Hamilton Has One Hand On The Championship Trophy Following Dominant Sochi Win
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team secured their second consecutive constructors championship at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday as Lewis Hamilton took his ninth victory of the season and now has a 66 point advantage over his closest rival in Sebastian Vettel in the race for the championship. Speaking following the race the double world champion stated:
It’s just an amazing feeling today. I have a huge admiration for this team. Driving the car through that race, it just felt so good and this is what I’ve always dreamed of having. Even though you’re in the front, it’s still a hard race to stay in the zone and not make mistakes. We were only doing a one-stop, so you’re trying not to lock up and damage the tyres. I felt like it was a big challenge today. It’s a shame I didn’t get to race with Nico, which I was really excited about. I’m glad my car made it as the rear wing was getting a bit loose towards the end, so I had to stay off the kerbs and try not to damage the car. I’ve got to enjoy what’s going on now and cherish the moment; there are still lots of points available this year. To get the Constructors’ Championship feels very special and a great feeling to be a part of this and to have contributed to the team’s success. It’s really an amazing feeling and I’m very proud of them up there on the podium, to see all their smiling faces. I feel like a small part in the chain of many people; I’m proud of that part and I look forward to seeing the whole team tomorrow at the factory. I knew the guys were going to do a good job this year but they’ve done an even better job this year than last, which is phenomenal.
Nico Rosberg started the race from pole position but struggled for pace in the early stages of the race and was forced to retire from the race and speaking following the event he commented by saying:
Racing can be very tough. You put so much effort into a weekend but in the end I leave Russia with no points. A very disappointing weekend for me. It all went well until the Safety Car came out. My throttle pedal came into my direction. At one point I wasn’t able to steer anymore as I had to lift my foot too much and touched the steering wheel with my knee. In the recent months I had some unlucky moments, which made it hard in the battle against Lewis. But I will come back and keep pushing. We can be very happy that we secured the Constructors’ title a second time in a row. So it’s a good day for everyone in the factories and we have to thank all that made this happen.
Head of Mercedes Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff commented on the race result by saying:
That was a day with every possible emotion: a bittersweet day on track, then a tense wait – and finally a confirmation that we have won a second world championship. Wow, there are never any simple days in this sport! But what a feeling it is to win a second title and a privilege to be part of this team. A world championship isn’t just about points on a scoreboard, it’s about many hours of hard work and sacrifice from every single member of the team, most of whom are away from the limelight? and work with incredible dedication six or seven days a week. Well done to every one of them in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart; you have done a sensational job. Likewise, it may sound like a corporate line, but I must say thank you to all of our partners who have supported us every step of the way to deliver this level of performance; they make a fundamental contribution to our success. As for the race itself, it was a bittersweet experience. Lewis drove a fantastic race and didn’t put a foot wrong even though he had some problems to manage, especially towards the end with an aerodynamic instability on his rear wing. But he brought the car home in a really controlled way and strengthened his lead, well done to him. But I’m gutted for Nico after a problem with his throttle mechanism forced him to retire. It shows how sport this cruel can be: he had a brilliant weekend and opening lap, and I can only take my hat off to him about how he handled the situation, both in the car trying to find a solution – and afterwards in his professionalism. It’s another reminder to us that, even with the steps forward we have taken on reliability this year, our work is never done and we need to keep focusing on every tiny detail. But now we can sit back and savour the moment: the party will start tomorrow back at base!
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe commented by saying:
Fantastic news to get the second World Championship. A very strange way to get this now as a result of the penalty but the result still stands; a great credit to the teams at Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart for the fantastic effort that brought us to this stage with such dominance to win the Constructors’ Championship before the end of the season. In the race itself, it was good to see both cars make a good start today and get cleanly through Turn Two. After the early Safety Car a problem emerged with Nico’s throttle control, preventing him from lifting off fully and in an inconsistent manner. Eventually this got so bad, we retired the car. It’s emerged as a mechanical failure of the throttle pedal damper, which was causing a blockage. We are very sorry to Nico to lose so many points from the lead. A much better day for Lewis; there were some issues to manage in terms of whether to pit under the safety car, but we picked the right strategy and had good pace and tyre consistency through the race to manage the gap well. He did have a bit of an issue with his rear wing towards the second half of the race which became worse towards the end, where we were seeing some loss of downforce during braking. We had to warn him about that and we will find out in due course what was causing that. A great win for Lewis in the end, so congratulations to him.