It was another dominant on track display from the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team as they took their ninth 1-2 finish of 2014 at Sochi, with Lewis Hamilton taking the win ahead of Nico Rosberg, a result that secured the team their first ever World Constructors Championship crown.
Hamilton was pretty much untroubled throughout the race in Russia, and admitted he enjoyed the weekend, insisting it was already amongst his favourite venues on the calendar. He was delighted to see his Mercedes team become World Constructors’ champions with three races to spare.
“It was a good day and an amazing weekend,” insisted Hamilton. “Firstly I’m so proud to have contributed to the work of this great team, to get the first Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes-Benz is a huge achievement. Massive congratulations to the guys back in the UK and Germany, it’s history for us.
“Today I had to manage the tyres a lot through the race; managing the fuel wasn’t too bad. The car felt great and I didn’t have to push too hard. At the end, when Nico was behind, I needed to match his times, which I did.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the weekend here in Russia; it’s a great place. It’s been one of my favourite venues so far this year, so it’s very cool to have won the first race here. The fans have been amazing; I didn’t know so many people followed it here but they were all there in the grandstands and looked excited! The organisers have also done a great job – the layout, the surface and the whole event; I take my hat off to them.”
Despite taking the victory and helping Mercedes secure the Teams’ title, Hamilton admitted that Jules Bianchi had been on his mind all weekend, and he dedicated the result in Russia to the Frenchman as he remains in hospital in Japan.
“I think all week there has been one person on my mind, and that is Jules,” said Hamilton. “I think, of course, there is excitement and happiness for the team and everything.
“But without a doubt every time I got in the car this weekend, coming here and being here, I was just thinking of him and his family – and keeping him in my prayers each day. Whether it means anything, it will be great to be able to dedicate this to him and his family.
“Every bit of positive energy, hopefully, will help. I need all of you guys and all of this team to be sending those positive vibes that way – because positive energy is actually real.”
Team-mate Rosberg was also happy to be a part of the Constructors’ championship winning team, but reflected on his mistake at turn two on the opening lap that cost him the opportunity of fighting Hamilton for the win. The German locked up his brakes as he attempted an overtake on his team-mate that caused his tyres to flat spot, and he was forced to pit. After that he put in a stellar performance to make a single set of Pirelli Medium tyres last from lap two until the chequered flag.
“We are World Champions! I feel so happy for the team and the whole Mercedes-Benz family, today we made history,” said Rosberg. “Thanks to everybody for their efforts, also thanks to the husbands and wives to send us your partners to make this happen. I remember well the hard times we had in this team. So now it’s great to be so dominant in our sport. But I’m also divided.
“Today was a really tough race for me. I just messed up in the first corner. I simply braked too late, which was unnecessary. So I flat spotted my front tyres and it was impossible to continue due to the vibrations. I had to pit, and on the prime tyre I had great pace. In the middle of the race I thought the degradation would start to increase. But very soon it was stable and I was able to push a lot. Then I managed to overtake Bottas.
“Also still at the end I was able to push, but the team asked me to control the pace as everyone was worried about dropping at the very end of the race. P2 was damage limitation. I really look forward to the last 3 races of the year with this outstanding championship car.”