It would be fair to say that this season’s Formula One has been far from a vintage season. Not all the star names, such as Vettel, Alonso and Button have been anywhere near their top from and for the majority of the season it has been a procession to the title for Lewis Hamilton. There have, however, been moments where the race for the Driver’s Championship has been on the brink of breaking out into a two-horse race. Rosberg’s win two weeks ago in Brazil, coupled with Hamilton’s retirement during the race, means we at least have a final weekend where it is still not certain who will be celebrating victory in Abu Dhabi this Sunday.
What is almost certain is that if he can avoid another failure in his car’s mechanics, Lewis Hamilton will be walking away with his second championship. A top 2 finish on the podium is enough to ensure Hamilton snatches the championship ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. One of the most compelling sub-plots in a season void of any real drama has been the breakdown in relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg.
Friends since youth, their completive streak and unbridled desire to come out on top has seen the friendship between the two deteriorate rapidly. As roommates during their time in Formula A karting, Hamilton and Rosberg shared the ambition of one day making it in the world of Formula One. Their former competitor Robert Kubica once remarked how the two “would race each other eating pizza”, such was the competitive streak in both drivers.
This season however has seen the relationship between the two turn sour, with cracks appearing even before the incident between the two during the race at Spa. While it will have caused a few headaches for those paying their wages at Mercedes, the fact both men go into the final race of the season as the only two with a shot of claiming victory means their difficult relationship will be set to continue into the future.
Outside of the championship race, the big story heading into the close of the season is Fernando Alonso’s decision to leave Scuderia Ferrari after five seasons with the team were he narrowly missed out on two Driver’s Championships. Expected to go to McClaren when they announce their team in December, Alonso will be replaced at Ferrari by four-time Driver’s champion, Sebastian Vettel. Vettel remarked in an interview with the BBC “When I was a kid Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol. It’s an incredible honour to get the chance to drive a Ferrari”.
With this season being a bit of a damp squib, F1 fans will be hoping the changes made by the very top teams will inject some much needed life into the sport. Whether or not Hamilton and Rosberg can build on this season’s achievements or whether Alonso and Vettel will grasp the opportunity of a change in scenery will be intriguing to watch.
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