2014 Qualifying & Race Reports: Rounds 13-19

Choose a Race Report Below
Round 13: Italy - Monza
Round 14: Singapore - Marina Bay Street Circuit
Round 15: Japan - Suzuka
Round 16: Russia - Sochi
Round 17: United States - Austin
Round 18: Brazil - São Paulo
Round 19: Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina

Round 13: Italy - Monza

Quick Preview

This year, Pirelli brought the Hard (Prime) and Medium (Option) tyres. It's a 53 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull was last years winner beating Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari.

Qualifying

Here we are in Monza. It wasn’t long before Rosberg was out of the pits and shortly after he had set his first flying lap, a 1:25.862 which was on the hard tyre. Alonso was in 2nd with Kvyat in 3rd. Hamilton then crossed the line matching his quickest time from P3. Massa was only 0.036 seconds off the pace. With 10 minutes remaining, Bottas went 4th quickest which was half a second quicker than Magnussen. Towards the end, Massa went fastest, 0.043 seconds quicker than Hamilton. The Red Bull’s were down in 8th and 9th. It was Hamilton though who was the quickest in Q1. Out of Q1 were: Maldonado, Grosjean, Kobayashi, Bianchi, Chilton and Ericsson.

In Q2, it was Hülkenberg who set the first lap time, a 1:31.488. Rosberg then crossed the line with a time of 1:24.682, two tenths quicker than Bottas in his Williams. This was a track that didn’t suit the Red Bull drivers as they were struggling on the straights. Hamilton kept delivering the lap times and went quickest with a 1:24.560, only one tenth quicker than Rosberg. At this point, Bottas was in 3rd with Massa in 4th and Alonso in 5th, all were safe. It was Hamilton yet again who was quickest in the session. Out of Q2 were: Kvyat, Räikkönen, Vergne, Hülkenberg, Sutil and Gutiérrez.

So, 12 minutes to see who would start the race here on pole. Again, it was a case of what Mercedes’ driver would clinch the front place on the grid. Perez was the first man out and he set a time of 1:26.230. Rosberg then went quickest with a time of 1:24.552 which was just over a tenth quicker than Bottas. Hamilton set a stunning first lap as he clocked a 1:24.109, four tenths faster than Rosberg. After their first runs, drivers went back into the pits, put on some new tyres and came back out for that final flying lap. Rosberg did improve his time but it wasn’t enough, he stayed in 2nd. It was Hamilton, thanks to his first flying lap, who will start the Italian Grand Prix on pole position with Rosberg alongside him and Bottas in 3rd and Massa in 4th. Alonso could only manage 7th but the Red Bull drivers would start even further behind, 8th and 9th place.

Race

Lights out in Monza!! Hamilton got a torrid start and dropped back into 4h place, this allowed Rosberg to take the lead of the Grand Prix. Magnussen had a great start and was up to 2nd with Massa in 3rd place. With DRS now enabled Hamilton put pressure on Massa, this allowed Magnussen some breathing space in front. On lap, Massa overtook Magnussen around the outside of turn one. On lap six, Chilton crashed into the wall, he was out. Rosberg was still out in front and the gap was 3.6 seconds from Massa. On lap nine, Rosberg went straight on at turn one and this resulted in Massa and Hamilton to close the gap. Down into the first corner, Hamilton made a stunning move on Massa and was now hunting down his team-mate Rosberg.

Hamilton was now flying, on lap 11 he set the fastest lap of the race, the gap was now down to 2.1 seconds. Massa was 1.2 seconds behind in 3rd. His team-mate Bottas had a bad start and was clawing his way back up the field. On lap 13, Bottas passed Räikkönen for 9th place. On lap 14, Hamilton was ever closer to Rosberg, the gap was 1.6 seconds and Rosberg on team-radio told his engineer that he didn't want to know the gap! On lap 19, Vettel pitted from 5th and came back out in 15th place. On lap 25, the race leader Rosberg pitted which allowed Hamilton to take the lead. On lap 26, Hamilton pitted but couldn't make the under-cut work, he came back out behind Rosberg. On lap 29, the pressure from Hamilton was simply too much for Rosberg as he went straight on at turn one which meant Hamilton was leading the Grand Prix!

