Hamilton swerves a parking ticket as town toasts Mercedes

The triumphant Mercedes team at Brackley Town Hall
The triumphant Mercedes team at Brackley Town Hall

Lewis Hamilton’s championship-winning car pulled up outside the Town Hall as dozens of flag-wavers congratulated the best team in Formula One.

A double decker open-topped bus paraded down Brackley High Street which was flanked by families and shop workers waving Union Jack flags.

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Southfield School, Paddy Lowe. NNL-140212-151743009

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Southfield School, Paddy Lowe. NNL-140212-151743009

More than 40 members of the Brackley-based team, along with technical chief Paddy Lowe, waved back from the top of the bus.

They were celebrating a dominant season which saw them bag a clean-sweep of constructors’ and drivers’ titles.

But despite his car being in town, world champion Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Nico Rosberg were too busy to attend the event.

The group of workers - which included engineers, mechanics and apprentices - set off multicoloured confetti bombs before filing out in front of the Town Hall.

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Open top bus with Mercedes staff. NNL-140212-152047009

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Open top bus with Mercedes staff. NNL-140212-152047009

They all enjoyed a champagne reception and Lowe (pictured left) was presented with gifts from dignitaries.

Leader of South Northants Council Mary Clarke thanked the team for putting Brackley on the map.

She said: “I would like to congratulate you wholeheartedly on a stunning success - one you should be truly proud of.

“Mercedes is a key company with more than 800 people and many of whom live in and around the town.

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Mayor, Cllr. Elaine Wiltshire. NNL-140212-151900009

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Mayor, Cllr. Elaine Wiltshire. NNL-140212-151900009

“It continues to put this town on the map and it’s great to say: ‘Designed and built in Brackley, winning around the world’.”

The bus visited hundreds of schoolchildren this morning before parking up at Brackley Piazza just after 11.30am.

Children from Southfield Primary, Bracken Leas Primary, Brackley Junior School, Magdalen College School, Waynflete Infant School and Winchester House all met the touring team.

Chief strategist James Vowles, who was among the touring bus party, said: “It’s difficult to take a day away from working but the kids were fantastic.

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Open top bus with Mercedes staff. NNL-140212-152026009

Mercedes F1 team parade in Brackley to celebrate their world championship. Open top bus with Mercedes staff. NNL-140212-152026009

“For 20 minutes, all they wanted to do was have a chat to you, whoop and get signatures. It’s nice to give back.

“They know the concept and the team is such a instrumental part of the town that it’s good to have a representation of that.”

Lowe, who was ‘overwhelmed’ to receive gifts from councillors including mayor of Brackley Elaine Wiltshire, spoke to students from Silverstone University Technology College who joined the celebrations.

He said: “The point is about showing what is possible. Just to show what is achievable is half the battle and I think in education, that is the same.

“You can see the people from the team here, they look just like you so you can be there. We’re all normal people, you’ve just got to work hard and keep persevering and you’ll realise your ambitions.

“This is the best team I’ve ever seen in Formula One. The records we have set this year did not come by accident.

“We appreciate where we have come from. The area is really strong in motorsport and for reasons that must come down to the interest, the enthusiasm and the innovation of the young people who come through to eventually work for us.”

Student Daniel Robertshaw, 17, admitted it was ‘disappointing’ not to see the drivers but said it was ‘still a great occasion’.

He said: “It’s a nice experience to see the car and the trophies. It’s good to show who we are and what we do and get out in the community.”