Offside’s friends at L’Equipe were at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the final Grand Prix of the Formula One season and the crowning glory of Lewis Hamilton’s F1 championship win.
The race is a so-called “twilight race”, starting in daylight and ending in the evening under floodlights after the sun has set. Given the scale of the track, the circuit is the largest, permanent flood-lit sporting venue in the world.
Sebastian Vettel won the first of his four championship titles in Abu Dhabi in 2010. In order for Hamilton to use the race for a similarly decisive end to his season, he had to either place ahead of his team mate and rival Nico Rosberg or finish no lower than second if the German took the chequered flag.
Lower finishes for the German would only require the in-form Brit to come fifth or higher had Rosberg finished second, with other even more generous combinations required the lower his placing.
Yet it looked as though Hamilton’s rival had the advantage going into the start of the race, having qualified on poll. A brilliant start by the Brit saw him snatch the front from his fellow Mercedes driver however, allowing Hamilton to race his own race without too much risk and worry.
The bigger concern was the reliability of his car, which had caused him issues throughout the season, but in Abu Dhabi it held together to deliver him victory.
Hamilton’s 2014 triumph is his second championship after first winning the title 2008.
Discover more great Formula One images, new, creative and archive photographs from across the world of sport, at welloffside.com.