Bathurst 12H: Maranello Motorsport Ferrari wins dramatic Bathurst 12h

Bathurst 12H: Maranello Motorsport Ferrari wins dramatic Bathurst 12h

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February, 5th 2017-Almost a decade since scoring a hat-trick of Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victories, Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have rekindled their partnership in perfect fashion.

In a dramatic finish to the Bathurst 12 Hour, Whincup drove the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 that he shared with Lowndes and Toni Vilander to victory.

Whincup, who made his GT Racing debut this weekend was ecstatic about the result.

The Triple Eight-assisted Ferrari team waged a race long war with the Shane van Gisbergen-led Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes, which finally ended with a crash for the Kiwi.

Whincup and Van Gisbergen had re-entered their cars two hours from the finish, with the Ferrari leading the Mercedes by 30 seconds.

A decision not to change tyres on Van Gisbergen’s final stop gained the car track position with just 45 minutes left on the clock, but the advantage was to be short lived.

Whincup retook the lead just five minutes later – the two cars making brief side-to-side contact as Van Gisbergen fought in vain to hold the place.

The reigning Supercars champion’s race would only get worse from there, however, as he made contact with Andrew MacPherson’s lapped Porsche 30 minutes from home, turning it into the concrete wall.

The accident triggered a Safety Car and subsequent penalty for Van Gisbergen, who then crashed on his own at The Dipper, much to the frustration of co-driver Maro Engel.

Engel was visibly angry when the #22 Mercedes hit the wall, and then admonished Van Gisbergen on the telecast.

Speaking a short time later, Van Gisbergen said he had already apologised to MacPherson and would also do so to Engel and the entire STM team.

Whincup eventually took the flag a lap clear of Van Gisbergen’s Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Matt Campbell, who combined with Patrick Long, Marc Lieb and David Calvert-Jones to win the Pro-Am Class.

The result came in Whincup’s first ever GT race and follows Lowndes’ previously victory with Maranello on his most recent 12 Hour start in 2014.

For full results, visit: http://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/results/


Quotes from the Podium

Jamie Whincup

“It was a great day for us and my debut into GT racing. For a lot of my teammates at 888 it was their first time as well. A massive thank you goes to Maranello Motorsport and of course to Peter Edwards – the owner of our million dollar Ferrari 488. It was a fantastic day with fantastic team work and we pitted at the right times. The blokes beside me did an amazing job and it was just up to me to bring it home at the end. It was quite ironic that my teammate ‘Gizzy’ and I were fighting for the win right at the end there. He was driving like he usually does, all over the place which is good,” he laughed, “he’s hard and fair. I certainly enjoyed the battle, there is always a bit of grass action when we’re rubbing panels!”

“(The final pit stop) was strategic. We had to make a call as to whether we wanted to put tyres on and loose track position or whether we wanted to keep track position on older tyres. So, I made a call at the end there to put some new bags on and it was the right call. The car had great pace. It was very good down the straight, it wasn’t the quickest down the straight (gesturing to the #12 drivers) these boys beside me were absolute rockets and the Nissan wound it up again at the last five laps. All in all it was a massively enjoyable week for us. They are great cars. I couldn’t believe the traffic, I’m not used to so much traffic! It was also very nice that the Skippies kept to the other paddock and didn’t go on the track. It was a long, long day, but I’ll certainly be back.”

Toni Vilander

“Sometimes you have those days, you have a clear track and just feel really comfortable in the car. Even all the traffic seemed like it was dropping in the right places with the right timing. I had clear air with the car and it felt like it was working perfectly. Sometimes when you’re fast it feels like it’s easier so today was definitely one of those days,” Vilander said.

“I was fed up with all the stories from Mika Salo that he is the only Finn who can win here so now we are even at least! It is a big thing (to have the success with Ferrari), there are still races for me to win and this was one of them and now it it is done. I am really, really happy and really, really proud – this is a great team. Sometimes when you start the day you have a feeling something good might happen and here we are – winners.”

Craig Lowndes

“My day was actually quite easy. I did a lot of the morning shift and looked out for the traffic and brought the car home clean until the restart of my final stint.  For me, as Toni said, we rolled the car out and didn’t do much with it over the course of the couple of days. It was a much nicer car than the Ferrari 458 over the top of the mountain for both Jamie and I as far as becoming familiar with the car. We did have a good lead into this weekend and we did have some issues but we rectified that. With Toni putting it on pole yesterday we knew that we had a strong car, we just didn’t know who else was going to be strong for the day,” Lowndes said.

“The main objective for me was to stay out of trouble and keep it on the lead lap which I was lucky to do – getting out of the gravel trap. So that for me was the most important – to stay on the lead lap. We knew we had good car pace to come back. It was an enjoyable day to be part of the crew. As Jamie said, there are a lot of 888 guys who have come across from ‘Supercarland’ and it’s really opened their eyes to see what the GT world is all about and also about 12-hour racing. Normally we race in October and it is only six and a half hours, so we’ll come back in October and think it’s a sprint race!”

