Sindelfingen day

_19I2939

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, Motorsport meets Sindelfingen, Mercedes AMG Petronas, F1, Formel 1, Lewis Hamilton ; Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, Motorsport meets Sindelfingen, Mercedes AMG Petronas, F1, Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton;

 

Sindelfingen: “THANK YOU!” – this was the message delivered by Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton together with their Mercedes crew today. It was high time to express gratitude for the immense support given by colleagues at Mercedes-Benz in the past three seasons. Rosberg also took the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone at Mercedes-Benz after announcing his retirement yesterday.

16,500 employees accepted the invitation to return to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen for a celebration of the Formula One hat-trick with the freshly crowned World Champion, and let’ not forget three-time World Champion Hamilton. The banner headline for the event was ‘Motorsport meets Sindelfingen’, so the employees and their families were treated to all the fun and glamour of the racetrack during the course of the afternoon.

There was a pit stop contest in which employees could try their hand at changing wheels and discover for themselves the standard required of the professional crews who fit a car with four new tyres in under two seconds on a race weekend. There was also an opportunity to demonstrate driving skills under track conditions on the DTM simulator. The drivers and team officials also gave fascinating insights into paddock life in a number of interview sessions.

But the demo laps on the Sindelfingen testing track were surely the highlight of the day. Among the vehicles given an outing were the Formula One World Championship-winning cars of 2014 and 2016 as well as various DTM and customer sports vehicles such as the Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Not only the Formula One stars Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon took their turn at the wheel but also the entire Mercedes-AMG DTM Team as well as junior talents such as Maximilian Günther and Mick Schumacher. To round off the spectacular, there were appearances by motorsport legends David Coulthard, Bernd Mayländer and DTM record champion Bernd Schneider.

Nico Rosberg: “It’s hard to believe that almost a week has gone by since I won the title. And what a crazy week it has been! First came that amazingly tough race in Abu Dhabi, then the enormous sense of relief after crossing the finish line, and after that the emotional moments spent with the team and my family.

“Then on Tuesday, we had the World Championship celebrations with our team partner Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, and yesterday it was the FIA Prizegiving Gala in Vienna at which I announced my retirement from Formula One. At last, I got my hands on the championship trophy. For me, a childhood dream had come true. And now here I am today, standing in front of so many Mercedes-Benz employees and thanking them for the huge support they have given me and my motorsport family over the past years.

“I will never forget you. This is a very special feeling. It’s been long and difficult road, but 2016 was my best ever Formula One season and I’ve also driven my best races this year. The whole thing was just mega.”

 

_19I3183

Mercedes-AMG, Motorsport, Sindelfingen, F1, Nico Rosberg ; Mercedes-AMG, Motorsport, Sindelfingen, F1, Nico Rosberg;

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, Motorsport meets Sindelfingen, Mercedes AMG Petronas, F1, Formel 1, Nico Rosberg ; Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, Motorsport meets Sindelfingen, Mercedes AMG Petronas, F1, Formula 1, Nico Rosberg;

A dream fulfilled: Nico Rosberg ends his racing career

Signing for the Silver Arrows - November 2009

Signing for the Silver Arrows – November 2009

First Silver Arrows Test - Valencia 2010

First Silver Arrows test – Valencia 2010

 

After Friday’s bombshell, which I think did take Mr Hamilton by surprise, Nico Rosberg is the first reigning World Champion to end his career since Alain Prost in 1993.

In an emotional address prior to the 2016 FIA Prize Giving in Vienna, Austria, Nico revealed the reasons behind his decision, which was reached following his crowning achievement in Abu Dhabi last Sunday.

Nico has competed in a total of 206 Grands Prix and won 23 of them, placing him joint 12th on the all-time list alongside Nelson Piquet. He has scored 30 pole positions (8th all time) and 20 fastest laps. Last Sunday in Abu Dhabi, he became the first German driver to win a Formula One World Championship at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow.

Nico Rosberg: “Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my ‘one thing’ to become Formula One World Champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it. I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right. My strongest emotion right now is deep gratitude to everybody who supported me to make that dream happen.

“This season, I tell you, it was so damn tough. I pushed like crazy in every area after the disappointments of the last two years; they fuelled my motivation to levels I had never experienced before. And of course that had an impact on the ones I love, too – it was a whole family effort of sacrifice, putting everything behind our target.