On lap 30, a rare site. We saw that Alonso had stopped at the first corner, he was out, it was his first classified DNF since 2009. On lap 32, the gap between Hamilton and Rosberg was 2.9 seconds with Massa nearly 10 seconds adrift in 3rd. Bottas was continuing to make places as he passed Magnussen for 5th place. Following his back-to-back wins Ricciardo was making good progess too, he was up to 7th place after overtaking Perez. Up front, the gap was 4.4 seconds between the two Mercedes' drivers. The pressure was now on Hamilton as he made a big lockup on lap 50 which did reduce the gap but it wasn't enough. It was Hamilton who won the Italian Grand Prix with Rosberg finishing in 2nd, another Mercedes' 1-2. Massa got his first podium of the season as he finished in 3rd place with Bottas in 4th.

Pictures

View pictures from the Italian Grand Prix.

Round 14: Singapore - Marina Bay Street Circuit

Quick Preview

This year, Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and Super Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 61 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull was last years winner beating Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari.

Qualifying

In Q1, Bottas was the first to set a lap, a 1:48.743 which was six tenths quicker than Vergne in his Toro Rosso. Both of the Mercedes' drivers managed slow laps on their first runs. Alonso crossed the line and set a time of 1:48.203 which put him at the top of the leaderboard. Hamilton, on the prime, the soft-tyre went quickest with a 1:47.847. There was a massive time difference between the two tyres here this weekend and it wasn't long before all teams switched to the option tyre, the super-soft. Räikkönen was the fastest guy in Q1, Out of Q1 were: Sutil, Maldonado, Bianchi, Kobayashi, Chilton and Ericsson.

Williams reported that they were to continue on the super-soft tyres. Alonso set a time of 1:46.328 which was only a few thousandths quicker than his team-mate. Hamilton then crossed the line and managed a time of 1:46.287 but that was only slightly ahead of Alonso. Both of the Williams were in the drop-zone but then Massa went 4th fastest. There was a shock though as Button couldn't manage to set a quick enough time and was out of qualifying. Rosberg left it late but in the end set a time of 1:46.287, nearly half a second quicker than anyone else. Out of Q2 were: Button, Vergne, Hülkenberg, Gutiérrez, Perez and Grosjean.

So, 12 minutes to decide who will be on pole for the Singapore Grand Prix. Massa's first effort was a 1:46.007 with Magnussen 1.5 seconds adrift. Ricciardo went 2nd 0.061 off the pace with Alonso in 3rd and Räikkönen 4th. Most drivers went back into the pits for a brand new set of the super-soft tyre and towards the end Ricciardo went quickest with a 1:45.800 but was then bumped down by Rosberg. On his final flying lap Hamilton locked up at turn one but somehow still managed to put himself on pole position, only 0.007 seconds ahead of his team-mate Rosberg! Ricciardo dropped down to 3rd with Vettel in 4th.

Race

Firstly I should mention that Rosberg didn't get away on the formation lap and will start from pit-lane. Lights out in Singapore!! Hamilton got a great start and made it into the first corner still in the lead. Vettel managed to take his team-mate Ricciardo down into the first corner. Alonso went off-track at the start and was under investigation by the stewards. By lap three, Vettel was 1.6 seconds behind Hamilton. On lap six, Rosberg was stuck behind Ericsson in 20th place, that's not what he wanted. Rosberg was a massive five seconds slower than his team-mate Hamilton at this point. Sutil was the first to pit on lap nine and his fellow countryman Hülkenberg followed him in. On lap 12 Massa pitted, he was in 6th place, 1.5 seconds ahead of Button. On the next lap, Vettel, Alonso and Ricciardo all pitted with Red Bull servicing the two cars in quick succession.

