Despite the farce of double points in the Formula 1 title showdown in Abu Dhabi, it was comforting that the driver who scored significantly more race wins over the course of the season finished the year as champion.

It isn’t always the case; indeed, in 2008 Lewis Hamilton collected one less win than Felipe Massa, then with Ferrari, but edged the title by a solitary point.

There was an element of good fortune about that title win – although conversely you could argue that Hamilton would have been a more deserving champion in 2007, his first year in F1, when McLaren in-fighting between him and Fernando Alonso allowed Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen to steal the crown.

Little surprise, then, that Hamilton said in the post-race interviews in Abu Dhabi that this title feels even more satisfying than his 2008 success.

It could also prove more significant for his long-term future. Mercedes will now be desperately keen to put the contractual handcuffs on its first world champion since Juan-Manuel Fangio in 1955, so the Briton should be in a competitive car for the next few years. 

He’s scored a sizeable psychological blow over team-mate and off-track buddy Nico Rosberg, too. Although Rosberg has outshone Hamilton in qualifying – something of a surprise, given the latter’s reputation for banzai one-off laps – the German has been outraced on most occasions this season.