2014 CHAMPION: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton blows a kiss to the crowd after winning the 2014 F1 title at the Abu Dhabi GP on Sunday, Nov 23. Image: AFP / Marwan Naamani
ABU DHABI, UAE - Lewis Hamilton joined the elite ranks of double Formula 1 champions on Sunday (Nov 23) after a nerve-racking drive to victory in the season-ending 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In a floodlit race dogged by the ever-present spectre of mechanical failure after his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg loss of power on his car, Hamilton raced to his 11th win from the 2014 season's 19 races.
The 29-year-old won his first title with McLaren in 2008, his first year in F1. Now he's Britain's first multiple champion since Jackie Stewart in 1971 and only that country's fourth.
Britain's Prince Harry, who spent much of the race in the Mercedes garage, told him over the radio from the pit wall as the chequered flag came down: "Lewis, thank you very much for not letting the British public down. You are an absolute legend."
Hamilton, tearful on the podium as the British national anthem sounded and his voice cracking in later interviews, performed a slow-down lap holding the British flag - the Union Jack - as it whipped in the slipstream.
"World champion. Oh my God, I can't believe it, thanks everyone," heshouted over the radio before parking up and embracing his father, pop star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and family who surprised him after he had accepted that they were not going to be at the track.
The victory was a record 16th of the season for Mercedes.
Rosberg finished 14th after starting on pole, the much-vaunted 'duel in the desert' becoming a nightmare after sunset for the German son of 1982 champion Keke. He lost power from the 25th of 55 laps then reported his brakes were failing as he fell down the order.
When the team asked him to pit and retire, Rosberg asked to stay out so he could at least end the season on track and he crossed the line 14th.
"Sorry it didn't work out but you drove like a champion," said Mercedes technical head Paddy Lowe. "We'll come back next year to have another go."
Brazilian Felipe Massa finished second for Williams in the race, with Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas third.
Result from the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min39:02.619
2 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes +2.576
3 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes +28.880
4 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault +37.2037
5 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren +1min00.334
6 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes +1min02.148
7 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes +1min11.060
8 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - Renault +1min12.045
9 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +1min25.813
10 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari +1min27.820
11 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren +1min30.376
12 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso +Renault 1min31.947
13 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault +1 lap
14 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +1 lap
15 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari +1 lap
16 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari +1 lap
17 Will Stevens (Britain) Caterham - Renault +1 lap
r. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - Renault +13 laps
r. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault +29 laps
r. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault +41 laps
Fastest Lap: Daniel Ricciardo,1min44.496, Lap 50.
Drivers' and Constructors' points
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes - 384
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - 238
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - 186
5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 167
6 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari - 161
7 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams - 134
8 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 126
9 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - 96
10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - 59
11 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren - 55
12 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari - 55
13 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - 22
14 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - 8
15 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - 8
16 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - 2
17 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - 2
18 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - 0
19 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - 0
21 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - 0
23 Will Stevens (Britain) Caterham - 0
1 Mercedes - 701
2 Red Bull - Renault - 405
3 Williams-Mercedes - 320
4 Ferrari - 216
5 McLaren - 181
6 Force India - Mercedes - 155
7 Toro Rosso - Renault - 30
8 Lotus - Renault - 10
9 Marussia - Ferrari - 2
10 Sauber - Ferrari - 0
11 Caterham - Renault - 0