Formula 1 2014: Super Hamilton, selfies and driver distractions

Lewis Hamilton

Remember when Lewis Hamilton was stopped by a security guard? Or Formula 1 drivers 'posing' for a selfie?

The ding-dong battle between Mercedes team-mates Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for the 2014 Formula 1 championship dominated the headlines, and rightfully so.

But it might have drawn your attention away from the lighter moments during the season.

Don't stop me, I'm a driver!

It is the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the season and spirits are high. The atmosphere throughout the paddock is intense with expectation. With the sport's sweeping rule changes even established drivers are an unknown quantity - even a former world champion, it seems.

Lewis Hamilton tries to get back to the pits after breaking down in practice one in Australia

Lewis Hamilton's car broke down in practice and, as he tried to get back into the paddock, he was stopped by a security guard and asked for his pass.

"I'm one of the drivers," said a bemused Hamilton, decked out in his race suit and helmet, before the startled guard let him through.

Tension and temper over team radio

Often the best insights into a driver's true emotions in a Formula 1 race is through their messages over team radio, and there have been plenty of instances when somebody has lost their cool this season.

Team radio has certainly played its part in showcasing the increasing levels of tension between Hamilton and Rosberg, from the moment the two realised they would be fighting wheel-to-wheel for the title during a thrilling duel at the Bahrain Grand Prix in April.

Hamilton came out on top to win his second race of the season, but Rosberg was not happy, expressing his frustration with a move by the Briton on the 18th lap which he described as "over the line":

Mercedes team radio in Bahrain
Rosberg: "Someone needs to tell Lewis that that move was NOT ON!"

Team radio again highlighted the tension between the two at the Hungarian Grand Prix, when Rosberg was left furious after Hamilton refused to follow team orders and allow him to pass:

Mercedes team radio in Hungary
Engineer to Hamilton: "OK Lewis, let Nico past please. Let him through on the main start-finish straight."
Hamilton: "I'm not slowing down for Nico. If he gets close enough to overtake, he can overtake me."
Rosberg: "Why is he not letting me through?"

Hamilton and Rosberg are not the only drivers to have let emotions get the better of them over team radio, with Romain Grosjean getting a little wound-up over Lotus team radio in the Singapore Grand Prix:

Lotus team radio in Singapore
Romain Grosjean: "I cannot believe it, bloody engine, bloody engine."
Lotus race engineer: "Understood Romain, I'm very sorry it's the same issue as we had in P3."
Romain Grosjean: "I don't care, I don't care, it's too much."

In your face

Given the contrasting conditions they have to race in, drivers are probably quite used to dealing with heavy rain or glare affecting their vision of the circuit.

But at the Belgian Grand Prix, Rosberg had something a little different restricting his view.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg removes debris

Shredded tyre from another car had become wrapped around the aerial at the front of his Mercedes and flittered in front of the German's face.

Rosberg, much like trying to grasp an annoying fly, made several failed attempts to remove the debris, before finally pulling it off the front of his car.

Not just about the circuit

Nico Rosberg
It has been a special year for Rosberg who got married: "We are over the Moon. It was very special to share our wedding day with our closest friends and family," he wrote on Twitter
Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton fuelled up for the final race of the season with a trip to the supermarket along with his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger
Fernando Alonso
Remember the 'selfie' taken by celebrities at the Oscars earlier this year?
Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso was a big fan of this tweet with F1 drivers' heads super-imposed on the original, sharing it on his account and saying: "Not sure who did this, just found here on Twitter, but it's epic"
Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa had a little fun with his rivals on Twitter, swapping the faces of team-mates at other teams, with interesting (and disturbing) results
David Coulthard
Keke Coulthard? BBC Sport pundit David Coulthard donned a Keke Rosberg wig and moustache while driving the Finn's 1982 Williams earlier this year

Thrilling season excites celebrities

Walk down the paddock on a race weekend and you will often spot a celebrity or two. And the edge-of-the-seat title battle that unfolded on the circuit certainly caught the imagination of the famous.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch revealed his new-found love for Formula 1 while attending his first race at the Malaysian Grand Prix - the second race of the season - while others also took to social media to express their excitement as the season progressed.

After watching Felipe Massa qualify on pole for the Austrian Grand Prix in June, while Lewis Hamilton qualified ninth, Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick tweeted: "Great F1 qualy!!! Where did Massa come from?? Wow didn't see that coming, fancy Lewis to fly through the pack tomorrow though. Playing catch up now."

Formula 1
Friends star Matt LeBlanc is a huge Formula 1 fan and attended the US Grand Prix

Friends star Matt LeBlanc was among a number of famous faces at the United States Grand Prix last month, and he told BBC Radio 5 live at the race: "I can't get enough of Formula 1. It is great and it is awesome to have it in the States."

Lukas Podolski
Lukas Podolski has regularly tweeted about Formula 1 throughout the course of the season

When he is not playing football, Arsenal and Germany striker Lukas Podolski likes to watch as much Formula 1 as he can. Here he is positing a selfie in the starter's box as the cars line up on the grid for the German Grand Prix: "Homerun for Nico Rosberg! It was a nice day, had a lot of fun in Hockenheim!"

Superman in the car, Clark Kent out of it

There's no getting away from it, the main talking point of the season was the battle between Hamilton and Rosberg.

This is how BBC Sport pundits viewed the Mercedes pair:

Lewis Hamilton

"In the car, Lewis Hamilton is an instinctive, intuitive, dynamic racer - and the way he talks in the car reflects that," says BBC Sport pundit David Coulthard. "But the minute he takes his helmet off that goes away.

"He has no problem doing things that might make things uncomfortable for others if he believes it is fair and justified.

"But there is an inner respect to him. If you cross him, he will respond at that moment. Yet once he is back into his normal mode of quiet reflection, it is all gone."

rosberg

BBC pundit Allan McNish wrote in August: "Nico Rosberg came into the season as the underdog at Mercedes. He was that bit slower than team-mate Lewis Hamilton and there was a sense that if Hamilton got a hold of the season, he would run away with it.

"After Hamilton won that wonderful battle between them in Bahrain back in April, that was the way it appeared to be going.

"But Rosberg did not wilt. He had an image of being slightly mild-mannered but he has consigned that to the dustbin and started to show his teeth."

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