Lewis Hamilton takes F1 championship for Mercedes

The Formula One Constructors’ world championship trophy found a new home just down the road from Red Bull’s factory in England on Sunday, as Mercedes celebrated an historic first for their Silver Arrows team.

Russian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton might cover the distance in a matter of minutes but it has taken more than half a century for Mercedes to add its name to the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.

If the late Argentinian great Juan Manuel Fangio and his 1955 team mate Stirling Moss never experienced a similar success – despite finishing the season first and second – that is only because the championship did not exist until 1958.

Mercedes had pulled out of the sport by then, horrified by the 1955 Le Mans disaster that killed more than 80 spectators. They did not return until 2010, taking over the Brawn GP team that had won both titles in 2009 and its Brackley headquarters.

“I have to tell you I’m a little emotional,” said the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, himself a triple world champion.


No surprise
The championship came as no surprise, with team staff swiftly donning special T-shirts to mark the occasion just as Red Bull have for the past four years, and the champagne glasses lined up in the hospitality unit.

If the celebrations were mild compared to some witnessed in the past, that was also out of respect to French driver Jules Bianchi who is critically ill in hospital after his crash in Japan last weekend.

With three races remaining and the drivers’ title still finely balanced between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, just 17 points apart, the real party can wait even if the satisfaction was evident.

“It’s a good moment,” declared Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff after Hamilton led team mate Rosberg to the team’s ninth one-two finish of the season and 13th win in 16 races.

“It’s incredible. I have to pinch myself sometimes we are part of the Mercedes-Benz history. We won the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz ever and I should just feel proud, honoured to be part of the team.”

‘Ross Brawn’s trophy’
Wolff paid tribute to former principal Ross Brawn, who left at the end of last year, for laying the foundations and said it was his trophy too.

“He played such an important role in the team, the steps which were done in 2012, the people who joined us, and we constantly ramped our game up.

“We made the right decisions, we got the right resources, the big boys back in Stuttgart understood what it needed and since then we were on an upwards slope. Today is the result of all that.”

Red Bull have won both titles in every year since 2009, a run so long it extends back to before more than half the drivers on Sunday’s grid had made their Formula One debuts.

“It will be going just up the road to Brackley and congratulations to Mercedes on what they have achieved this season, they have been phenomenal,” said Red Bull principal Christian Horner.

“We will be working hard to take the trophy back the 12 miles to us in 12 months’ time.” – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

R2.3bn VBS trial expected to only begin in 2022

The state is expected to request a 16 week-long trial, as delays stymie progress in the saga.

Spy boss tells how agency was used to detain Zuma’s...

Day two of State Security Agency testimony at the Zondo commission birthed more revelations that point to the former head of state and agents breaking the law

Covax will take excess doses of Covid vaccines off the...

The global initiative plans to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing nations

Eastern Cape citizens don’t have to visit the labour department...

This measure, aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, may shortly be introduced in other regions.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…