On lap 14, Hamilton pitted and was out in no time, a great pit stop from Mercedes. Rosberg crawled into the pits on the same lap, switched off everything and tried a reboot but it was no good. Rosberg waved his hands in the air and conceded it was all over. Rosberg was out of the Singapore Grand Prix!! With 44 laps remaining Hamilton had a 7.7 second lead over Vettel in 2nd place. Alonso was in 3rd with Ricciardo in 4th and Massa in 5th. On lap 24, Alonso pitted from 3rd and rejoined in 5th, six seconds behind his team-mate Räikkönen. On the next lap, Vettel pitted and put on the super-soft tyres but came out behind Alonso. Nearly halfway through the race Hamilton set another fastest lap and extended his lead over Alonso to 5.2 seconds. On lap 32, the safety car came out for the seventh year in a row, Hamilton stayed out but Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso pitted. On lap 38, the safety car was back in and Hamilton had a whopping 3.3 seconds after one lap from Vettel.

By lap 44, Hamilton had a 15.6 second lead. At this point, Hamilton had to pit again as he was yet to use the other compound of tyre, Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso had already used both compounds. By lap 51, Hamilton had a 25.2 second lead and pitted on lap 52. It was a good stop but he came back out in 2nd place behind Vettel. On lap 54, Hamilton overtook Vettel and regained the lead of the Grand Prix. On lap 58, Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso were all close to each other but none of them were able to launch an attack. Up front though it was Hamilton who won the Singapore Grand Prix with Vettel in 2nd and Ricciardo in 3rd. Alonso finished in 4th with Massa in 5th.

Pictures

View pictures from the Singapore Grand Prix.

Round 15: Japan - Suzuka

Quick Preview

This year, Pirelli brought the Hard (Prime) and Medium (Option) tyres. It's a 53 lap race and the race start is 0700 local time. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull was last years winner beating his team-mate Mark Webber in his Red Bull.

Qualifying

In Q1, Kobayashi was the first driver out and the crowd showed their support at his home race here in Japan. Hamilton though was the early pace-setter with a time of 1:33.611 which was only 0.060 quicker than his team-mate Rosberg. With eight minutes to go, Mercedes and Williams were sure they had done enough as all their drivers sat in the garage. Alonso set a time and went 5th with Magnussen in 6th and Button in 7th. Out of Q1 were: Maldonado, Grosjean, Ericsson, Bianchi, Kobayashi and Chilton.

In Q2, Rosberg cruised to the top of the timesheets with a 1:32.950, 0.032 quicker than Hamilton. Replays showed that Hamilton had a small lock up at the hairpin. The Red Bull drivers were in a spot of bother as both of them were in the dropzone. Towards the end of the session, everyone apart from Mercedes headed out for one final run. The chequered flag dropped and Vettel went 7th quickest but was soon bumped down by his team-mate, Ricciardo. Out of Q2 were: Vergne, Perez, Kvyat, Hülkenberg, Sutil and Gutiérrez.

So yet again it was close between the Mercedes drivers. In Q3, Bottas had a small lock up at the hairpin but it was still a good time, a 1:33.329 which was a tenth quicker than he managed in Q2. Next Rosberg crossed the line with a 1:32.629, that time was three tenths quicker than he had been all day, could anyone beat that? Hamilton's first flying wasn't great as he slotted in 2nd, three tenths slower than Rosberg. They went back into the pits and came out for one final run. Hamilton couldn't top Rosberg's first flying lap time so Rosberg would start on pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix with Hamilton alongside him. The two Williams drivers were 3rd and 4th with Alonso in 5th.

Race

Due to heavy rain, the Japanese Grand Prix started under the Safety Car. The conditions were so bad that on lap two Ericsson span at the final chicane, the marshals headed over and pushed him on his way again. The race was then red-flagged. At 0725 BST the race resumed, again, under the Safety Car. On lap three, Alonso came to a stop in his Ferrari. He was out of the Grand Prix. On lap nine, the Safety Car came in at the end of the lap. Some drivers were saying on team-radio that the intermediate tyres were now the best tyre to be on as the track had dried out a little. On lap 13, Massa and Vettel pitted for intermediate tyres. On the next lap, the race leader, Rosberg pitted, Hamilton was pushing so hard that he ran wide at Spoon but was soon back on the track.

