By Fraser Lloyd
The V8s were out, and the V6 hybrids in. New regulations dawned upon F1 prior to the 2014 season, and a radical shake-up of the pecking order was to be expected.
Red Bull, double title winners for four consecutive seasons, appeared on the backfoot after many issues in testing. Over at Mercedes, things were much better, with Hamilton and Rosberg enjoying a productive winter at the wheel of the W05. The Silver Arrows were the favourites for the new season.
The team had just came off of a second place in the Constructors’ Championship in 2013, after making significant progress. They had got the new regulations spot on, and were the team to beat.
After Melbourne, this belief held true, with Lewis and Nico starting 1st and 3rd respectively, and Nico winning the race.
After Abu Dhabi, 16 race wins later, the team had reason to celebrate: with a title double and 701 points in the bag.
At the time I had been fully watching F1 for about 2 or 3 seasons and remember thinking “look how well the team have done versus just two years ago”. I had also decided before this point that this was the team for me, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
There are some Mercedes moments from the season that are engraved in my mind. For example, the Duel in the Desert, Hamilton’s home win, and of course, Ben Edwards announcing that “Lewis Hamilton is the 2014 World Champion!”- something that still gives me goosebumps.
Besides all of the success, I was a huge fan (and I still am) of the W05. She was a beautiful car and is still a favourite of mine. I remember thinking that in general, the 2014 cars weren’t the ones with the most visual appeal, except for the W05. There’s a reason that there is a 1:43 of her on my desk!
Something else important from this season to me, is that it was a breakthrough year for a certain Finn – Valtteri Bottas. Valtteri scored many podiums with Williams en route to P4 in the title race. It was only his second year, and I had hoped that he’d drive for the Silver Arrows someday.
As mentioned, I was relatively new as a fan at the time, so to see the team I had taken a strong liking to, combined with a car I loved, come out on top at all but 3 races was a thing of joy. Here in 2020, I don’t think I could’ve imagined then just how much success was still to come, and hopefully is still to come yet.
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