Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his second World Championship following his convincing win at Abu Dhabi earlier today. Whilst its a shame Rosberg dropped out of contention with mechanical difficulties, it was a relief that the Championship went to the driver with the most wins and that it was not decided by the ridiculous double points system in place for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hammertime! Well done Lewis, Britain's first two time World Champion since Jackie Stewart

Hammertime! Well done Lewis, Britain’s first two time World Champion since Jackie Stewart

Other innovations were more successful. The new hybrid engines are absolutely fascinating and have proved more reliable than anyone would have predicted. I personally do not mind the different noise – I think it sounds like the future.

Despite Mercedes Benz’s crushing dominance it was still a thrilling season. The resurrection of Williams was great to see for all British fans as was the humbling of Vettel at the hands of his Australian team mate. Ricciardo has had a fantastic season, his third in the drivers championship being well deserved. His lack of pretention and easy going nature have already endeared him to the fans. We can expect great things of him next season.  In addition, thanks to the aerodynamic skills of Adrian Newey, Red Bull managed to stay in touch with the Mercedes powered teams, notwithstanding their Renault engines. A remarkable achievement for the team. How will they cope with less of his time next year?

Ricciardo had a great season- a future World Champion?

Ricciardo had a great season- a future World Champion?

Massa has also had a good season. He must be delighted Ferrari let him go. Ferrari’s season has been terrible – an embarrassment to the team who reap the most financial reward from the current system of team financing.  The departure of Montezemolo after so many years is the end of an era.  Rumours abound that Ross Brawn may go back to Ferrari. Might that and Vettel’s arrival be enough to help them out of the hole they are currently in?  McLaren, the second oldest team on the grid, have also had a season to forget.  Ron Dennis has a new Honda engine next season – will it be good enough? Engine aside they have not been competitive with the other Mercedes customer teams, Williams and Force India, both of whom have outperformed the Woking outfit.  Bar a miraculous Honda engine, Alonso is likely to face a tough test on his return to the team.

The administration of the Caterham and Marussia teams was a sad symptom of the increasing cost of F1. The new hybrid engines and the inequity of the current Concorde Agreement between F1’s commercial rights owner and some of the teams led directly to the reduced grid seen in the last few races of the season. Things do not look good for Sauber, Force India of Lotus either. Lotus’ season has been particularly terrible and it seems nothing much can save them apart from a return of Flavio Briatore or some other deep pocket.

After many years of no serious injuries in F1 we were rocked by Jules Bianchi’s terrible accident at Suzuka. Hopefully he and Michael Schumacher, injured in a freak skiing accident earlier in the year, will make a full recovery.


Last week I attended a smart dinner at McLaren’s technology centre at Woking for current and potential customers for the MP4. We were welcomed by Ron Dennis and Lewis and Jenson made a dramatic entrance (in the new MP4 Spider) at the end of Ron’s speech. The intention of the evening was clearly to link in customer’s minds the racing heritage of McLaren with their new road cars and to generate some of the racing glamour that Ferrari generates for its road cars for the MP4.

Racing heritage on show – I had the Corgi version as a child..

The smart but slightly sinister MTC

Ron in his speech pointedly referred to the cost of putting an F1 car on the grid – some £3m per race. That without even including the “huge amounts” he has to pay the drivers whom he concluded “were lucky he allowed them to drive his cars”. In the following Q and A session Lewis (to uncomfortable laughter) acknowledged that being a success in F1 was a team effort but that the drivers made a significant contribution to the development of a successful car – and if Ron wanted to get himself a “cheaper driver” he was welcome to do so.

When asked about his contractual intentions Lewis tellingly replied he had  “never been in this position before”. The position of having another good offer on the table? He refused to be drawn. I suspect he will soon be off – to add to the racing heritage of Ferrari?


Lewis’ empty preparation bay at the McLaren Technology Centre – a sign of things to come?