By lap 16, Rosberg had a 2.1 second lead over Hamilton. On lap 17, Ricciardo made a brilliant pass on Massa around the outside for 6th place. Hamilton was still pushing and the gap was down to one second on lap 18. Wet tyre wear not known as none of the drivers had carried out any wet tyre running this weekend. By lap 21, the Red Bull drivers were the quickest guys on the track. On lap 22, Rosberg had a moment at 130R but managed to hold his lead. On lap 23, Vettel was 1.3 seconds quicker than Rosberg. DRS was enabled on lap 24 as the conditions were as good as they were ever going to be here this weekend. Perez had a moment as he ran off-track at turn eight, he was in 9th place.

Hamilton was still hunting down Rosberg and was ever closer by lap 26. On the next lap, Hamilton had a huge moment, he locked up and ran off-track. At the same time, Rosberg was complaining of oversteer. On lap 28, Hamilton made a unbelievable pass on Rosberg down into the first corner. He went around the outside to complete the move, he'll never forget that. Hamilton pushed and created a gap of nearly five seconds after two laps. On lap 31, Button pitted but also required a steering wheel change. On lap 35, Hamilton pitted and rejoined in front of Rosberg. Ricciardo now led the Grand Prix but had to pit again. On the next lap, Ricciardo did pit and came back out in 5th place behind Button. Vettel was in 3rd. By lap 42, the rain had started to come down hard again, on the next lap Sutil crashed at the top of the hill at Dunlop. The Safety Car was called out. On lap 46, the race was red-flagged and it was all over. Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix with Rosberg in 2nd and Vettel in 3rd. After the race we found out that Bianchi had a crash the same place where Sutil had. Bianchi was taken to hospital and was unconscious. He has had emergency surgery on his head. Update: Bianchi has suffered a brain injury and is in intensive care in a critical but stable condition. To be more specific, Bianchi has suffered a “diffuse axonal injury”. Diffuse axonal injury is caused when the brain moves within the skull, which can damage brain tissue and cause swelling.

Pictures

View pictures from the Japanese Grand Prix.

Round 16: Russia - Sochi

Quick Preview

This year, Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 53 lap race and the race start is 1200 local time.

Qualifying

So here we are at the inaugural Grand Prix here in Russia. In Q1, Grosjean and Sutil were the first drivers out on track and Hamilton followed them out. Hamilton's first flying lap was a 1:40.061. There would be more to come from him though as he locked up at turn 13. Rosberg crossed the line and managed a time of 1:39.292, 0.769 quicker than his team-mate. Button, on the medium compound tyre, set a time of 1:40.953, a massive 1.6 seconds off the pace. Massa was in trouble as he was in the drop-zone and was struggling to get a clean lap in. Hamilton was the fastest while out of Q1 were: Ericsson, Massa, Kobayashi, Maldonado and Chilton.

In Q2, Rosberg was the early pacesetter as he clocked a 1:38.979, four tenths quicker than Button. Bottas was next to cross the line and it was decent effort as he was only 0.008 seconds off the pace. Hamilton's next lap was stunning as he went 0.663 seconds quicker with a 1:38.338. Ricciardo slotted into 6th with Alonso in 8th. Both Force India's were now in the drop-zone. Vettel was in danger though as he was down in 15th. On his last flying lap, he couldn't make the top 10, Vettel was out of qualifying. Hamilton, again, was the quickest in the session. Also out of Q2 along with Vettel were: Hülkenberg, Perez, Gutiérrez, Sutil and Grosjean.

