14 October 2014
F1: Brawn role recognised as Mercedes celebrates
Mercedes management was quick to pay tribute to the foundations laid by former team boss Ross Brawn as Lewis Hamilton's Russian Grand Prix victory cemented a first F1 constructors' championship success.
Even as Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in Sochi to claim the 25 points Mercedes needed to clinch the 2014 F1 constructors' crown, the team was recalling the man who set the dream in motion several years before.
Indeed, for many of the employees at Mercedes' Brackley headquarters, the title was a second, following on from the 2009 success enjoyed by Brawn GP in its sole F1 campaign, and the eponymous former team owner was recognised for his role in the formation of the Three Pointed Star's dream.
Although he officially stepped away from F1 at the end of the 2013 season, handing the Mercedes reins to the duo of Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff, Brawn's decisions and team leadership in the years leading to that point were quickly praised as the current management celebrated in Russia
“I just feel proud to be part of the team, part of a team where the foundations were built by Ross,” Wolff admitted, “He played such an important role in the team; the steps that were taken in 2012, the people who joined us in 2012. We constantly ramped our game up, we made the right decisions, we got the right resources. The big boys back in Stuttgart understood what it needed and, since then, we were on an upward slope and [the championship] is the result of all that.”
Mercedes has not only enjoyed success of Brawn proportions in 2014, but has now exceeded the number of wins claimed by Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, with Hamilton's Sochi success his ninth win in 16 races, while Rosberg has triumphed in four of the remaining seven. With races in the USA, Brazil and Abu Dhabi remaining, both drivers can still take the individual crown – and shoot-out freed up by Mercedes' commanding advantage in the teams' standings, where it took the title with a 223-point advantage over nearest rival, and out-going champion, Red Bull.
“It is a fantastic achievement for the entire team to secure the first F1 world constructors championship for Mercedes-Benz,” Lowe commented, “This has been a combined effort of the teams in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart and is the result of many years of dedicated hard work.
“At this point, I would especially like to recognise the pivotal role played by Ross Brawn in this success and congratulate him, too, on his part in this championship victory.”
Despite the DNFs suffered by both drivers this season, Lowe is looking forward to seeing how the drivers' title fight pans out, particularly with the controversial 'double points' finale to come at Yas Marina.
“It is important to underline the huge contributions Nico and Lewis have made to achieving this constructors' championship,” he noted, “Their competitiveness and dedication keep driving the team forward.”
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