Lewis Hamilton is fully deserving of his Formula One love-in – and his silverware
22:30 28 November 2014
With hindsight, it’s probably fair to say Lewis Hamilton made a reasonably good decision in joining Mercedes two years ago, don’t you think?
" He deserved to win and he deserved the championship… He was that little bit better – the best driver on the grid"
The Brit is now in an exclusive club of British multiple F1 world champions – he’s the fourth alongside Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill.
With everything we’ve seen of Lewis in recent years, there are no arguments left over his race craft, speed and guile.
And arguably with this season, you can remove the defunct arguments over his temperament too.
It’s been a true marvel to witness Hamilton’s blossoming maturity since he departed McLaren – something the second half of a memorable 2014 campaign has underlined, leaving behind a man who now looks every bit the complete driver.
Good week, bad week
• Pole position – Williams: A season to remember finished with a final flurry. People at Grove will already be excited about what 2015 can deliver.
• Stalling – Jenson Button: The Brit and one of F1’s greats deserved better than to drive in Abu Dhabi unsure whether it would be his last race. You hope it wasn’t – but expect it was.
Two championships with two teams – and surely more to follow. We’ve said that before, but this time it’s different – and Mercedes have all they need to prove it.
In reality, there have been plenty of winners in F1 this season.
The revival of Williams, with Felipe Massa reborn and Valtteri Bottas coming of age, has been stunning – and something we all want to see built on over the winter.
Daniel Ricciardo is possibly the only driver to exceed Bottas’ thrust forward – the way he has dispatched Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull has been a real highlight this year and whets the appetite for next.
It seems 2014 has pulled a rug from under a lot of the established guard – and quite what 2015 will look like for Vettel, Fernando Alonso and the struggling smaller teams – even Bernie Ecclestone – will be fascinating.
Finally, while Nico Rosberg was the biggest loser in Abu Dhabi, the grace he showed pointed to a man with true class. What a way to tee up another season come the spring.
• There’s no getting away from 2014 being a big disappointment of a season for those who love a Norfolk connection to F1.
Lotus’ season was wretched, and you wonder how long the team will continue with what at the moment is simply a favour to a Norfolk marque – in carrying its name for free.
And Hingham-backed Caterham was sold by Tony Fernandes – freeing it from Hingham, and with it ending Norfolk’s 2009 reunion with a truly global sport. It’s hard not to feel for those who have subsequently lost their jobs.
As my final column of 2014, here is a big thank you to all who have read, listened, tweeted and been in touch over the course of the year. Enjoy the winter – chances are it won’t be quiet…