It’s official. Lewis Hamilton is Mercedes’ main man — and the new Formula One world champion.
After a rollercoaster eight months of intense competition with his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, the Briton captured a second world title with victory at the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.
The 29-year-old added the 2014 crown at the twilight season finale to the 2008 title he won with McLaren.
The hyped desert duel between Hamilton and Rosberg failed to materialize when the German’s car lost power from its hybrid energy recovery system at the halfway stage of the race and his challenge fell away.
Mercedes told Rosberg to retire his car because of “too many problems” but he responded: “I would like to go to the end.”
As his title rival and teenage friend had to swallow a bitter defeat, Hamilton, who had passed Rosberg for the lead at the start, sailed to the checkered flag, winning his 11th race of the season — and with it a second world title.
“Woo Hoo! World champion, I can’t believe it!” an ecstatic Hamilton cheered over the pit to car radio on his victory lap.
Keeping his swelling emotions under wraps, Hamilton did not take off his helmet as he hugged his family and girlfriend, American pop star Nicole Scherzinger, when he climbed out of the car.