“I cannot find enough words to thank my wife Vivian; she has been incredible. She understood that this year was the big one, our opportunity to do it, and created the space for me to get full recovery between every race, looking after our daughter each night, taking over when things got tough and putting our championship first.

“When I won the race in Suzuka, from the moment when the destiny of the title was in my own hands, the big pressure started and I began to think about ending my racing career if I became World Champion. On Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi, I knew that it could be my last race and that feeling cleared my head before the start.

“I wanted to enjoy every part of the experience, knowing it might be the last time… and then the lights went out and I had the most intense 55 laps of my life. I took my decision on Monday evening. After reflecting for a day, the first people I told were Vivian and Georg (Nolte, from Nico’s management team), followed by Toto.

“The only thing that makes this decision in any way difficult for me is because I am putting my racing family into a tough situation. But Toto understood. He knew straight away that I was completely convinced and that reassured me. My proudest achievement in racing will always be to have won the world championship with this incredible team of people, the Silver Arrows.

“Now, I’m just here to enjoy the moment. There is time to savour the next weeks, to reflect on the season and to enjoy every experience that comes my way. After that, I will turn the next corner in my life and see what it has in store for me…”

Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff: “This is a brave decision by Nico and testament to the strength of his character. He has chosen to leave at the pinnacle of his career, as World Champion, having achieved his childhood dream. The clarity of his judgement meant I accepted his decision straight away when he told me.

“It’s impossible to capture the essence of a person in a few short words. But Nico has a special combination of natural talent and fighting spirit that have brought him to where he is today. Throughout his career, people have thought he was on a golden path to success just because his father was a World Champion; in fact, I think in some ways that made the challenge greater – and meant he had to fight even harder with the weight of expectation on his shoulders.

“With Mercedes, Nico has been a relentless competitor, bouncing back from tough times in an inspirational way, and he earned the respect of the sport with his tenacity, his fighting spirit and his grace under pressure. Since 2010, he has poured competitive energy into our team and we have grown stronger because of it. We simply say ‘thank you’ for the incredible contribution he has made to our success, alongside two of the all-time great drivers, Michael and Lewis.

“For the team, this is an unexpected situation but also an exciting one. We are going into a new era of technical regulations and there is a free Mercedes cockpit for the seasons ahead. We will take the necessary time to evaluate our options and then find the right path for our future.”

 

First Silver Arrows Win - China 2012

First Silver Arrows win – China 2012

World Championship Win - Abu Dhabi 2016

World Championship win – Abu Dhabi 2016

 

Nico back at Brackley

Nico Rosberg Celebrates 2016 World Drivers' Championship Title at Brackley

 

Party week continued for the newly-crowned Formula One World Champion, as Nico Rosberg paid a visit to Silver Arrows HQ in Brackley to celebrate with members of the team.

After winning the title on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg first made a brief stopover in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) where employees of title partner PETRONAS welcomed him to a World Championship party in the PETRONAS Twin Towers followed on Wednesday by a trip to Wiesbaden – the town where he was born.

And that’s how the next few days looked set continue until Rosberg announced his retirement from the sport just before the FIA Prizegiving Gala in Vienna yesterday. Today he’s with Mercedes-Benz employees in Sindelfingen.

 

Nico Rosberg Celebrates 2016 World Drivers' Championship Title at Brackley

The demon duo does it again

 

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, SaturdayLewis Hamilton has taken his 61st career pole position – his third at the Yas Marina Circuit and 12th of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg completed a 14th Silver Arrows front row lockout of the season in P2 – his 60th front row start in Formula One. The team has now taken 20 pole positions from 21 races in the 2016 season, which is a new all-time record. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1 and Q2 then two runs in Q3, using UltraSoft tyres throughout.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third, but 0.834 secs slower than Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been an awesome weekend so far. It’s rare that you end almost every session on top, so I’m very, very happy, with that. It’s down to the hard work done by the mechanics and the engineers to get the car where I need it, so I’m grateful to them for that, as always.

“I felt so great out there tonight. It’s really sad that this is the last Qualifying session we’re going to do in this car! It’s a dream for any driver to have something this good to drive. I’ve been doing my practice starts from the pole slot all weekend as I wasn’t planning on being anywhere else for tomorrow. I came here knowing that was a big part of what I needed this weekend and, now I’ve got that, I can focus on the race. Getting away in front will be the next important step. You need a big pace delta to overtake here, so the start will be crucial.

