Last weekend Mercedes secured its fifth consecutive F1 World Championship title. A win and a fifth place at the Brazilian GP was enough to secure the constructors’ title, with one final race to go in Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari started as favourite to the 2018 F1 season and until the Belgian Grand Prix in August it looked like Sebastian Vettel would finally bring a title for Ferrari. However, some mistakes of Vettel and an impressive series of victories for Hamilton brought another title for Mercedes. Earlier this week Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas (who has a large share in the new World Championship title of Hamilton) visited the factory in Brackley to thank all people who worked day and night for the new titles. As tribute to Niki Laudi, who is recovering from a lung transplantation, Mercedes organized a doffing of red caps, one of the characteristics of the Austrian. In one week there’s the final race of the year after which the countdown to the 2019 F1 season can start!
Below some reactions of the team (source: media.daimler.com).
“Huge congratulations to all of you! This is the best I’ve felt coming here, that entry was the best we’ve ever had. I just want to take a moment to say thank you everyone! I’m just incredibly proud of everyone’s hard work. I know it’s been a tough year for everyone here, so thank you all – it’s been a privilege and absolutely awesome to drive this car. All the cars before have been pretty great to drive, but this has been the car that I’ve enjoyed the most in all those years. I felt like it enabled me to bring something out of myself that I knew was there, but not every year you’re able to extract it within the car – this is from all the hard work you have done. It’s great to see everyone so hyped and enthusiastic. So, let’s make sure that we enjoy this moment and embrace it. I hope everyone realises what we’ve achieved together is absolutely phenomenal. Let’s keep pushing, let’s keep raising the bar together!”
“It’s really good to be here – what a fantastic atmosphere! It’s great to see so many happy faces today, you all truly deserve this Championship. Every single member of this team has done an amazing job. One of our great advantages this year was that we were able to turn all the pressure from the competition and the tough battle with Ferrari into strengths and motivation. That has been the key to success this year, and something we need to remember for next year when the competition is most likely going to be even tougher. For me personally, this season was not what I had hoped for, but I’m really happy to be part of this Constructors’ Championship-winning team – it means a lot to me and I’m a very proud team member. Thanks a lot for all your hard work – you’ve built an awesome car that is absolutely amazing and a great enjoyment to drive.”
“What a great reception from the team – I have goose bumps! It was an amazing season with many ups and downs, but those downs have made us better and make it even more enjoyable to celebrate today. Who would have ever thought a few years ago to hold a celebration for the fifth consecutive Championship double? I think one of our core strengths is the great energy of this team – you can feel it when you walk in here, it’s the collective energy in Brixworth and Brackley, that makes this team truly special. We all embrace the challenge, we take our competitors seriously and we all try to continuously progress as human beings and as professionals in our jobs in order to raise the bar. This constant striving for improvement, trying to be better every single day, is exactly what makes you win Championships. Today, we’re also paying special tribute to Niki. Niki, you probably would have told us that we shouldn’t be so “damn emotional” today, but I think I speak for all of us when I say that we miss you and very much look forward to seeing you again soon.”
“The atmosphere is just unbelievable, what a cracking reception! We would not be standing here today, celebrating a remarkable achievement, if it wasn’t for all your hard work. All of you, collectively, have made this fantastic moment possible, so thank you very much! This year has been exceptionally tough; we’ve been on the back foot with the Power Unit at certain times this season, we’ve not always had the same power as the red cars and we haven’t always been as reliable as we’d like to be – but we know it, we’re going to fix it and we will give it everything to try and come back even stronger next year.”
“As good as it felt on Sunday to seal these two Championships – and it did feel brilliant – coming back here, walking in and hearing the noise as you all erupted especially when our two drivers walked in, that was something I will never ever forget because it felt much better. To be with all of us, not just the splinter of us that is lucky enough to represent this team at the track, to share this memory with all of you is truly a magical thing. All of us know this has only been done once – once! – before, we’ve joined a very rare club, we’re only the second people to achieve five consecutive World Championships. We spent a year of really hard slog, where I stood among you a few times talking after races where we got properly beaten and where this happy, happy day would have felt quite distant – and yet this group of people, all of us, managed to keep on punching, keep on working with good humour, with good spirit and with the pressure just binding us closer and closer together. And that’s what makes a day like this just feel like your heart wants to burst and I couldn’t be happier with it. Thank you to everybody for everything you’ve done – brilliant!”