The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team arrive in Austin for the third United States Grand Prix at the circuit with the World Constructors’ Championship in their pockets, with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg now able to focus on their close battle for the World Drivers’ Championship.
After clinching the teams’ first ever World Constructors Championship with the ninth one-two finish of the season at Sochi three weeks ago, the drivers both reflected on the achievement, and gave high praise to the employees and engineers who gave both Hamilton and Rosberg the chance to fight at the front.
Hamilton was delighted that he was able to win the first ever Russian Grand Prix, and he admitted it was all the sweeter as it secured the constructors crown for the team.
“Crossing the line on Sunday in Sochi was a really amazing moment,” reflected Hamilton. “To win the very first Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix and help the team achieve the first Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish – it couldn’t have got much better.
“When I went to the factories in Brackley and Brixworth the week afterwards, the atmosphere was just awesome. Everybody has worked so hard to achieve this title and they all deserve to savour the moment.”
Team-mate Rosberg also gave the team the praise they deserved, and felt proud to be a part of the team he joined when Mercedes took over the Brawn GP team back in 2010.
“What a week we had after Russia,” insisted Rosberg. “Being back at Brackley and Brixworth with a Constructors’ Championship title for Mercedes-Benz – the first one ever, of course – and celebrating with all the people I’ve watched working flat-out, day and night for nearly five years to achieve this goal – it was just fantastic.
“I’m really proud to be a part of this team along with all the great people within it, so it’s great to see them get such a reward for all their efforts.”
Looking ahead to the United States Grand Prix, Hamilton is hopeful of taking a second Austin victory having beaten Sebastian Vettel after a great battle to the first win at the track back in 2012.
“We still have three races left to decide the Drivers’ Championship – starting in Austin, which is one of the best weekends of the year,” insisted Hamilton. “A lot of the American side of my family come to the race, plus I won the first ever Formula One Grand Prix at the circuit back in 2012, so it’s a special one for me.
“I really enjoy going there and I’m looking forward to another great race – hopefully ending up with another Stetson hat on the top step of the podium!”
Rosberg’s best finish at the Austin track was ninth in 2013 and the German is hoping for a better finish this time around so to be able to close the gap on his team-mate in the championship standings.
“Now, of course, we target a big finish to the season in the final three races,” said Rosberg. “It’s still all to play for in the battle for the Drivers’ Championship and I won’t be giving up the fight until the flag drops in Abu Dhabi. Hopefully we can keep the entertainment going right to the end for the fans out there enjoying the contest.
“The first step comes in Austin, which is a really cool city and a great race track. I haven’t had the best races there so far, but I’m determined to change that this year.”