“Tonight, though, I need to look at strategy and how things need to work for me to get the win. At the moment, my pace is that little bit better. But I can’t control what happens behind me. All I can do is focus on my own race. You never know what might get thrown into the mix, so I’m just hoping my car is as beautiful as it has been so far this weekend and aiming for the win.”

Nico Rosberg: “I came here to be on pole, so I’m not ecstatic today. I was feeling good in the car today and put in some good laps at the end. But Lewis did a great job and was just a few tenths quicker. I’m still in a good position to win the race and I want to end the season on a high. There are a few opportunities tomorrow, so I look forward to an exciting battle.

“The Yas Marina Circuit is a great track and I’m feeling very good before the last race of the year. I am proud and happy about how this season has gone for me until now. Tonight I will relax a bit with Vivian and some friends and come back tomorrow in top shape.”

Tomorrow is promising to be a cracker, yet also tinged with some sadness as we say goodbye to Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.

 

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Saturday

Stunning São Paulo double for Mercedes as chaos reigns at Interlagos

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday

 

Lewis Hamilton has taken his 52nd career victory – his first at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace and ninth of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg completed a seventh Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season in P2, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third.

Rosberg (367) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 12 points from Hamilton (355) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (722) leads Red Bull (446) by 276 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton: “I’ve just won my first Brazilian Grand Prix! I remember watching Ayrton win back in 1991 and thinking “one day, that’s what I want to do”. I shared his emotion that day and now I can finally understand how he felt. It’s the 44th Grand Prix here as well, so it’s a really special one for me. To win on Senna’s turn in front of that crowd… it’s a moment I’ll never forget and I genuinely can’t believe it’s finally come.

“It’s crazy – all these years it’s been so hard to win this race and then today was one of the easiest wins I’ve had. Of course, in those conditions I could easily have made a mistake at any point. But I was generally very relaxed out there today and felt completely in control. I love driving in the rain. It must come from years of racing around the UK as a kid! It’s all in the mind – keeping your cool, not making mistakes, having great reactions and knowing where to put the car.

“It was one of those races where I was able to focus purely on driving. That one set of tyres just kept going and going, I didn’t have any problems at all and the car was really fantastic. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone back at both factories who have worked so hard to give us such an incredible car. This result is all down to them.

“Every week we’re making another piece of history and we’ve out-and-out proven that we’re the best team by far, in every area. Our hospitality is the best, our food is the best, our guys in the garage are the best, the guys back in the factory are the best, our cars are the best… it’s so rare to see every area so spot on and I’m proud to be a part of that.

“I’m glad that it’s come down to the last race. All I can do is focus on being as strong as I have been in these past few races. If I can do that, I’ll know in my heart what I’ve achieved this year.”

 

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday

Nico Rosberg: “The conditions were really tricky out there today. Up the hill there was heavy aquaplaning and a lot of drivers went off the track. I had a bit of a moment when I spun at one point but luckily this wasn’t at high speed, so I was able to catch the car again.

“Lewis did a better job today and deserved the win, so I must be happy with P2. Max also did a good job. We knew that the Red Bull would be very strong in the wet but he drove a great race. Thank you very much to my team for choosing the right strategy and letting me stay out on the full wet tyres. Now I look forward to Abu Dhabi, where I have good memories from last year. I will be going all out for the win there.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “To come away with such a result in a race like that is really quite something. You simply can’t expect a 1-2 in such conditions. It’s a rare achievement and the whole team is to be congratulated for that. I’m very happy with the result. When you consider the circumstances, it’s maybe the best result of the season.

“It was a faultless drive from Lewis, with easily the best pace of the field, while Nico showed his strength to stand firm in P2. A word for Max too, who was very impressive today. It was the Verstappen show out there – really unbelievable driving and great entertainment.

“Also, for Charlie and the Stewards. It’s very difficult in these conditions and, overall, they probably made the right calls. I probably wouldn’t have stopped the race the last time around because the conditions hadn’t changed. But if you have to sit up there, put your neck on the line and take responsibility for the drivers’ safety, you might see it from a different perspective.

