Mercedes sealed their first Constructors’ Championship with a one-two in Russia
Bosses urge team to remain focussed for final three races of 2014
By William Esler
Last Updated: 12/10/14 5:27pm
A jubilant Mercedes team sealed their first Constructors’ Championship in style with a one-two finish in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.
A prize for the winning teams did not exist when the German marque originally competed in 1954 and 1955 and they only returned to the sport in 2010.
Following their buyout of Brawn GP, Mercedes placed a lot of focus on the 2014 regulation revamp and are now reaping the rewards after years of development.
“It is just fantastic, we have worked so hard for this, so many people have worked for many years to put this together and we have made history here today and we have got to now enjoy it,” Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe told Sky Sports F1.
“We’ll have a big celebration tomorrow, lots of things planned so we are going to spread it all out.”
Whilst the teams’ title was their main goal, Lowe says the Brackley outfit won’t relax until both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are beyond the reach of Daniel Ricciardo in the fight for individual honours.
“The Drivers’ Championship is still to play for and we won’t feel comfortable until we’ve got both of them mathematically in position,” he added. “But even then we need to make sure they both have a reliable car beneath them to finish the races.”
Head of Mercedes Motorsport Toto Wolff described the day as a “great moment” for the company, but was keen that injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi should not be forgotten amongst the celebrations.
“Before we talk about the achievement we don’t want to forget about Jules and we are with him and it is important not to forget that, the sport is not important, it is a side story,” Wolff said.
“The team has worked so hard over the last years and has had so many difficult moments – up and down this year as well – and finally today Mercedes is a World Champion and this is a great moment.”
Mercedes’ car has been the class of the field in 2014, with Rosberg’s charge from an opening lap pit-stop to second in Russia another example of the performance advantage they enjoy. But whilst from the outside it may seem straightforward, Wolff admits it has been anything but.
“You should have been in the meetings after Spa – that was not an easy journey, it was a difficult journey,” he added in reference to the fallout from Rosberg's tangle with Hamilton in Belgium in August.
“We also had some reliability issues and up and downs. But I guess this is what it is all about – ups and downs, it is like normal life.”
Reliability issues have been somewhat of an Achilles’ heel for the W05 this year and Wolff is keen to ensure further retirements do not decide the outcome of the drivers’ title.
“We must as we don’t want the Drivers’ Championship to be decided by a DNF,” he stressed. “We have three more races to do and have a pretty solid margin over Daniel Ricciardo of 92 points with 100 in total. So we cannot have any DNFs on any of the cars.”
While current bosses Wolff and Lowe will inevitably take the bulk of the credit for Mercdes’ 2014 success, Niki Lauda says Ross Brawn also deserves recognition for the work he did before leaving the team last winter.
“Very much so, he was part of the team for many years and he made the start of it and now Paddy has finished it,” the firm’s Non-Executive Chairman said.