Mercedes celebrated making Formula 1 history as the “special” six-time world champions underlined their status as the undisputed kings of the sport’s current era.
Valtteri Bottas’ emphatic victory at Suzuka and Lewis Hamilton’s third-place finish – plus bonus point for fastest lap – meant Mercedes wrapped up the 2019 constructors’ championship at the first opportunity, despite Ferrari having locked out the grid’s front row earlier on Sunday morning.
Watch on as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is shown by Sky F1 how the team at their Brackley HQ celebrated winning the Constructors’ Championship
Mercedes dedicate triumph to LaudaDedicating the success to Niki Lauda, the team’s much-loved non-executive chairman who passed away in May, Wolff said that the F1 legend had “been such an important part from the beginning, and we all miss him dearly”.
Lauda joined the Brackley team several months before Wolff in 2012, when the prospect of such record-breaking and sustained success was barely conceivable after one victory in three seasons. But the Austrian three-time world champion played a key role in enticing Hamilton to join them from then-serial winners McLaren and, once the new hybrid turbo engine regulations dawned in 2014, Mercedes have not looked back.
We are 6 times World Champions, wow it鈥檚 still not sunk in. You can鈥檛 imagine how hard it鈥檚 been for us all, we lost our dear friend Niki this year, it鈥檚 been a tough battle but this one is definitely for him. I am so privileged to be a part of this team. pic.twitter.com/aj4IIDtrOY
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) October 13, 2019
“Joining them in 2013, with just the utter belief that we will do something special, it’s kind of crazy to see it coming to fruition, all the hard work,” said Hamilton, who now leads Bottas by 64 points this year and will have his first chance to become a six-time champion in Mexico next time out.
“Naturally, when I met everyone in 2013, just seeing how dedicated they were there, and it still remains the same.
“Even though we have the success each year, they’re hungry, they’re driven, they’re excited that they have Valtteri and I in the car and they give absolutely everything. And I love that, and it really inspires me to go out there and drive the way that I do, the way that we do throughout the weekend.”
Perfect Sunday 馃弳馃挭馃徏馃嚡馃嚨馃弫#VB77 #F1 #[email protected] pic.twitter.com/TJUPVHEE0U
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) October 13, 2019
Hamilton added to Sky F1: “So much hard work over the year and for these past seven years. This team has done an incredible job in constantly elevating and levelling up every year. I’m really proud to have been able to contribute and do my part, I hope everyone is having some champagne today.”