“Now, we have a showdown in Abu Dhabi – just as Bernie would have ordered it. Our job is simple – give both drivers the cars they need to fight to the flag on track.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “Absolutely mind-blowing. To get a 1-2 from a day like that is really incredible. Most of the credit for that must go to the drivers, who kept their heads in very difficult conditions. It was great to see such a thrilling race in the end too for the crowd at this iconic circuit. Such difficult weather makes it tough to run a safe race and their dedication must be applauded.

“In the end we had a lot of exciting racing, so I’m happy for them. From a technical point of view, to us it was clearly a full wet race all afternoon. Twice, others gambled on the intermediate tyre – but we resisted that temptation as the data simply didn’t support it and neither did the drivers.

“On both the initial start and the two re-starts, that proved to be absolutely the right call. Credit to the team and the drivers for making those choices, which won the race for us today. Congratulations to Lewis on becoming the second most winning driver in Formula One history. We now take the Championship finale to the final race in Abu Dhabi, which is a perfect outcome for the sport.”

 

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday

Mercedes comment

2016 Mexican Grand Prix, Sunday

 

Lewis Hamilton today took his 51st career victory – his first at the AUTÓDROMO HERMANOS RODRÍGUEZ and eighth of the 2016 season so far. With that result, Lewis draws level with Alain Prost in joint second place on the list of all-time Formula One Grand Prix winners.

Nico completed a sixth Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season in P2. Nico (349) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 19 points from Lewis (330) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (679) lead Red Bull (422) by 257 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton: “This weekend I’ve had really good pace. The car felt really strong from start to finish – night and day compared to last year. I had a good start – but it’s such a long way down to Turn One that everyone just got the tow on me. The right front brake disc had glazed on the formation lap and I couldn’t un-glaze it. I thought it might be okay – but when I hit the brakes it just locked up as the temperature came up and I went flying across the grass.

“I was lucky to get across and rejoin on the other side of the track. I had a big flat spot – and I mean seriously big. I could barely see the end of each straight with the vibrations and I genuinely didn’t know if my suspension was going to last. I was really lucky not to catch it again and either destroy the tyre or have to come in for an early stop. Luckily, I got it under control and was cruising from quite early on.

“It’s kinda crazy to think I now have 51 wins. It’s a shame these results are coming so late in the season – possibly too late. You can look back at say that maybe if Malaysia didn’t happen then I’d be in a different position right now. But that’s motor racing. All I can do is my best and hope things go as they have done for the past two weekends. History has shown that it’s never too late – that’s why I keep pushing and doing everything I can to repeat weekends like this.

“I hadn’t won here before so it’s a great feeling to do that in front of this incredible crowd. Now my sights are fully set on Brazil. I’ve never won there either – but if I can take this kind of performance into the next weekend I’ll be in a good position. Ultimately, as long as I feel I did the best I could in these final races, I can be happy at the end of the season.”

Nico Rosberg: “The Mexican fans were really outstanding again. I got goose bumps already in the stadium before the race at the driver’s parade. But then, when the people were calling my name on the podium, that was the most emotional moment of the weekend. Thank you to everybody who made this event possible and to every Mexican fan who made their way today to the track today.

“Checo Perez and Esteban Gutiérrez can be really proud of their countrymen. I had a tough race today. At the start I had a good getaway and thought I would be able to take the lead from Lewis, when I saw he had a massive lock up and went straight through the grass. Then, suddenly, Verstappen hit me heavily after he had a lock up too and forced me off the track. Luckily my car wasn’t damaged and it didn’t cost me a position.

“Lewis was that little bit quicker today, so I didn’t manage to achieve my goal and win here again. But being second is not too bad overall. Now I look forward to flying home after two long weeks and relaxing a bit with my family, ready to come back stronger in Brazil and go for the win there. I think the Interlagos track suits our car much better, so I’m looking forward to going there and seeing what we can do.”

First one down, three to go

2016 United States Grand Prix, Sunday

 

Lewis Hamilton’s victory is his 3rd in a row at the Circuit of the Americas and 7th of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg completed a 5th Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season in P2. However, Rosberg (331) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 26 points from Lewis Hamilton (305) in P2.

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m delighted to claim my 50th career victory today, it’s been a long time coming, but most importantly it was great to have a solid race weekend. This race has always gone extremely well for me, but still, it was a massive relief when I crossed the line given my reliability issues in recent rounds.