#12 Competition Motorsport powered by Ice Break Porsche 911 GT3 R – second outright and BRM Watches GT3 Pro-AM class winners

Marc Lieb

“It was quite an interesting race. The car has been fantastic throughout the whole weekend from day one on. We were up to the pace from the start and it was a good job by the team. We cycled through the race, we had some small incidents but of course were always fighting back. Sometimes we were lucky with the safety cars but at the end there weren’t enough yellows to catch it back and we were missing a bit of speed, but I think we are very happy with the second overall and the win in the class. It has been a fantastic weekend,” said Lieb.

Patrick Long

“We came here with two objectives. One was to do as well as we could and the second, which was a close second, was to have fun. CJ (David Calvert-Jones) has been a great friend, we are both based in Los Angeles and this has been something Marc and I have been talking about for quite a few months to get back over here and try and go for an overall. Matt was a great late addition, we took a look at the rules and thought that four drivers would be the best way and he became available, so it all just worked out great. Like Marc said, it was an adventurous day – you have to race hard and you have to fight because you know there are going to be yellows and track position means a lot. At the end there might have been an incident or two I could have taken back and done a little different, but I have no regrets. Looking forward, we had a strong GT3 – R and it held up.”

Matt Campbell

“(Towards the end of the race) I had two final stints to go and we were running third at the time. We had good pace and I just made a massive mistake there in my final stint (regarding the contact with the #32). I slipped off the brake pedal and it was totally my fault. It cost us a bit of time but thankfully we were able to get it turned around and continue on without too much damage. I am very thankful it wasn’t too much worse, it was an up and down day but thankfully it ended on an up.”

David Calvert-Jones

“I am feeling pretty good right now! It has been a great adventure. This is our fourth time here and thanks has to go to Patrick for being my mentor and helping me put these programs together, along with Ice Break and Virgin who have stepped up to get us here. It has been amazing. I can’t thank Patrick enough for coming out and also Marc, an amazing addition to the team. It was just going to be the three of us and then Matt became available last week, we asked him if he wanted to come for a drive and the two older boys threw him in the fire and made him work. Thanks goes to all those guys and all the organisers, and especially McElrea Racing for all they did for us,” Calvert-Jones said.

#17 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 – third outright, second in Liqui-Moly GT3 Pro-Pro class

Steven Kane

“We came here with a brand new car on Friday and we hadn’t even run it, so we lost a bit of time during qualifying and we just didn’t have the pace so we ended up 24th. To finish on the podium again is just amazing and the team did a really good job with strategy. Oliver was learning the car this weekend as it was his first time in the car in the dry and he did an amazing job and so did Guy – he is getting old but he still has the speed,” laughed Kane. “This is a really good result for the start of our season. We wanted to come here and go a bit better and finish first but it didn’t happen, but we are pleased with third.”

Oliver Jarvis

“I am pretty happy I have to say, this is an incredible place and I don’t think I have ever been in a race as brutal as that! I have been involved in a lot of endurance racing but I have never seen so much carnage within the first three or four hours of a race,” Jarvis said. “We had a game plan and that was simply to stay on the lead lap. We didn’t have a great run up to the race due a lot of issues with the brand new car but the team did a fantastic job. It didn’t stay issue free throughout the race, but coming out third is a great result and a credit to my team mates. We didn’t quite have the pace of the Ferrari boys next to me and congratulations goes to them – we will take the third and celebrate tonight.”

Guy Smith

“We didn’t really have the pace so we were just trying to make sure we stayed on the track and the lead lap. We had a couple of issues throughout the race and ultimately we didn’t have the pace but if you had told us last night after qualifying 24th that we would be on the podium today we would have taken it all day long. We are very happy – the team did a fantastic job and congrats to all the guys here for a great race.”

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12 hrs ago

CircuitProDigital

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport win fifth consecutive FIA Formula One Constructors' World Championship!

Lewis Hamilton took his 72nd career victory today, his tenth of the 2018 season and second in Interlagos
Valtteri set the fastest lap of the race - his tenth fastest lap in Formula One - and finished the race in P5
Today's result marks the 50th win of the hybrid era for Lewis, which means that he won more than 50 percent of the 99 races since 2014

The result also marks the tenth win for the Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, a championship-winning car that has now earned its designation as a true Silver Arrow
Lewis (383 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 81 points from Sebastian Vettel (302 points), with Valtteri (237 points) in P4

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (620 points) lead Ferrari (553 points) by 67 points in the Constructors' Championship - an unassailable lead with 43 points still to be scored in the 2018 season

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, accepted the Constructors' trophy on behalf of the team

