F1 champions Mercedes proud to be part of town

Celebrations at the Mercedes AMG Petronas factory
Celebrations at the Mercedes AMG Petronas factory

Mercedes’ executive director says Brackley gives them a sense of identity as the team were crowned Formula One world champions.

Paddy Lowe, who joined from rivals McLaren 15 months ago, proudly watched on as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s one-two finish in Russia secured the team’s first constructors’ championship since 1955.

Mercedes workers in Brackley assemble to celebrate their constructors' championship PNL-141016-120445001

Mercedes workers in Brackley assemble to celebrate their constructors' championship PNL-141016-120445001

But the 52-year-old thinks their plant in Brackley gives the 700-strong workforce a lift to know they are valued in the community.

He said: “It’s great to feel like an important part of the town and when we’re in the centre, they know who we are.

“On our address, there is no street name – it is just Mercedes, Brackley. It’s a small point but it makes you feel you are a big part of the town.

“If we were in the middle of nowhere or in a suburb of London, we would feel anonymous.

MCBW Lewis Hamilton pictured on his way to victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last week for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. PNL-141009-143402002

MCBW Lewis Hamilton pictured on his way to victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last week for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. PNL-141009-143402002

“There’s something quite nice about coming off the main road and the first roundabout is the Mercedes roundabout.

“This is the centre of motorsport in the world, the centre of mass for F1 technology.

“So it’s a great spot and it’s nice to feel a part of that.”

Lowe said he was confident the team had the building blocks to challenge for the title but was wary of the sport’s unpredictability.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team NNL-141014-092231002

Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the Mercedes AMG Petronas team NNL-141014-092231002

He said: “F1 is notorious for looking good in the first race and not following it through.

“For me the turning point was Bahrain, when I thought we have got a pretty special car here.”

Lowe is looking forward to Hamilton and Rosberg battling it out for the drivers’ championship with three races remaining.

He then hopes to use the Silver Arrows cars to begin a new era of dominance.

He said: “I think the requirement (of points) isn’t too demanding but it’s impossible for Nico to put it beyond the reach of Lewis.

“We have a lineup which is the envy of the pit lane. They are very different characters but they’re both quick. They’re great drivers.

“We hope this is just the beginning of what we are calling internally as a ‘new era of silver arrows’.”

It is a family celebration for Christian Dixon, 25, who joined Mercedes in 2010 as a wind tunnel assistant where he assembled the model cars to be tested.

His dad, Tarquin, is head of structures at the plant and his fiancé Emily Landon, who he lives with in Greens Norton, works in HR.

Christian, who went to Magdalen College School and now works for the marketing department, said: “It’s a family affair and it’s been fantastic.

“I consider myself very lucky because a lot of people will pour everything into it and never see a world championship.

“I would say I’m surprised by the success. But when I see the number of people, the calibre of people and our focus and drive, to be honest, you can see where it has come from.

“It’s given us a certain belief that we can sustain it. The goal is not to just win one and go home. We want multiple titles and I can see many more on the horizon.”