“I was 100% clear on my start and I knew it was going to turn out that way. It was a nice feeling, especially after so many ups and downs, and I was able to control the race from there. It’s been great to be back here in Austin and the response from the fans has been incredible. The aim is to continue this form next week and I can’t wait to continue the Championship battle in Mexico.”

 

2016 United States Grand Prix, Sunday

Nico Rosberg: “I had a good start and tried to overtake Lewis on the outside but ultimately it meant Daniel Ricciardo had a better line out of turn 1 and was able to capitalise on this. From there it was hard to overtake the Red Bull but our altered strategy paid off.

“We ran the medium tyre and that gave us plenty of options, especially when the virtual safety car came into play. The medium tyre showed some really strong pace and the car felt great which meant towards the end I was closing in on Lewis, but it was too late. He did a better job this weekend and deserved the win and I look forward to continuing our battle in Mexico.”

 

2016 United States Grand Prix, Sunday

Großer Preis der USA 2016, Sonntag

Mercedes seals the triple at Suzuka

2016 Japanese Grand Prix, Sunday

 

Nico Rosberg today took his 23rd Formula One career victory – his first at the Suzuka International Racing Course and ninth of the 2016 season so far. Lewis Hamilton recovered from a slow start which dropped him to P8 on the first lap to clinch P3 at the flag – the 100th podium of his Formula One career.

The Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows have now sealed a third consecutive Constructors’ World Championship title with a 60th Formula One Grand Prix victory. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (593) lead Red Bull (385) by 208 points in the Constructors’ Championship – an unassailable lead with four races remaining in the 2016 season. Rosberg (313) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 33 points from Hamilton (280) in P2, with the battle for the Drivers’ title now solely between the two Mercedes drivers.

Nico Rosberg: “What an awesome weekend! It felt great right from when the lights went green on Friday. I got a good rhythm in practice, had a strong Qualifying, a decent start and then from the lead I was able to control the pace in the race. I had to save my engine a bit as it was my last race in the cycle – but the gap was always safe.

“I came here to win in Japan and I managed to do so, which is really special. It’s a fantastic feeling to win at this legendary race track. Massive congratulations to all of my colleagues here in Japan, back at Brackley and Brixworth, and the hundreds of thousands of Daimler employees out there for the third Constructors’ World Championship. A huge thank you to every single person and to every partner who made this possible. They are really the best! They deserve it so much after the unbelievable effort over these past few years, so let’s celebrate hard!

“I might do a little bit of celebrating myself but not too much. The season is not over yet with a few races still to go around the world, so I need to keep my energy up! Thank you so much to everyone out in the crowds this weekend too. The fans here always create a special atmosphere and they’ve put on such a great show. Arigato! Now we need to focus on the last four races. I look forward to going to America next. See you there!”

A slightly more subdued Lewis Hamilton: “Firstly, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to everyone back at the factories and the whole of Mercedes-Benz. Everyone has done a fantastic job and to have this success three years in a row is incredible. It’s been an awesome effort from so many people over the last three years and that is the most important thing to take from today. We couldn’t have done it without all of their support and I’m very, very proud to be a part of it. I’m also proud to have been part of the Mercedes-Benz journey since 2007 and then since 2013 with this team.

“Looking at the race itself, I’m not really quite sure what happened at the start. I’ll have to see what the engineers say – but I got the worst getaway I could possibly get. My side wasn’t completely dry and there was lots of wheel spin – but that wasn’t the whole issue. I lost a lot of ground as everyone else gained traction moving away. It was frustrating, but that’s the way it is. These things happen. Then, in the first part of the race, I didn’t have the pace of Kimi, so knew I had to go longer and wasn’t really trying to attack him in the first part of the race.

“The second half got a lot more interesting and I was able to pick up some serious pace on the hard tyre. The car was feeling better, I was feeling more comfortable and I was able to overtake people. We put a bit of front wing in and the understeer completely disappeared, so I was able to make my way through the field and close the gap. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take second but I did the best job I could out there today. Every point counts, so I drove my heart out to get as many as possible.

“Nico did a great job today and he has a healthy margin now, so the Drivers’ Championship has got harder for me. I’ll give it everything I’ve got, as I did in the race today and always do. That’s all I can do – focus on doing the best that I can – so we’ll see what happens. A big thank you to everyone who came out today. The fans were amazing here as always. I’m looking forward to getting home and then moving onto the next race.”

