New Delhi: Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart feels Lewis Hamilton was the deserving champion of the "not so competitive" 2014 season.
Hamilton, who beat teammate and fierce rival Nico Rosberg in the championship battle in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, is the fourth British driver to win multiple world titles and the first since Stewart achieved the feat in 1971.
"In a way it was not the most exciting season for F1. Mercedes unquestionably had the best team, chassis and engine and as the season progressed, it was very clear that other teams on Mercedes engines were more competitive than they have been for a long time. Having said that, I think Lewis Hamilton is totally being justified as the new world champion," Stewart told PTI today over the phone.
Stewart, famously known as 'The Flying Scotsman', says Hamilton was the faster driver than Rosberg when it mattered most. "He has won more races than anyone else this season and Nico Rosberg of course was faster in qualifying, but it is always about the man who wins and with 11 wins (out of 19) it is a very resounding victory.
"However, for Grand Prix racing it would have surely been better if we had a more competitive year. Ferrari, Red bull or McLaren were not competitive in the true sense," said the three time-champion of 1969, 1971, 1973.
Stewart is not a fan of the current regulations but has predicted a more competitive 2015 with the return of Honda, who will supply engines to McLaren.
"We have to look forward to the next season, particularly, with Honda coming in and Renault with a better engine, at least that is what Red Bull believe, and of course the Williams may be even be better off than this year. I think we are going to see a better season for racing," reckoned the 75-year-old.
Talking about Mercedes' dominating run, he says, "you have got to take your hat off to Mercedes-Benz and of course Lewis. I also have a lot of praise for Nico, who had a disappointing last race. The Silver Arrows are not in there to be midfield runners, they are in the business to win titles, but I would like to believe there is more competition coming from the other teams in the next 12 months.
"We have had enough of one team domination. Before Mercedes it was the combine of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel," he said.
Success in F1 for long has been money-driven. Top and financially sound teams are locked in a battle of their own while the ones at the back of grid struggle for mere survival.
Stewart stresses a more competitive grid is a must for the sport. "People were asking me at the end of the last year if Vettel was the greatest driver of all times, and now I am being asked the same about Lewis. It all depends on how good the team is. Those days when there was uniformity in the cars and engine performance, it was more about the driver than the car. It is a different world out there now," he summed up.