In Q3, Ricciardo was the first to set a time, a 1:40.076. Hamilton was next but could only manage a 1:39.980, only a few thousandths clear of Ricciardo. Next was Rosberg and he put a good lap together, a 1:38.946. Bottas was in 2nd at this point with Button in 3rd. Hamilton was bumped down to 6th place. Due to the new track, drivers didn't need to come in for fresh tyres so all drivers stayed out. Hamilton's next flying lap was much better as he set the fastest time of the session, a 1:38.647. Rosberg tried to hit back but made a couple of mistakes, his lap was two tenths slower than Hamilton's. Towards the end, Bottas was on for pole as he went fastest in the first and second sector's but lost grip on the last turn and ran wide. Bottas managed 3rd. It was Hamilton who got pole position here at the Russian Grand Prix. Kyvat, at his home Grand Prix had a brilliant session as he managed to qualify a personal best, 5th on the grid.

Race

Lights out in Russia! Hamilton got the better start out of the two Mercedes' drivers but Rosberg got the slipstream down into the first corner but had a massive lockup on his front tyres. He ran wide and took the lead but had to give the place back as he overtook off-track. Rosberg said that he had vibrations so he pitted at the end of the lap. Bottas was now in 2nd. Rosberg came back out in 20th. By lap eight, Hamilton had a 2.9 second lead over Bottas. Button, in 3rd, increased the gap over Alonso to 2.4 seconds. By lap 18, Rosberg was in 10th place as he overtook Perez.

At his home race, Kvyat wasn't having a great time, he pitted from 9th and came back out in 15th. Meanwhile, Massa was stuck behind Perez. Hamilton, up front, kept increasing his lead. By lap 22, he was 10.9 seconds clear of Bottas. On lap 23, Button pitted from 3rd, it was a good stop but he couldn't manage to come back out in front of Rosberg. On lap 27, the race leader Hamilton pitted for the medium compound tyre and was back out still in the lead. On the next lap, Bottas pitted and rejoined in 3rd behind Vettel who was yet to pit. The gap between Bottas and Rosberg was only 1.3 seconds and on lap 32, Rosberg made the pass on Bottas for 2nd.

So, the gap between Hamilton and Rosberg, on lap 34 was 19.7 seconds. Rosberg was still on the same tyres from when he pitted at the end of the first lap. Somehow, despite the age of the tyres Rosberg was pumping in fastest laps and was edging closer to Hamilton. McLaren were having a good race as they were well in the points as their drivers were 4th and 5th. Bottas was still in 3rd. Bottas started to close the gap to Rosberg but in the end he couldn't manage anything. However, up front, it was Hamilton who won the inaugural Grand Prix here in Russia with a dominant drive. Rosberg made a great recovery drive and finished 2nd. Bottas finished in 3rd with Button in 4th. Mercedes' also clinched the Constructors' Champion title here in Russia.

Pictures

View pictures from the Russian Grand Prix.

Round 17: United States - Austin

Quick Preview

This year, Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 56 lap race and the race start is 2000 local time. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull was last years winner beating Romain Grosjean in his Lotus-Renault.

Qualifying

After a three week break, the season resumes. In Q1, Perez, on the soft-tyre set a time of 1:39.804 but was soon beaten by Rosberg as he set a time of 1:38.848 but his lap time was on the slower medium tyre. Bottas was next and went fastest with a 1:38.811, again on the medium tyre. Vettel had to start from pit-lane as he changed his engine and gearbox but did set a lap, a 1:39.621. Hamilton reported a flat spot on his tyre and said he couldn't continue. Hamilton did eventually put a lap in and it was the fastest of the session, a 1:37.196. Out of Q1 were: Vergne, Gutiérrez, Vettel and Grosjean.

In Q2, Bottas set the early pace, a lap time of 1:38.094. Rosberg then crossed the line with a 1:37.099, a second quicker than the Williams. Massa pulled a great time out of the bag as he went into 3rd, only 0.248 seconds off the pace. Both of the McLaren's were 4th and 5th with a few minutes to go. Rosberg was the quickest in the session. Out of Q2 were: Maldonado, Perez, Hülkenberg and Kvyat.