 

2016 Japanese Grand Prix, Sunday

Nico, Lewis and Kimi head Sunday’s pack

2016 Japanese Grand Prix, Saturday

The facial expressions say it all. And yes, I know Kimi never smiles…

 

You’ve got to hand it to Nico Rosberg. He keeps on delivering.

Today he took his 30th career pole position – his 3rd in a row at the Suzuka Circuit and 8th of the 2016 season so far. Lewis Hamilton – who really has to beat Rosberg tomorrow – completed a 10th Silver Arrows front row lock-out of the season in P2. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1 (medium), a single run in Q2 (soft) and two runs in Q3 (soft/soft).

Nico Rosberg: “I’ve been feeling great all weekend, having felt incredibly comfortable in the car. It gave me the confidence to push even harder at the end of Q3 which meant I pulled out a great lap to recover pole from Lewis.

“Suzuka is a really difficult circuit because of the varying corners which means it’s even more difficult to get the car set up just right. It’s great to start from P1, but as we’ve realised, it’s not the most important thing this year as you also need to get the start and the race strategy spot on.

“Lewis will push hard and so will the Ferraris and the Red Bulls. It’s clear that both these teams looked very strong on the high fuel. It will be an exciting race tomorrow in front of Suzuka’s amazing fans. I’m definitely looking forward to it!”

I bet you are Nico. Clearly, his head’s in the right place, and he’s the one to beat now.

Meanwhile, this is what Lewis Hamilton had to say: “This weekend has not been that easy. I’d been veering one way with the set-up of the car and then had to shuffle back going into qualifying and it felt like I was in no-mans-land as we approached Q1.

“With that in mind, I’m extremely happy that I was able to bring it back to that kind of gap. Of course, starting on pole is always a good thing but let’s hope the work we’ve been doing on the starts pays off. It’s also still hard to know at this stage what the weather is going to do but I’ll do the best I can tomorrow.”

Brief, and to the point. Tomorrow’s going to be a cracker.

Malaysian GP qualifying: Mercedes pair seal Sepang front row lock-out

L-R: Rosberg, Hamilton and Max Verstappen for Red Bull starts in third for tomorrow's Malaysian GP.

L-R: Rosberg, Hamilton and Max Verstappen for Red Bull starts in third for tomorrow’s Malaysian GP.

 

Lewis Hamilton has taken his 57th career pole position – his fourth at the Sepang International Circuit and eighth of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg completed a ninth Silver Arrows front row lock-out of the season in P2. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1 and Q2, another two runs in Q3, using soft tyres throughout.

Lewis Hamilton: “It feels great. I’m incredibly grateful for the car being where it is. The guys have done a great job for us to have such performance this weekend. To be able to extract it from the car is the thing I’m really happy about. It’s been night and day in comparison to Singapore. Of the laps I had there, I only really got a few of them together. Here, though, we’ve had lots of mileage, I’ve been able to build through the sessions and I felt really comfortable in the car.

“My final qualifying lap was the first lock-up I’d had all weekend into Turn One, so there was more time out there. It’s a shame I didn’t get to show it but I still got pole and it’s looking good for tomorrow. I’ve been here since last Saturday, so I’ve been able to prepare really well and I’ve been pretty quick all weekend. I’ve had incredible support ever since I arrived here in Malaysia from the people here – and from everyone else around the world too, as always. I want this just as badly as they do, so hopefully we’ll see it through tomorrow. It’s too soon to say how the race will go. When I’m on top of it like I have been this weekend, it generally goes my way on a Sunday. Let’s hope that pattern continues.”

Nico Rosberg: “Congrats to Lewis for the pole. He did a better job today. I was closer to him on my last lap but then I lost a couple of tenths in the last corner, which was a pity. I can be happy with a front row start as we have seen this year that there are some opportunities at the start and qualifying is not quite so important anymore – especially at a track like this where you can overtake. So, overall I’m quite confident for tomorrow. I hope we can give our Malaysian friends from Petronas and the whole country a great race.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “That was a pretty awesome session from Lewis, setting fastest time in all three parts of qualifying and taking pole by a big margin – and without completing his final effort. He’s been on point from the first laps this weekend and, without any reliability problems, he’s got the job done.

