Feud ends in a hand­shake and embrace

Highs and lows from the 2014 For­mula One sea­son, which con­cluded in Abu Dhabi on Sun­day with Lewis Hamil­ton claim­ing his sec­ond world ti­tle:

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

The­HIGHS

This race pro­duced an early sig­nal of what lay ahead as Hamil­ton re­sponded after be­ing out-paced by Nico Ros­berg in qual­i­fy­ing – for the first time – and won a dra­matic race. The pair went wheel to wheel and re­vealed the fe­roc­ity of their com­pet­i­tive­ness for the first time as they pro­duced a thrilling contest for the fans and world­wide tele­vi­sion view­ers. Hamil­ton’s sheer speed and tal­ent shone through, but it was a close fight and Ros­berg con­firmed, that as the early sea­son leader of the ti­tle race, he had lit­tle in­ten­tion of mak­ing it easy for his Mercedes team­mate.

1 Bahrain Grand Prix: April 6

2 Canada Grand Prix: June 8

Daniel Ric­cia­rdo, the Aus­tralian with the big­gest smile in global sport, pushed his way to the top of the vic­tors’ podium for the first time with a bril­liant vic­tory, after start­ing from sixth on the grid, for Red Bull. In his first sea­son after join­ing the team in suc­ces­sion to fel­low-Aussie Mark Web­ber, Ric­cia­rdo showed his tal­ent and race-craft with a con­sum­mate per­for­mance in a sea­son that was to see him beat four-time cham­pion team­mate Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, fin­ish­ing with three wins to his part­ner’s zero.

3 Italy Grand Prix: Septem­ber 7

After their ac­ri­mo­nious scrap in Bel­gium, where Hamil­ton was forced into re­tire­ment with a punc­ture fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with the ag­gres­sive Ros­berg in a con­tro­ver­sial in­ci­dent, this was the race that launched Hamil­ton’s come­back and a run of vic­to­ries that se­cured the cham­pi­onship. In Fer­rari’s Ital­ian home­land, he se­cured his first pole in eight races and then rekin­dled his de­sire for glory with a great race per­for­mance. It was his first win in four races, but he then won five in a row and six of the last seven.

4 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Novem­ber 23

A supreme per­for­mance by Hamil­ton, gra­cious in vic­tory and gen­er­ous and hum­ble to­wards Ros­berg, went a long way to res­cu­ing much of For­mula One’s tar­nished im­age after weeks dom­i­nated by bad news as seven-time cham­pion Michael Schu­macher strug­gled in his re­cov­ery from se­ri­ous in­jury, Jules Bianchi lay fight­ing for his life fol­low­ing his ter­ri­ble crash in Ja­pan and the teams squab­bled over the un­fair dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth, two of them crash­ing out of ac­tion and into ad­min­is­tra­tion. The hand­shake and embrace be­tween the two Mercedes driv­ers was more than a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion for the cam­eras, it was a hu­man mo­ment that re­flected all that is best in sport.

TheLOWS

1

Monaco Grand Prix: May 25

A be­hind-the-scenes row after Ros­berg had cur­tailed qual­i­fy­ing and wrecked Hamil­ton’s fi­nal fly­ing lap led to the first ac­ri­mo­nious ex­changes be­tween the two men and re­vealed that ten­sions were sim­mer­ing. Ros­berg locked up and ran off track, caus­ing the ses­sion to end in a sce­nario that re­minded some ob­servers of de­lib­er­ate moves by driv­ers in the past. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two, who were once close friends as teenagers when they were kart­ing team­mates, de­te­ri­o­rated with Hamil­ton seething with frus­tra­tion and anger.

2 Bel­gium Grand Prix: Au­gust 24

Ros­berg con­tin­ued his habit of tak­ing pole po­si­tions, a suc­cess that al­ways ir­ri­tated Hamil­ton, pic­tured, but was out­paced at the start and Hamil­ton se­cured an early lead. Then the Ger­man re­tal­i­ated in a wild bid to re­gain po­si­tion and suc­ceeded only in cre­at­ing a col­li­sion that dam­aged Hamil­ton’s car and forced him into re­tire­ment. After three months of mount­ing ten­sion and some ac­ri­mo­nious words, this was a de­ci­sive in­ci­dent. Ros­berg was con- demned by his team and the pub­lic and booed on the vic­tors’ podium after win­ning. Hamil­ton re­sponded with his re-fo­cused surge to ti­tle glory while Ros­berg had to lick his psy­cho­log­i­cal wounds.

3 Ja­panese Grand Prix: Oc­to­ber 5

Dread­ful weather, a loom­ing ty­phoon, heavy rain and high ten­sion cre­ated the worst con­di­tions for a race won by a dom­i­nant Hamil­ton, but one that was over­shad­owed by a ter­ri­ble ac­ci­dent when French­man Bianchi crashed his Marus­sia car, as it aqua­planed off cir­cuit, into a re­cov­ery ve­hi­cle. Bianchi suf­fered se­vere head in­juries and was left un­con­scious in hos­pi­tal and in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion in Ja­pan as the cir­cus flew off for the next race in Rus­sia. It was a re­minder of the mor­tal­ity of For­mula One driv­ers and saw them uni­fied in support of their col­league.

4 United States Grand Prix: Novem­ber 2

On a week­end when the F1 grid was re­duced to just 18 cars, after the Cater­ham and Marus­sia teams went into ad­min­is­tra­tion and failed to travel to Texas, Hamil­ton won ahead of Ros­berg, but the show was threat­ened by ru­moured talk of a three­team boy­cott of the race as Force In­dia, Re­nault and Sauber com­plained in pub­lic at the un­fair dis­tri­bu­tion of prize-money in the sport. The fu­ture of the sport was thrown into doubt and com­mer­cial ring master Bernie Ec­cle­stone, who had this year es­caped from a pos­si­ble pros­e­cu­tion in a Ger­man court, was pushed back un­der pres­sure, lead­ing to spec­u­la­tion about the fu­ture of the sport. –

Sapa-AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.