Russian Grand Prix race-winner Lewis Hamilton has congratulated the entire Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team in the wake of it claiming its first Constructors’ Championship title on Sunday.
With Hamilton winning Sunday’s street circuit race at Sochi from teammate Nico Rosberg, the ‘Silver Arrows’ claimed its ninth 1-2 finish of the season and moved into an unassailable lead in the Constructors’ Championship standings, 223 points clear of Red Bull Racing.
“I am so proud to have contributed with this great team to get the first Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes-Benz. I could only have dreamed of that when I joined this team,” Hamilton beamed afterwards.
“It was a great day for that and I want to say huge congratulations to all the guys that are here at the track and back at home in the UK and also in Germany. It is history for us and I feel very proud to be a part of it.”
Team boss Toto Wolff was also at pains to pay tribute to former Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn, whose role was instrumental in ‘building the foundations’ of the team’s success.
After selling his then-named BrawnGP team to Mercedes at the end of 2009, Brawn remained on at the helm until the end of 2013 before he resigned. Wolff and technical chief Paddy Lowe stepped into a twin leadership role, with the former overseeing the team’s commercial operations and the latter looking after the technical side.
“It’s incredible: I have to pinch myself that we are part of Mercedes-Benz history,” Wolff said after the race.
“Our team won the first ever F1 Constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz and I feel proud and honoured to be part of this group.
“The foundations of this success were built by Ross and he played such an important role in the team to prepare this success,” he added. “We have been able to continue that work, making the right decisions, putting the right resources in place and putting the team on an upward slope; today’s achievement is the result of that.”
Wolff also offered his concerns to injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi, who remains critically injured in intensive care following his accident at the Japanese Grand Prix.
“While we celebrate a hard-earned achievement today, we will not forget what happened to Jules in Suzuka and we will not forget the battle he is fighting at the moment,” Wolff added.
“We are split in two, celebrating a moment that we have worked so hard for, but this will never take away the sadness at the events of last weekend.”