Nico also did a great recovery in Q3 after an oversteery first run left him P5. He got a strong P2 on his final lap and he probably left a couple of tenths out there on the track as well. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we need to keep the ball flat and focus on the job. It will be a challenging race with our main rivals very close on long run pace. Strategy will be important and so will avoiding mistakes in the challenging conditions. We’ve hit our first target for the weekend but the big one is still to come.”

 

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, Saturday

 

And again…

2016 Singapore Grand Prix, Sundayyy

 

Nico Rosberg today took his 22nd career victory – his first at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and eighth of the 2016 season so far on his 200th Grand Prix start. Lewis Hamilton produced a battling drive to claim P3 – his 50th podium finish since joining the Silver Arrows in 2013. Mercedes-Benz stalwart Bernd Marylander also marked his 300th race as official Formula One Safety Car driver.

Rosberg (273) leads the Drivers’ Championship by eight points from Hamilton (265) in P2. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (538) leads Red Bull (316) by 222 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Nico Rosberg: “That was a fantastic weekend! In the past the Singapore track has not treated me so well, so this win is a very special one and an even more emotional one for me. The weekend started perfectly with a good qualifying session. Then, I had a good start and was able to keep the Red Bulls and the Ferraris behind me – both of which had beaten us comfortably last year. It was a bit tight at the end after Daniel (Ricciardo) did a clever pit stop timing wise. If I would have also pitted I would have come out behind him because I was stuck in traffic on my in-lap, so we chose the best strategy to stay out and a big thanks to the team for that.

“It’s great that we learned from our mistakes last year and won at what is clearly a Red Bull track. This shows the competence and strength of our engineering group. I look forward to Malaysia now – but first I will definitely celebrate this win tonight!”

Lewis Hamilton: “A difficult day and a difficult weekend. At one stage it looked like I might even miss out on the podium but fortunately it didn’t work out that way. It was an okay start. I didn’t lose any ground which is a good thing after the last one. But then I was struggling so much after the Safety Car went in. The brakes were near critical temperature for most of the race, so I kept having to back off to cool them down. I then ended up making a mistake and ran wide which let Kimi past. Fortunately, with the car a bit lighter, I was able to bring the temperatures down, push a bit more on fresh tyres and get back past him in the stops.

“Pace and strategy weren’t the issue – it was all down to the brakes. I was just watching the leaders pull away right from the start, so P2 was the maximum today. If that’s the worst weekend of the year, I’ll definitely take it. These things are sent to try us and now I’m just looking forward to the next one and a chance to give it another shot. I need a couple of strong weekends to get back to where I need to be.”

Nico edging ahead?

Nico Rosberg today took his 21st career victory – his 1st at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza and seventh of the 2016 season so far. Lewis H completed a 4th Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season. He leads the Drivers’ Championship by two  points from Nico Rosberg (148). MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (498) leads Red Bull (290) by 208 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Nico Rosberg: “It means so much to me to win here at Monza. The crowd were unbelievable over the entire weekend and especially during the podium ceremony. This win is incredibly special for me and standing up there and singing with thousands of people gave me goosebumps. The race went perfectly for me and after a good start I was able manage the gap between myself and the car behind. Our car has been amazing this weekend and I extend a massive thank you to the whole team. I’m looking forward to Singapore, which was our weakest race last year. Hopefully we’ve learnt lessons from 2015 and we’ll come back even stronger!”

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t as ebullient: “It’s tough to take when you lose a race because of such a poor start. From there it was just about managing the tyres during the first stint and I was delighted to get back up to second after the first stop. I kept pushing as hard as I could and came within 15 seconds of Nico when we crossed the line. I’m happy with my performance this weekend but after such an incredible qualifying day yesterday it was disappointing to be unable to capitalise. I’m sure we’ll work on what happened at the start between now and Singapore.”

Home victory for Mercedes

 

2016 German Grand Prix, Sunday

 

Lewis Hamilton made the perfect start, managed the whole race it seemed with the perfect car.

He took his 49th career victory – his second at the Hockenheim Circuit and sixth of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg fought back from a slow start to reach P2 before a five second penalty dropped him back to P4 at the flag. Hamilton (217) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 19 points from Rosberg (198) in P2, and he’s going to need a lead if he’s to take the awaited engine penalty.

