2014 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Yas Marina Circuit, Sunday November 23
McLaren secured fifth position in the constructors’ world championship in today’s double-points finale in Abu Dhabi. In the drivers’ championship, Jenson Button cruelly lost seventh place to Felipe Massa, finally finishing eighth on 126 points. In his rookie season, Kevin Magnussen finished 11th, scoring 55 points.
Today, Jenson once again drove a fast and intelligent race. He made a good start, slotted into fourth place and then battled hard against Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, eventually finishing fifth.
Kevin started ninth, but suffered first-lap contact with Adrian Sutil – an incident that damaged the right-hand side of his car. Despite then showing strong early pace he later struggled for performance crossing the finish line 11th.
“That was tough! I think we made the best of what we had this evening: in terms of strategy, we did the right thing, but we never really had enough pace to attack the cars in front.
“So, fifth was as good as it was going to be. Getting the maximum from the car is all that can be asked of a racing driver, and I think I’ve proved this year that I’m still at the top of my game.
“Since it’s the last race of the season, I’d like to say a huge ‘thanks’ to Tom [Stallard] and Bernie [Collins], my two race engineers, who’ve done a fantastic job this year, as have all my mechanics. The whole team has been so supportive, which is lovely.
“It’s been a good day for me, but a much better day for my old team buddy Lewis [Hamilton]. Winning two world titles is an absolutely amazing achievement. Congratulations to him – he deserves it.
“That was a difficult race. I had quite a bit of contact with Adrian [Sutil] on the first lap – and, after that, the front of the car never felt quite right, but it wasn’t too bad, so I could carry on.
“My opening stint on the Prime tyre went well – but once I pitted and changed to the Option tyres, the race slipped away from us.
“Congratulations to Lewis – he’s driven brilliantly all season, and completely deserves the title this year. He’s had a stunning season.
“Finally, I want to pass on my thanks to the whole McLaren team. This season has been an incredible experience for me – I’ve learned so much this year. It’s been fantastic – so thanks, guys!”
Racing director, McLaren Mercedes
“Today we raced for the last time with Mercedes-Benz engines, and I want to congratulate that venerable company on its dual triumphs this season – and to thank our old friends at Stuttgart and Brixworth for the past 20 seasons, during which McLaren and Mercedes-Benz enjoyed so much success together.
“Last but not least, on behalf of all at McLaren, I want to say ‘bravo’ to Lewis, who began his Formula 1 career at McLaren and whom so many at Woking still regard with such affection.
“On Tuesday and Wednesday, here in Abu Dhabi, we’ll be testing our hybrid McLaren-Honda MP4-29H/1X1 for the first time, following our filming day with the car at Silverstone last week. It’s an exciting time for both McLaren and Honda, …ahead of us are many weeks of hard graft, but you may be well sure we’re up for the task.
“Bring it on!”