Lewis Hamilton was beaten to pole position in Abu Dhabi by title rival Nico Rosberg. But we knew that Lewis usually races better than Nico and on Sunday he showed it again, erupting off the line at the start and leaving Rosberg to eat the dust he left behind him. Nico did not have any answers and Lewis edged away as Nico hoped that his rival would be struck by mechanical trouble. But Fate was going to get the last laugh because it was Nico who ran into trouble with an ERS failure and he drifted backwards down the order, eventually ending up a miserable 14th. The team suggested that he park the car but Nico was having none of it: if he was going to lose, he was going to lose at the wheel, and afterwards he congratulated Lewis. That is how one should lose and Nico knows that. It was a tough season for both men but the statistics said it all: Hamilton 11 wins, Rosberg five. Any other result would have been wrong.

There was some excitement towards the end as Felipe Massa, in his Williams-Mercedes, closed up to Lewis. But he did not have enough left in his tyres. In third was Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams, who had a tough afternoon after an awful first lap. Behind them Dan Ricciardo drove from the pit lane at the start to fourth, ahead of Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg.

In GP+ this week…

- We look at the F1 champion
- Is Mattiacci moving on?
– Damon Hill talks of winning and losing
– A look at Formula E
- Remembering Grand Prix races on sand
- The Hack levels his gun and shoots
– JS goes off on a tangent – about architecture
- DT discusses engine politics
– Peter Nygaard celebrates his 500th Grand Prix with some more great photos.

GP+ is the fastest magazine in the Formula 1 world. It will be published before Lewis Hamilton even starts celebrating. It is 90-odd pages and is published in PDF format so you can read it on your computer, you iPod and even on your mobile. It’s an old style magazine but in a modern format. It goes right to the heart of the sport, inside the F1 Paddock. We are there at every race and we get to the people that matter. We are also passionate about the history of the sport and love to share it with our readers.

GP+ is an amazing bargain. You get 22 issues for £29.99, covering the entire 2014 Formula 1 season.

For more information, go to http://www.grandprixplus.com.

Give it a try for 2015.

Perez confirmed

Force India has confirmed that Sergio Perez has extended his contract to continue racing with the team for 2015 and beyond. The 24-year-old Mexican joined the team at the start of 2014 and enjoyed immediate success with a podium finish in only his third race for the team.

The news is not a big surprise but it does have some important implications, not least that there is no longer any seat available for McLaren to place a driver. That would suggest that either Force India would not will to wait any longer for McLaren, or that McLaren may have made a decision about the future.

A change at Ferrari?

There are reports around Europe – notably in Germany’s Sport Bild – that Ferrari F1 boss Marco Mattiacci could be replaced in the next couple of weeks, after less than a season in charge at Maranello. In that time the top management of the company has changed, with the new chairman being Sergio Marchionne (head of Fiat). There has also been an announcement that Ferrari is to be floated. The word is that he will be replaced by Maurizio Arrivabene, the Vice-President of Global Communications at Philip Morris International since 2007. The 57-year-old Italian was, therefore, the primary decision-maker of Ferrari’s chief sponsor, while also being named by Fiat as a board member of Juventus since 2012. Arrivabene joined Philip Morris in 1997. He has been a member of the F1 Commission since 2010, representing the F1 sponsors.

Ferrari said that the story was “an historic and unfounded rumour” and made the point that the team does not make comments about rumours.

There is clearly potential for this story to be an attempt to destabilise Ferrari, not simply in racing terms but also politically, which is not what Ferrari needs as it looks ahead to a stock market flotation. It might also be linked to rumours that the German auto giant Volkswagen is keen to take over Ferrari, which would help the Fiat group to reduce its debt incurred during the purchase of Chrysler.


As Lewis Hamilton goes into the World Championship decider, Mercedes has issued the following movie, starring John Hurt…

It’s just a shame that they cannot use TV footage…

The value of social media

So the cars are not doing very well and your eyeball numbers are down. You want to keep your sponsors happy and so you decide to do a viral campaign to give them a little added value. This is how you do it…

Imagine if FOM had people thinking along these lines…

Abu Dhabi extends

Abu Dhabi has extended its race contract for an undisclosed length of time. The original deal, agreed in 2007, extended from 2009 until 2016, an unusual eight-year deal. The deal has now been extended and in all probability it will be a normal five-year deal and so will run until 2021 It is not clear why this would need to be a secret but it is in keeping with the current culture of F1 to keep meaningless things secret.

“This race and the Yas Marina Circuit has introduced Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates to tens of millions of visitors and TV viewers from around the world. We remain committed to continually delivering a better experience for the Formula 1® family and ticket holders,” said HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management. “It is a mark of the quality of our partnership with Formula One World Championship that we both want to focus on looking forward and on delivering many more successful races.”

Due to growing demand, this year Yas Marina Circuit expanded its capacity to 60,000, a 20 percent increase since 2009.

Driver movements et al

Abu Dhabi has been buzzing this afternoon with all the expected announcements about drivers for 2015. Ferrari announced finally that Fernando Alonso is leaving the team. The team also confirmed that the driver line-up next year will be Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. Vettel joins the team on a three-year contract, although there are believed to be options for a further two years. Lotus had previously announced that Romain Grosjean would be staying on next year, alongside Pastor Maldonado. The team also announced that Esteban Ocon will be taking part in the FP1 session on Friday. Ocon will also take part in the post-race test, with Charles Pic doing the second day.

Caterham has confirmed that Will Stevens will be the team’s second driver this weekend. The latest team principal, accountant Finbarr O’Connell, says that the team is in discussion with a number of potential buyers. He has also confirmed that he has become the administrator of the 1MRT company, using an obscure British law that allows this to happen to non-UK registered companies that primarily do business in the UK. He added that the two Caterham-related entities will be sold as one so that the assets and the F1 entry are put together in the future.


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