Ricciardo laid down the marker with a 1:38.120 but it was nothing special. Rosberg crossed the line with a 1:36.282. That was going to be difficult to beat. Hamilton's first flying lap wasn't enough to beat Rosberg's, he was just over a tenth off the pace. Bottas was 3rd quickest with Massa in 4th and Button in 5th. With a few minutes to go, drivers came out of the pits for their final flying laps. It was Rosberg though who claimed pole position here in Austin as he set a time of 1:36.067 to go 0.376 seconds clear of Hamilton in 2nd place. Bottas managed to finish in 3rd with his team-mate Massa in 4th.

Race

Lights out in Austin! Rosberg and Hamilton both got great starts as Massa put a move on his team-mate Bottas into the first corner. Towards the end of the first lap Perez made contact with Räikkönen which then slung him into the side of Sutil. Sutil was out of the Grand Prix. Perez did manage to crawl back to the pits but there was too much damage, he was also out of the Grand Prix. As a result of the incident, the Safety Car was called out as there was quite a lot of debris on-track. On lap four, the race resumed. By the next lap, Rosberg could only manage to open the gap from Hamilton to 0.7 seconds.

Hamilton was slowly getting closer and closer especially during the DRS zones. By lap 13, the gap was around one second. Massa was another 6.2 seconds behind Hamilton. Ricciardo was doing a great job as he was only 0.7 seconds behind Bottas. Ricciardo and Massa pitted at the end of lap 14. On lap 15, Rosberg pitted from the lead promoting Hamilton to race leader. On lap 17, Hamilton pitted and came back out behind Rosberg. Hülkenberg's race was over as he pulled off the track on lap 18. By lap 23, Hamilton was 0.8 seconds adrift of Rosberg. On the next lap down into the braking zone at turn 14, Hamilton made a move on Rosberg and took the lead of the Grand Prix. Hamilton soon opened up a gap.

Williams were showing good pace as Massa was only 4.9 seconds behind Rosberg on lap 31. On lap 33, the race leader, Hamilton pitted and came back out behind Rosberg. Hamilton then regained the lead over Rosberg as he pitted on the following lap. Alonso, Räikkönen and Kvyat running 6th, 7th and 8th respectively had yet to make pit-stops. Vettel had started from pit-lane and was slowly making up positions. On lap 42, he passed Magnussen for 9th place. On lap 50, up into turn one, Vergne barged Grosjean out of the way for 9th place. A penalty might be waiting for Vergne after the race for that incident. However, up front, it was Hamilton who won here in Austin. It was his fifth race win in a row. Rosberg finished 4.3 seconds adrift. The result now means that the Championship will go down to Abu Dhabi regardless of the result at the next race in Brazil.

Pictures

View pictures from the United States Grand Prix.

Round 18: Brazil - São Paulo

Quick Preview

This year, Pirelli brought the Medium (Prime) and Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 71 lap race and the race start is 1600 local time. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull was last years winner beating his team-mate Mark Webber in his Red Bull.

Qualifying

In Q1, both of the Sauber drivers were the first out on-track. Hamilton set a time of 1:11.223, three tenths quicker than Massa. Rosberg's lap was a 1:10.693 as he got a giant tow from Räikkönen round the final corner. Hamilton’s next lap was much better, a 1:10.457 which put him top of the pile. McLaren were looking good as Button went 3rd with his team-mate slotting into 4th. Williams look like they were best of the rest here this weekend as Massa popped into 3rd, 0.255 seconds off the pace and two tenths quicker than his team-mate, Bottas. Out of Q1 were: Grosjean, Vergne, Perez and Maldonado.

In Q2, the Mercedes’ were first out as Rosberg managed a time of 1:10.303 with Hamilton four tenths off on their first runs. Massa popped into 3rd, half a second off the leader, Rosberg. Bottas put himself ahead of Massa after a good lap. Massa was now in 4th with Button behind in 5th. Räikkönen was having a good session as he was, for once, beating his team-mate, Alonso. He went 6th quickest with Alonso in 8th. Bottas’ next lap was quick, he went only 0.1 seconds off the leader. He was then pushed down to 3rd as Massa went ahead. Out of Q2 were: Gutiérrez, Hülkenberg, Sutil and Kvyat.

