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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2014

Circuit information
CircuitYas Marina Circuit
LocationYas Island
CountryAbu Dhabi
TimezoneGMT +04:00
Race debut2009
Length5.554 km
Distance305.355 km
Line offset0.115 km

The final round of 2014 saw the championship come to a head – Lewis Hamilton led the way with the potential outcomes leaning in his favour, but Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg was still in contention, and had a steely determination to do the best he possibly could. With double points overshadowing the drama somewhat, all involved hoped it could be a clean fight to the finish line, and thus the title.

Event overview

Caterham made their return to the grid in Abu Dhabi, using their crowdfunded gains to race one last time in 2014 and hopefully attract investors. One time team principal Finbarr O’Connell was a sought after figure in the paddock, but understandably the team qualified last. Romain Grosjean found himself with a 20 place grid penalty after two power unit penalties added up to the unworkable sanction. Grosjean qualified 16th and without a further race of the season to carry the grid drop forward, the Lotus driver was handed an in-race drive through penalty instead.

With the sun setting during qualifying, putting together a clean lap was tricky. Kevin Magnussen just missed out on the top ten, leaving Jenson Button to finish ahead of the two Ferrari drivers. Ahead of him were two Red Bulls, two Williams, and of course the two Mercedes drivers fighting for pole position. Lewis Hamilton couldn’t make the difference on his teammate, allowing Nico Rosberg to take another pole position and to start the final race from the front.

Late on Saturday, Red Bull were disqualified from the qualifying results after the stewards found them to have an illegal front wing. They were allowed to start the race but would have to do so from the pit lane after making changes to their car.

A terrible start for Rosberg allowed Hamilton to streak into the lead and head the pack into the first corner. Bottas also dropped down off the line, with Button moving forward. Grosjean came in at the end of the first lap to take his drive through penalty, rejoining at the rear of the field. There was contact between Magnussen and Sutil, with the Sauber driver swinging into the side of the McLaren. There didn’t seem to be major damage, but it did unsettle Magnussen.

Ricciardo was leading Vettel at the back of the pack, and the pair gradually started to make their way through the field. They dispatched Will Stevens, making his debut in the Caterham, and moved on to their next prey. On lap 6, Fernando Alonso came in for a supremely early pit stop, and that kicked off the first pit window. Alonso rejoined behind Will Stevens, and spent a surprisingly long time trying to get past the Caterham driver.

The early stops allowed Ricciardo and Vettel to rise quickly through the ranks, both putting on a superb show of overtaking ability. Future Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat retired from the race after his Toro Rosso came to a halt at a ninety degree angle on track. The marshals quickly recovered the car to allow the racing to continue.

Massa moved into the lead of the race until his first pit stop of the day, and he rejoined in third place just behind Nico Rosberg. He soon made it past the Mercedes driver, though, as Rosberg started to report a loss of power. The team informed him that ERS had failed on the car, which left him down on pace for the second half of the race.

Pastor Maldonado pulled off track with huge flames issuing from the back of his Lotus, and he hopped out of the car very quickly. Alonso was scrapping for position with two McLaren drivers, eventually getting past Button to move into tenth place.

There was some concern over the state of Hamilton’s car out in front, as Felipe Massa posted a lap time two seconds faster than the leading Mercedes. Radio traffic soon eased fears, the team managing the pace and the car to make sure the Brit could cross the finish line safely. After losing another position to Valtteri Bottas, Rosberg came in for his second pit stop. He had to complete a manual restart to get moving again, and it took close to five seconds, but he did get moving.

Massa’s second pit stop saw him rejoin behind Hamilton and the Williams driver set out to hunt down the race leader. Daniel Ricciardo had fought his way to third place but dropped back to fourth after his final pit stop. Fernando Alonso tried to make his tyres last but started losing places in the last few laps. He dropped down to tenth.

Rosberg was also losing places as his car developed more and more problems. The team asked him to come in to the pitlane, saying there was too much wrong with the car and they would retire. Despite being out of the hunt for the championship, Rosberg said “I would like to go to the end.” He did get to the end, crossing the line in 14th place. Hamilton held off Massa, who closed to within 2.5 seconds of the Mercedes, to take the chequered flag, win the race and secure the championship.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
21 NovFridayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
22 NovSaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
23 NovSundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00

All content in the series Abu Dhabi 2014