Mercedes heads to 2018’s final round in Abu Dhabi with the pressure off, its fifth-straight constructors’ title secured in Brazil.
…which came off the back of Lewis Hamilton’s lucky victory at Interlagos, his 10th for the season for a 50 per cent strike rate across 20 races.
It’s been an incredible run for the Silver Arrows, which is now fifth on the all-time list for most titles, behind Lotus and McLaren. But it’s second, in terms of consecutive titles, behind Ferrari.
And the race squad enjoyed a rock star’s reception upon return from São Paulo to its Brackley-base in England, with high-fives all round.
…for a job well-done against a resurgent Ferrari, and with its fewest wins in the hybrid era. 10, as opposed to its record 19 from 21 in 2016…which proves the power of consistent point-scoring.
SOUNDBITE (English) TOTO WOLFF,
HEAD OF MOTORSPORT, MERCEDES:
“Congratulations to all of you. It was an amazing season with many up[s] and downs, but these downs has made us better - and make it even more joyful to celebrate in that way.”
But of more significance, was the call-to-arms speech from the now-5-time F1 World Champion Hamilton… who urged his team members on to achieve even greater success.
… putting paid to any suggestions the Brit is about to slow down or cruise- and-collect on his way to retirement.
SOUNDBITE (English) LEWIS HAMILTON,
5-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“How do we make sure that we start strong, stronger and finish off as strong as we did, for example, this year? So please, always, I know you always already are thinking that. But, please try and think of how you can better yourselves, be better individually and together with the guys that you’re working next to, ‘cos that’s what I’m trying to think of, how I can deliver more for you next year. So when they bring more power, when they bring more energy, we bring even more. So let’s make sure we do that.”
It was also hats off to three-time F1 World Champion Niki Lauda, with the squad’s executive director recovering from a double lung transplant - and pushing hard to make it to the final race.