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (415) now leads Red Bull (256) by 159 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton: “What a day! Just awesome! I wasn’t expecting to be as strong as I was today. I had a great start. We have been working really hard to get off the line faster and more consistently and that hard work has clearly paid off. A big thanks also to the guys in the garage, I’m glad they get a well-earned break now as they really deserve it.

“I’m super happy with today – especially after yesterday. When I personally fail, knowing from 23 years of experience that I could definitely have done better, I really kick myself. Today, I have the opposite feeling. I delivered the way I’m supposed to. I know that I had the pace, I worked the tyres just right and I was never under threat from the guys behind. No mistakes this time either, so I’m very happy with that.

“It’s awesome to go into the break on such a high. I was 43 points behind at one stage, so to keep working on the gap and turn it around like that is great. Lastly, I just want to say a big thank you to the fans. So many of them have turned up here in Germany and they’ve been so supportive. That positive energy really drives me on, so a big thank you once again to them and I hope they have a great holiday. I’m definitely going to!”

Nico Rosberg: “It was a difficult and disappointing day for me. I had a lot of wheel spin at the start. That was strange, because my start during the formation lap was good. That cost me the lead and then the next two places as well, which meant it was always going to be a difficult race from there.

“I was happy to fight back to P2 after a tough battle with Max and was very surprised that I got penalised. We also lost a lot of time in the pits, so a lot of things went wrong today. But that didn’t count really at the end. The penalty made it impossible beat the Red Bulls. In general, I didn’t feel as comfortable in the car as I have done in the past – especially with the rear tyres. I had some problems with them today, so I need to get my head down and find out with my engineers what went wrong. I look forward to the summer break now and want to come back stronger. I hope everybody in the team can charge the batteries. It’s very well-deserved.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “First of all, what a fantastic drive from Lewis and a great feeling to win the German Grand Prix once again with Mercedes. This has been a very special weekend for the team and Lewis delivered a pretty perfect drive today: great start, great speed, great management. He’s gone from a big deficit to now leading the championship, so it’s been a very good streak.

“We have seen these waves of momentum in both directions and he is riding the crest right now. But as well as the sweet part of the afternoon, for Nico it was more bitter. The start didn’t go well for him with big wheel spin but then he struggled for pace in the race, too. There were two big talking points. First the penalty. I think you will find lots of opinions but what we really look for is consistency in the decision making. Sometimes you see cars battling and there is no consequence, other times penalties are handed out. Today’s felt tough because I think the fans want to see hard racing – and that’s what it was.

“Then there was the pit stop to serve the penalty. In such a high-tech sport, we don’t often have to use a stop watch in a manual process. Today, it didn’t start, so we had to take the safe option to make sure Nico observed the right amount of time. Sometimes these things happen.

“Overall, I think we can be very pleased with our first part of the year. 11 wins from 12 is a nice statistic to take into the summer break – but we know that our rivals are continuing to improve, too. We will take the break, recharge the batteries and come back with fresh energy in Spa.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “First, huge congratulations to Lewis and the team for a great victory at our home race here in Germany in front of our very supportive colleagues from Mercedes-Benz. It was enormously important to us to do a great job here, representing the 280,000 Mercedes employees worldwide.

“Lewis managed the race faultlessly from start to finish – delivering pace when necessary and saving the tyres when required. The pit crew, too, did a great job on all three of his stops, allowing him to maintain the gap he had worked hard to build to those behind. For Nico, it was a less straightforward afternoon. His clutch was over-engaged at the start, leading to excessive wheel spin and an instant drop to P4. That gave us some work to do to get him back up to second – which we managed through a combination of a good strategy and some bold overtaking on Nico’s part.

“Unfortunately, he was then given a five second penalty for the latter – which dropped him back once more. We did lose some time in the box as we took more safety margin than was required. But, as it turned out, this didn’t affect the result. It became clear quite soon into the final stint that we didn’t have the pace to compensate for the penalty. We were hoping that, with no soft tyres remaining, we would manage to catch and pass the Red Bulls at the end once they ran out of rubber on the super soft – but to their credit they managed it very well, so all respect to them.

“As they say in motorsport, you’re only as good as your last race – so it’s good to have something to savour over the next month, as that’s something we hadn’t managed in either of the previous two seasons. A very nice way to pick up the holidays, which will provide everyone with a very well-earned break before we come back even harder in the second half of the season.”

%d bloggers like this: