to a 20.7s home win to increase his championship points lead to 14. Hamilton, by contrast, starts 20th thanks to a brake-related qualifying accident and a subsequent gearbox-change penalty. He survives scuffs with Sutil, Raikkonen and Button as he limits the damage to his title prospects with a very strong run to the final podium slot.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 190; 2 Hamilton 176; 3 Ricciardo 106; 4 Alonso 97; 5 Bottas 91

Hamilton: Q - 21; R - 3
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 4

More qualifying dramas - a fuel fire - see Hamilton scythe his way through to the podium after a pit-lane start, a spin and a clash with the barriers on the opening lap. Rosberg follows him home a disconsolate fourth, having taken pole and built up an early lead, only to lose out to the safety car and to his team mate’s robust refusal to let him through mid-race despite their differing strategies.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 202; 2 Hamilton 191; 3 Ricciardo 131; 4 Alonso 115; 5 Bottas 95

Hamilton: Q - 2; R - DNF
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 2

After a poor start, a recovering Rosberg clumsily clips Hamilton’s rear tyre on lap two at Les Combes. The resulting puncture and related car damage ultimately mean retirement for Hamilton, but having pitted for a new nose Rosberg claws his way back to second. He later apologises for the error and is disciplined by Mercedes, who say their drivers nonetheless remain free to race without team orders.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 220; 2 Hamilton 191; 3 Ricciardo 156; 4 Alonso 121; 5 Bottas 110

Hamilton: Q - 1; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 2; R - 2

After bogging down at the start and seeing Rosberg speed into the lead, Hamilton sets about a remorseless pursuit of his team mate. The German survives an early unforced error at Rettifilo, but - under intense pressure from his rival - repeats the mistake mid-race, running down the escape road and allowing Hamilton to escape to victory.

Post-race standings: 1 Rosberg 238; 2 Hamilton 216; 3 Ricciardo 166; 4 Bottas 122; 5 Alonso 121

Hamilton: Q - 1; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 2; R - DNF

Rosberg’s race falls apart instantly when steering wheel electronics problems leave him with a skipping gearbox, no DRS and no hybrid power. Hamilton still has to work for his win mind, as he is forced to make a three-stop strategy work when his key rivals are on two, but comes home 13.5s clear of Vettel to regain the world championship lead for the first time since May

Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 241; 2 Rosberg 238; 3 Ricciardo 181; 4 Alonso 133; 5 Vettel 124

Hamilton: Q - 2; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 2

Rosberg holds the advantage in Suzuka qualifying, but Hamilton turns the tables in a race run in tricky, damp conditions. After running wide in Turn 1 on the 27th lap when he forgets to deactivate his DRS, he pulls off a spectacular pass around the outside of his team mate at the same spot two laps later, and thereafter easily controls proceedings. Afterwards Rosberg concedes simply that on the day the better man won.

Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 266; 2 Rosberg 256; 3 Ricciardo 193

Hamilton: Q - 1; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 2; R - 2

When Rosberg's overly bold passing move under braking for Turn 2 in Sochi flat-spots his front tyres, Hamilton is left to cruise to his fourth consecutive victory, his ninth of the season, and the 31st of his career - equaling Nigel Mansell's British record. He thus opens up a 17-point championship lead over his team mate, who puts in a remarkable 52-lap stint on one set of tyres to recover for second.

Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 291; 2 Rosberg 274; 3 Ricciardo 199

United States
Hamilton: Q - 2; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 2

Rosberg appears to have things sewn up early on, but struggles to find his rhythm after the weather conditions change, allowing Hamilton to pull off a great passing move on the 24th lap to set up his tenth victory of the season and lift him 24 points clear of his team mate. It means he can afford to finish second to Rosberg in the remaining two rounds and still become champion.

Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 316; 2 Rosberg 292

Hamilton: Q - 2; R - 2
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 1

Rosberg dominates the Interlagos weekend, converting pole into victory for only the third time in 10 attempts and clinching his fifth win of this season. Hamilton looks threatening at the second round of stops, but a half spin at Turn 4 on the 28th lap drops him 7.4 seconds behind, after which Rosberg has things covered, teeing up a tense final-round showdown in the double points Abu Dhabi finale.

Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 334; 2 Rosberg 317

Abu Dhabi
Hamilton: Q - 2; R - 1
Rosberg: Q - 1; R - 14

Rosberg does all he can to keep the pressure on Hamilton, taking a strong pole position in Yas Marina qualifying, but a superb race getaway sees the Briton lead into Turn 1. The title then becomes his to lose as mechanical gremlins strike Rosberg’s car, and the German fades to an ultimate 14th place finish. A controlled drive to victory - his 11th of the season - thus ensures Hamilton of his second drivers’ crown.

Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 384; 2 Rosberg 317