2014 Formula One Season Review

The 2014 F1 season was a title fight between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. [Photo by Getty Images]

When the 2013 formula one season ended, everyone was expecting that things would change a year later.

They sure did.

The 2014 season can be remembered as a great finale in the last race in Abu Dhabi, but also a lot of negatives, especially in the Ferrari camp that led to the dismissal of not only Stefano Domenicali, but President Luca di Montemozolo, who has been running the prancing horse for 32 years. Marco Mattiachi stepped in late in the season, but only at the conclusion of the racing year, he was sacked as well, being replaced by Maurizio Arrivabene, who has a huge stock in the tobacco company Phillip Morris. To climax all of this, Fernando Alonso left and four time world champion Sebastian Vettel stepped in for 2015. The only winner from all this was Kimi Raikkonen, who gets another year’s contract for the team.

Things expected to get crazy for most teams, even at the winter testing when it seemed that the new V-6 turbo hybrids that replaced the louder and previous V-8 screamers, were not working so well for not only Ferrari, but defending four times champions Renault. This was a sign to come by the time the first race approached in Melbourne, Australia.

But the only team that had it all together was Mercedes, who dominated in winter testing and continued to thrive at Melbourne, with Nico Rosberg taking the honors. Teammate Lewis Hamilton encountered what all the other teams had, which was power unit failure. But it did not take Hamilton long to recover, and the Briton took consecutive wins in Malaysia, a close race with Rosberg in the first night race in Bahrain, and continued in China and Spain.

But Rosberg had to regain form, and he did as the German won in Monaco for the second straight year. But as the mid part of the season approached, it was certain that the other contenders were finding their engines less powerful then the Stuttgart based unit. However, with the next race came a dawn of something newer than Mercedes.
His name was Daniel Ricciardo.

The Red Bull driver took advantage of power problems by Hamilton, who retired from the race, and Rosberg, who could do no better than second, and found that there was more to life than Mercedes winning races.

But once the series returned back to Europe, the Silver Arrows went with it, with Rosberg triumphing in Austria. Both Mercedes drivers won their homes races as Hamilton triumphed in Great Britain and Rosberg took Germany. However, Ricciardo returned to his winning ways for Red Bull with two consecutive wins in Hungary and at the wide open circuit at Spa Franchorchamps. But his teammate, Vettel began to feel the tension and the car that was designed for him this season was not good enough then to deserve any more then a few podiums after obtaining 13 wins the year before.

But for the rest of the season, right down to the double points finale in Abu Dhabi, it was the Lewis and Nico show as the Briton won in Italy, Singapore, Japan, Russia and the United States. Rosberg kept it close, but only won in Brazil, finishing second to Hamilton most of the time his teammate won races.

Rosberg won the pole as he has done 11 times this season, but a power problem in Abu Dhabi dropped him back to 14th at the end of the day. Meanwhile , Hamilton not only won the title there, but the race as well, making it a Mercedes double as the team also triumphed in the Constructor’s championship, clinching it in Sochi, Russia.

However, after all the domination by the Silver Arrows, many questions came around. The loss of the exciting noise of the engines, the horrible accident by Maurussia’s Jules Bianchi in Japan, which kept him in a coma for months; plus not only Marussia running out of money, but Caterham too, which led both teams to miss the races in the U.S. and Brazil, before a desperate attempt to get the latter back to finish the season in Abu Dhabi.

But even with the support of the fans, it is becoming evident that the engines that the smaller teams are buying are money wise, hurting the small teams financially. It might be said that the Maurissa and Caterham teams might not be on the grid in 2015, and unless something can be changed, many teams will follow. Costs have to be implemented, and probably throughout the next season, Bernie Ecclestone might have to figure out how to do it.

But don’t tell Mercedes this.

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