The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team secured second in the Constructors championship despite having a season where they failed to take a race win. Second place in the championship was secured after George Russell scored just his second podium finish of the season at the end-of-year Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where he finished the race in third place behind Charles Leclerc and race winner Max Verstappen.
Speaking following the race, Russell commented saying@
Today’s result means a huge amount and I’m really pleased we’ve secured P2 for the team. There are so many people back at the factory in Brackley and Brixworth, who have worked so hard to achieve this. It’s been a really challenging season for us. I’ve let the side down a couple of times this year so I’m pleased to bring it across the line today. It was really intense at the end and so close with Perez, his pace was just great. I thought Charles was going to back me up but respect to him for keeping it clean. I’m happy to end the season this way with a podium.
Lewis Hamilton who started the race from P11 came home in 9th place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
I’m happy for the team that we’ve managed to secure P2 in the Constructor’s Championship, it was a great effort by the team at track and both in Brackley and Brixworth. But we’re not we’re we want to be yet, we want to be competing for the championship and race wins and this weekend showed that we need to dig deep and work hard during the winter to get back to where we want to be and come back stronger next year. I hope everyone at the factory is happy with the result today and I’m grateful for all the hard work the team has put into this season, it’s been a long and tough year for us.
The double points finish was enough for the Brackley-based outfit to score second in the championship with a three-point margin over Ferrari. Speaking following the race, Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team and CEO Toto Wolff stated:
It was a fight for P2 in the Constructor’s Championship up until the very end and so close and today feels like we’ve won. George’s driving was exceptional and Charles showed true sportsman-like behaviour, not trying to slow down. Two great teams and brands that fought until the end. The fight for P2 in the Constructor’s in a way was so positive for us and a huge reward for the whole team to be vice champion, but it’s also a big motivation to do better next year and that’s what we will focus on now. We have so much good things in the pipeline, so much new things and with all the learning we had I am really, really in a good place to see what’s coming together. We’ve got to take the momentum now from the third place here, P2 in the championship and then take that into the factories. We’re vice champions and that’s a good one to take home – we got to reach for the stars and that’s going to happen, I promise.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director said:
Well done to everyone in Brackley and Brixworth for securing P2 in the championship. It’s not our ultimate goal but we started this year in a really challenging position with an awful lot of work to do, the team and the drivers have dug in, stuck together and it’s some consolation that we have at least come out of it best of the rest. The race was very difficult, we had 58 laps of not knowing which way it was going to go and in the end it was down to the finest of margins. The strategy group did a brilliant job of staying calm, taking some aggressive decisions on the undercuts and making sure that we’d done enough by the chequered flag. We had a one on one pitstop race with McLaren at the first stop and coming out ahead in that was a big part of ending up close enough to Leclerc to score the points needed so that was a really key moment. It’s nice to finish the season ahead of Ferrari but we’re under no illusion of the gap ahead is large and the whole team is focused on closing down that gap. We will work hard ahead of next season and give it our best to make that happen.
For Mercedes to finish second in the championship without a win is a testament to the consistency of the team throughout the season.