In Q3, Hamilton was the first man out followed by Rosberg. Hamilton’s first lap was brilliant, a 1:10.195 but Rosberg managed even better on his first flying lap! He set a time of 1:10.166, only 0.029 seconds faster. Bottas had a scrappy lap but it was still good enough for 2nd place. His lap was only 0.013 seconds off Rosberg. Massa was next, he set the fastest first sector and managed to get within 0.081 seconds of Rosberg. Very close between the four drivers here. Button was 5th ahead of his team-mate, Magnussen. Vettel was 7th ahead of his team-mate, Ricciardo. Hamilton’s next lap put him on provisional pole but Rosberg responded and went 0.033 seconds quicker! Rosberg will start the Brazilian Grand Prix on pole ahead of Hamilton in 2nd with the two Williams’ drivers 3rd and 4th.

Race

Lights out in Brazil! Rosberg and Hamilton both got great starts. Massa held position into the first corner with Bottas close behind. Vettel didn’t have a great first lap as he fell behind Magnussen and then Alonso. Vettel was now in 8th place. At the end of the first lap, Rosberg had a 1.2 second lead over his team-mate Hamilton. It wasn’t long until the first pit stop, on lap six, Massa was the first. He swapped the soft for the medium tyre. On lap eight, the race leader, Rosberg pitted and put on the medium tyre. Hamilton was now leading the Grand Prix. Due to speeding in the pit-lane, Massa received a five-second stop and go penalty. On lap nine, Hamilton pitted from the lead but came out behind Rosberg.

By lap 16, Hamilton was 2.3 seconds behind Rosberg and was closing the gap each lap. On lap 21, Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race to decrease the gap to two seconds. The tyres were taking a hammering here as Rosberg had a lockup on lap 25. On lap 26, Rosberg pitted. Hamilton was pushing hard and had a spin at turn four. He recovered, pitted but came out seven seconds behind Rosberg. Räikkönen was making his tyres last and pitted on lap 35 from 3rd place, his pit stop didn’t go down to well as the front jack dropped before the mechanic could get the tyre on. By lap 36, the gap between the two Mercedes’ drivers was 5.1 seconds.

On lap 40, we had out first retirement of the race, Ricciardo had a front suspension issue and nursed his car back into the pits. On lap 44, Bottas pitted but it wasn’t a great stop as a mechanic struggled to make a front wing adjustment. He rejoined the track in 16th place. The gap in front was around half a second as it seemed Hamilton made up time in the first sector but lost out to Rosberg in the second sector. By lap 67, the gap had drifted out to 0.9 seconds. However, Rosberg managed to hold off Hamilton to take the chequered flag here in Brazil. Massa had a great race and finished 3rd. Button also had a great race and showed why he deserved a seat next season as he beat the Ferrari’s, Red Bull’s and one Williams’ to take 4th place. The title then goes down to the last race in Abu Dhabi. If Hamilton finishes in 2nd place, he wins the title regardless of where Rosberg finishes. It’s going to be exciting!

Pictures

View pictures from the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Round 19: Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina

Quick Preview

This year, Pirelli brought the Soft (Prime) and Super Soft (Option) tyres. It's a 55 lap race and the race start is 1300 local time. Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull was last years winner beating his team-mate Mark Webber in his Red Bull.
Note: This race is worth double points.

Qualifying

So here we are for the title decider. In Q1, Britain's Will Stevens was the first out in the Caterham followed by Perez. Perez set the first timed lap, a 1:43.856, his time was on the soft tyre. Rosberg then crossed the line with a 1:41.308 which was a full one second clear of Bottas. Hamilton's lap was fast enough to put him top of the pile, it was only a tenth faster than Rosberg's time though. While both of the Mercedes' drivers headed into the pits, both of the Red Bull drivers headed out to set their times. Vettel managed 4th quickest but was soon knocked down by Ricciardo. Button was in the drop-zone but did mange to set a fast enough time to get into Q2. Out of Q1 were: Grosjean, Gutiérrez, Maldonado, Kobayashi and Stevens.

