Imperious Mercedes claim historic Constructors’ title

Russian President Vladimir Putin presents Lewis Hamilton with his winner's trophy after Sunday's Russian Grand Prix in Sochi
Russian President Vladimir Putin presents Lewis Hamilton with his winner's trophy after Sunday's Russian Grand Prix in Sochi

A jubilant Brackley-based Mercedes team secured their first ever Constructors’ Championship in style with a one-two finish in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were once again in dominant form to claim the team’s ninth one-two of the season, which was good enough to wrap up the 2014 title with three rounds still remaining.

Mercedes’ victory brings to an end the domination of the sport in recent years by Milton Keynes-based Red Bull.

Locking out the front row of the grid, Hamilton and Rosberg looked set to battle it out for victory, but a mistake by the German meant he was forced to pit and he dropped to the back of the field.

That error proved costly as Hamilton cruised to his ninth victory of the season, while Rosberg recovered brilliantly to drive back through the field and claim second place.

With just three races remaining, Hamilton’s victory has strengthened his grip on the title as he now leads his team-mate by 17 points.

Speaking afterwards, the Briton said, “This is a great result for all the guys back at the factory who have been working so hard to provide Nico and I a car capable of winning the world championship.”

“This is an amazing car and it has shown its pace all season. To clinch the Constructors’ Championship with three races to go shows the strength of Mercedes-Benz, and things are looking good for the next three races too.”

Rosberg added: “I made a mistake at the first corner and it ruined my race. I was unable to recover after that and realise that it was not good for my part of the team or my attempt to win the world title this year.

“Lewis drove a superb race and our one-two finish was a great result overall and for Mercedes to be the Constructors’ title winners is very pleasing and great news for the team and company.”

Toto Wolff, the boss of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said: “We are very proud of Lewis and Nico to win us this title with races still to go. Our team has been superb all year and I must thank everyone for their hard work and determination to help Mercedes succeed.”

Finishing third behind the Mercedes duo was Valtteri Bottas, the Williams-Mercedes driver is now up to fourth in the standings.

The Grand Prix was the first to be hosted on Russian soil, with the track in Sochi laid out around the roads of the Olympic Village that played host to the Winter Olympics back in February.

The track was praised by competitors who enjoyed its fast and technical layout. Hamilton said: “Sochi Autodrom is a good track and offers the driver lots of challenges. I was looking forward to driving on the circuit before the Grand Prix weekend, and I have to say it is very good.”

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, attended the race as a personal guest of Bernie Ecclestone, the boss of F1, and presented Hamilton with his winner’s trophy on the podium after the race.

The Silverstone-based Sahara Force India cars, driven by Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, finished 10th and 11th respectively, while the Bicester-based Toro Rosso cars of Jean-Eric Vergne and Russian, Daniil Kvyat, took 13th and 14th.

Standings after round 16: 1. Hamilton, 291pts; 2. Rosberg, 274; 3. Ricciardo, 199; 4. Bottas, 145; 5. Vettel, 143.

Next round: USA, Nov 2.