Mercedes clinches F1 constructors title as Hamilton wins in Russia
Sochi: The Formula One constructors’ world championship trophy found a new home just down the road from Red Bull’s factory in England on Sunday as Mercedes celebrated a historic first for their ‘Silver Arrows’ team.
Russian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton might cover the distance in a matter of minutes but it has taken more than half a century for Mercedes to add their names to the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams.
If the late Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio and his 1955 team mate Stirling Moss never experienced a similar success, despite finishing the season first and second, that is only because the championship did not exist until 1958.
Mercedes had pulled out of the sport by then, horrified by the 1955 Le Mans disaster that killed more than 80 spectators.
They did not return until 2010, taking over the Brawn GP team that had won both titles in 2009 and its Brackley headquarters.
“I have to tell you I’m a little emotional,” said the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, himself a triple world champion.
The championship came as no surprise, with team staff swiftly donning special T-shirts to mark the occasion just as Red Bull have for the past four years, and the champagne glasses lined up in the hospitality unit.
If the celebrations were mild compared to some witnessed in the past, that was also out of respect to French driver Jules Bianchi who is critically ill in hospital after his crash in Japan last weekend.