Well 2014 is over, when it comes to Formula 1 and it was not a real exciting one when it comes to the championships for both drivers and constructors. Pretty soon it was clear that Mercedes were going to be the champions and with almost double the amount of points as the runner up is was not a surprise indeed.
In the drivers championship the only exciting bit was if wither Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg would become the winner and they took it to the very last race to decide and that only because of the double points in the last race that that happened. Whether you like those double points or not, it did bring the outcome of the season all the way to the last race, knows as ‘the battle in the dessert’. Well Lewis won and it did not turn out to be a battle in the end due to technical issues with Nico’s car. But what else was there to watch this year?
As every year 2014 got a few rule changes and probably the one that stood out most was the engine changes. A 1.6 litter V6 engine with a turbo with a maximum rpm of 15.000. This made the engine sound very un-formula1-ish and people complained as usual for a few races, but got used to it I guess. The less loud engines made you hear other stuff though, like tire squeal when they drove of from a pit-stop. Next to the 600 horsepower or so the engine puts out there is also an electric motor in the car putting out another 160 bhp. This is very similar than the KERS sytem of previous years but they can use it for a lot longer (33 seconds a lap instead of 8). Another big change is the amount of fuel used by each car. This was limited to 100kg a race instead of the around 160kg car used in previous years.
Other then these rules there are a lot more changes either large or small, ranging from nose height to driver numbers.
Well they did something better then the other teams over the winter and it seems that some how they ‘got’ the rules better then other teams. We have seen this before (Brawn GP) in the past and that was usually just for 1 season. Lets see what happens to Mercedes next year. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, they have been racing together for a long time during their career and even are friends. But the things that happened this year might have cooled that friendship a bit. Because they were basically only fighting each other everything that happens during those fights were between 2 drivers, where every other year stuff happens as well, but usually it is between different drivers that fight for the win all the time. So things heated up a bit between them, lets see what happens in 2015.
With them being the champs the last 4 years their season was a bit of a disappointment, but with Mercedes being as good as they were, being second in the championship was the best they could get. Sebastian Vettel ended up being 5th in the championship, which is way below his ‘standard’ of the last 4 years and 3 places below his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who was the rookie in the team but turned out to be a force to be reckoned with for both his teammate as the rest of the drivers. Ricciardo, well he’s the only driver not driving a Mercedes that won a race this year, 3 actually, so that makes the always smiling Aussie the best of the rest, but with a car that was just not good enough that is all he could be this year, lets see what he can do next year.
Weren’t they a surprise? To me they were as the last couple of years were pretty bad for them. No idea what happened for them to be as good as they were this years, but I’m happy that they are back as to me they are still the best private team out there (and I know that technically Red Bull is too, but I have a soft spot for Williams). Maybe the surprise of the year was Valtteri Bottas because with a good car this year he could show what he is capable of and it seems he is capable of a lot and he is already nominated as future world champion by many and it would not surprise me if he indeed becomes world champion some day in the near future. Felipe Massa, many might have written him off after his accident with Ferrari and his mediocre comeback, but it seems he found his place at Williams and he seems to be much more relaxed that he was at Ferrari and he’s enjoying himself a lot more.
Well, their season sucked to be honest and 4th in the championship is not up to Ferrari standards and even they think so as a lot of changes are happening in the management. Maybe Vettel can change their luck next year. Fernando Alonso is arguably the best driver of the bunch but even with his intelligent driving he was not able to turn the bad luck around ending up 6th. Still no word on what he is doing next year. Kimi Räikkönen after some issues with him and Lotus last year (money issues) he returned to Ferrari, the team that made him champion in 2007, but being 12th this year will not make him to happy I guess.
Well it seems most teams did not do as well as they should in 2014 and McLaren is a team you would want to be in the top regions of the standings but this year they have to do with a 5th place. Jenson Button, probably the nicest guy of them all always doing and saying the right things, the guys from the BBC says this weekend and that seems to be the case for sure. Never heard anything say anything bad about him and still he is a very fast driver and a master in driving neat and tidy saving fuel and tires. Next year we’ll see the return of Honda with McLaren, which brings back an iconic brand of the past in F1.
After years of dangling at the bottom of the list they finally got stuff together and got things to work fighting with both McLaren en Ferrari for the points. It looks like they will be a force to reckon with for the coming years.
They did what they were supposed to do being a training team for Red Bull and that is end up right after the bigger teams. Daniil Kvyat did very well and has earned a place in the bigger brother RedBull for next year. For 2015 we will see the youngest ever F1 driver enter the car at Torro Rosso with Max Verstappen who so far did very good in the Friday practices he did and for me as a Dutchman I happy to see a countryman enter a F1 car again, especially one that has this much potential.
Lotus, Marussia, Caterham, Sauber
What can you say about these teams, one thin comes to mind and that’s ‘Money Trouble’. We know that the smaller teams have to scrape money together each year to run their cars, but this year the number of teams having to do that is a bit high and actually having to stop running at the end of the year because the money ran out is pretty bad. Even though Bernie Ecclestone did not like it to much I loved the crowd funding the Caterham guys did and even more so that they actually got it to work out in the end, could that be the future of F1 sponsoring for smaller teams?
Can’t really talk about the Formula 1 of 2014 without mentioning Jules Bianchi the Marussia driver. Driving for Marussia he did not do very well in the standings, but unfortunately his year was dominated by his horrible crash at the Japan Grand Prix this year where he drove into the back of a vehicle that was along side the track clearing another car that had crashed there. Just a few days ago his family brought out the news that he was no longer in a artificial coma and that he was brought to France from Japan.
Formula 1 has become safer and safer over the years but freak accidents like this always happened and will always happen, all drivers know the risks and take them every time they step into the car. This is part of the fun and excitement of the sport, but you do not want to see a driver get seriously hurt or even killed. Lets hope Jules will be better soon.