Number 266: The Champions Issue

What a sense of relief. The 2014 Formula 1 World Championship was not decided by the double points available in the finale.

Another sense of relief. This gimmick has now been dismissed to F1’s Room of Lame Ideas, where it can fester along with mooted medal systems, the “only a driver’s X best finishes count” rule, and allowing Chanoch Nissany to drive an F1 car in an official practice session.

A great idea, by contrast, was Mercedes-Benz allowing its drivers to race each other all year. This season could have been a demonstration run. Instead, the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg was always intriguing and often exciting.

For this Champions Issue of RACER, we also interviewed two of the drivers who
most impressed in F1’s “Division 2,” racers who we believe have the potential to become World Champion in the future.

Converting potential into reality isn’t easy though, as anyone at Team Penske can tell you. The fact that Roger’s squad earned its first IndyCar title in eight years was somewhat offset by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series outcome. Despite 11 wins between just two cars, neither Brad Keselowski nor Joey Logano had luck go their way at the end of the season. Still, looking at Penske’s results this year, you’d struggle to find any deficiencies, and the Captain’s ship appears back on course.

Toyota’s potential was there from the get-go in the 2014 FIA World Endurance
Championship and the TS040 HYBRID delivered convincingly, although Porsche came on increasingly strongly.

Long periods of domination in racing, such as enjoyed by Ferrari sports cars in the late 1950s and ’60s (also featured in this issue), are rare these days. A team’s or driver’s ability to make potency pay off is often only fleeting, and that’s why we pounce on the opportunity to celebrate the champions each season.

Watch The Champions Issue Video