Models produced by: Spark
Driver: Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain)
Car: Mercedes W05 Hybrid
Results: 11 wins, 16 podiums, 7 poles, 7 fastest laps
Kimi Raikkonen was signed again by Ferrari to join Alonso and Felipe Massa went to Williams after 8 years with Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, while Mark Webber retired.
2014 season saw one of the biggest rule changes in the sport. The 2.4 litre V8 engine has been replaced by 1.6 lire V6 hybrid power unit with integrated energy recovery system. The rule changes also dictated lower downforce levels.
Mercedes invested heavily in previous seasons to prepare themselves for 2014 and they managed to produce one of the most dominant cars in F1 history – the W05 Hybrid. Their power unit was by far the most powerful and reliable and their chassis was only matched by Red Bull. However, the reigning world champions could barely turn a wheel without reliability issues of their Renault power unit in pre-season testings. It was obvious even before the first race that 2014 will be a battle between Mercedes drivers, childhood friends and competitors since karting days – Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The pair won 18 pole positions and 16 out of 19 races between them. They set a new record by finishing the race first and second 11 times in a season.
Hamilton was usually faster during races and showed better race craft. He took 7 pole positions and won 11 races while he also suffered more reliability issues. Rosberg surprised everyone by usually being faster qualifier than Hamilton. He took 11 pole positions, 5 race wins and showed great consistency with 10 additional 2nd places during the season. The championship was decided at the last race. Rosberg needed to win with Hamilton being lower than 2nd. Rosberg qualified on pole, but lost the lead to Hamilton at the start of the race. Later his ERS system failed and Hamilton won the race and his 2nd title. He also became 1st Mercedes champion after Juan Manuel Fangio 1955.
The only non-Mercedes driver to win a race in 2014 was Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), who took his opportunity every time Mercedes’ drivers or reliability didn’t deliver. He won 3 races, showed great race craft established himself as one of the top drivers in the field.
The reigning 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel had a dissapointing season in the other Red Bull. He suffered several reliability issues during the season and he needed more time than expected to get used to the new generation of cars with lower rear-end downforce. He only managed to score 4 podium finishes and 2 fastest laps. At the end of the season he surprised everyone with his decision to leave Red Bull and join struggling Ferrari, who had the worst season since 1993. Fernando Alonso managed one 2nd and one 3rd place while Kimi Raikkonen’s best result was 4th place. Ferrari and Alonso ended their relationship without winning a championship in their 5 years together and Alonso joined McLaren for the second time in his career.
After several disappointing seasons and with powerful Mercedes power units Williams returned to the front end of the grid. Promising young Finn Valteri Bottas and Felipe Massa maneged to score 9 podium finished which brought Williams 3rd place in constructors championship, behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
See the official FIA season review.