In Q2, apart from Button at the start, everyone else was on the super-soft tyre. Hamilton went quickest with a 1:40.920, 0.655 seconds ahead of Massa. Rosberg had to abort his first flying lap as he ran off-track. His next lap was good but it was 0.539 seconds off Hamilton's time. Bottas put in a great lap and went 3rd. Magnussen went into 8th place pushing Kvyat into the drop-zone. Button then went 6th. Williams' looked good here as Massa put in a great lap just 0.224 seconds off the pace set by Hamilton. Out of Q2 were: Magnussen, Vergne, Perez, Hülkenberg and Sutil.

In Q3, both of the Mercedes' drivers were the first out. It was Bottas who set the early pace, he set a lap time of 1:41.321 but was soon bumped down by his team-mate Massa. Rosberg's first flying lap was quick, a 1:40.697 put him at the top of the pile. Hamilton's lap wasn't as quick as he locked up at the final corner. It was still good enough for 2nd however with Massa in 3rd. Bottas' lap put him in 3rd, only 0.004 seconds behind Hamilton! However, Hamilton's second flying lap wasn't fast enough to beat Rosberg as he went even quicker. It'll be Rosberg who starts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on pole position with Hamilton in 2nd, Bottas in 3rd and Massa in 4th. After qualifying, the FIA launched an investigation into both of the Red Bull cars. They deemed them illegal as their front wings were too flexible. Both cars will start from the back of the grid.

Race

Lights out in Abu Dhabi! Hamilton got a fantastic start and led into the first corner. Rosberg also held off Massa into the first corner. Button, who might not be in F1 next season made up two places to 4th. By lap 2, the gap between Hamilton and Rosberg was 1.2 seconds. Alonso came into the pits early on lap 6 ditching the super soft for the soft tyre. Mercedes' were in a league of their own as they were lapping around two seconds quicker than anyone else apart from Massa. On lap 10 Hamilton made his first pit-stop and rejoined in 3rd. By lap 12, Massa was in the lead with a 15.3 second led but he had yet to make his first pit-stop. Two laps later, Massa pitted from the lead and rejoined in 3rd. Hamilton led the race yet again with Rosberg behind. On lap 16, Kvyat retired from the race

Both of the Red Bull's had to start from pit-lane due to illegal front wings and by lap 17, Ricciardo was up to 4th place with Vettel in 7th. By lap 18, both of the Mercedes' drivers were trading lap times and the gap was 2.5 seconds. On lap 23, Rosberg had a massive lockup and lost around a second to Hamilton. On the next lap, he reported a loss of power, was the race, but most importantly, the championship all over? The gap had dropped to 7.1 seconds and his Mercedes' team told him on team-radio that his ERS had failed. Massa was catching up fast and did overtake him on lap 27. On the 28, Maldonado had another retirement as his Lotus went up in plume of smoke. There was a great battle between Alonso and Button as they were fighting over 10th place. One driver might not be in F1 next season while the other might be driving for McLaren.

On lap 31, Hamilton made his second pit-stop and on the next lap, due to Rosberg's issue, overtook him with ease. Massa again led the race after Hamilton's stop by 15.1 seconds. On lap 35, Rosberg pitted and rejoined in 7th. By lap 39, Rosberg had dropped to 8th and was lapping slower than every car on track. By lap 42, Hamilton had reduced the gap to Massa to 13.6 seconds. On lap 46, Massa put in the fastest lap of the race and was still catching the race-leader, Hamilton. On lap 53, Mercedes' cleared out a space for Rosberg's car but on team-radio he said that he wanted to finish the race. However, Hamilton took the chequered flag here in Abu Dhabi to take his 11th race win of the season. Hamilton is the 2014 Formula 1 World Champion!!

Pictures

View pictures from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.