Lewis Hamilton
That's real history in the making for the team. If I were to stop today with Mercedes, I would always remember this day and that I was a part of it and that's so cool. This has been a seriously tough year and everyone on this team has fought so hard, harder than we've ever fought and we're the most united that we've ever been - which is not expected when you've had success in previous years and could easily drop the ball. The guys have been continuing to raise the bar. Today was such a tough race for me, but I really wanted to deliver and win this for the team. It has such a big knock-on effect; everyone on the team can now go into the last race and into the winter, knowing that they won the world title and that they're legends. I am so grateful for all the hard work - here at the track, back home at the factories, at PETRONAS and all of our partners - I'm so proud to be part of this team. I'm actually kind of nervous to go back to the factories and hear the roar - I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible. I didn't expect the Red Bulls to be in the race like that today, I thought they'd be in a similar pace to us, but they were quite a bit quicker. We struggled with the tyres in the first stint and they were able to manage the tyres better than us. In the second stint, I was on the Medium tyre and had an issue with the engine, so I was really just trying to bring the car across the line. Max passed me which was painful, but then they had an issue and all of a sudden I was back in the lead. I was on the radio, telling my engineers "I don't want to give it up, tell me what I need to do" - I was pushing so hard at the end, taking every risk to bring it home with a win. This is a high, but I want to stay on that wave and win the next race as well.

Valtteri Bottas
I'm really happy and proud to be part of this team. This is down to hard work by every single team member, both back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth as well as here at the race track - they really deserve this title! It's usually only a few people who are in the spotlight all the time, but there are many, many hidden heroes in our team - thank you all! We kept everything together even under immense pressure, minimised our mistakes and did a great job developing the car - huge congratulations to everyone. The race today was a bit tricky; everything went as planned at the start and we could gain the lead at the beginning, but after that it got more difficult. In the first stint, I was struggling with overheating the tyres, in the second stint, I was struggling with blistering on the Mediums, so we had to stop a second time. I think we didn't quite have the pace today. It was a slightly tougher race than I expected, I was a bit more optimistic before the race, but overall it is a great day for Mercedes.

Toto Wolff
We just wrote Championship history - but winning the fifth double World Championship feels so surreal. Who would have thought this would be possible when we embarked on this mission eight years ago? If anyone had mentioned this record back then, we would have told them they are crazy. And yet, here we are today, having just equalled the Ferrari record from the Schumacher years. It's a great honour to represent Mercedes on the track and I can't thank everyone enough for their great work, both here at the track and in Brackley and Brixworth, and also for the continued support from Daimler in Stuttgart and PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur and Turin. None of this would have been possible without their contributions and without the hard work and the passion of everyone on the team. I had a conversation with Lewis on Sunday night in Mexico; he had just won his fifth world championship, but both of us were not fully satisfied - because our objective was to win both titles. That's why he was fighting so hard today because he wanted to finish this on a high, win the race and win the constructors' championship for the team. Valtteri had a trickier season than Lewis, but he has improved his performance this year and played a vital role for this championship success. Five consecutive titles - I'm immensely proud of this amazing achievement.
... See Less

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport win fifth consecutive FIA Formula One Constructors World Championship!

Lewis Hamilton took his 72nd career victory today, his tenth of the 2018 season and second in Interlagos
Valtteri set the fastest lap of the race - his tenth fastest lap in Formula One - and finished the race in P5
Todays result marks the 50th win of the hybrid era for Lewis, which means that he won more than 50 percent of the 99 races since 2014

The result also marks the tenth win for the Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, a championship-winning car that has now earned its designation as a true Silver Arrow
Lewis (383 points) leads the Drivers Championship by 81 points from Sebastian Vettel (302 points), with Valtteri (237 points) in P4

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (620 points) lead Ferrari (553 points) by 67 points in the Constructors Championship - an unassailable lead with 43 points still to be scored in the 2018 season

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, accepted the Constructors trophy on behalf of the team

Lewis Hamilton 
Thats real history in the making for the team. If I were to stop today with Mercedes, I would always remember this day and that I was a part of it and thats so cool. This has been a seriously tough year and everyone on this team has fought so hard, harder than weve ever fought and were the most united that weve ever been - which is not expected when youve had success in previous years and could easily drop the ball. The guys have been continuing to raise the bar. Today was such a tough race for me, but I really wanted to deliver and win this for the team. It has such a big knock-on effect; everyone on the team can now go into the last race and into the winter, knowing that they won the world title and that theyre legends. I am so grateful for all the hard work - here at the track, back home at the factories, at PETRONAS and all of our partners - Im so proud to be part of this team. Im actually kind of nervous to go back to the factories and hear the roar - I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible. I didnt expect the Red Bulls to be in the race like that today, I thought theyd be in a similar pace to us, but they were quite a bit quicker. We struggled with the tyres in the first stint and they were able to manage the tyres better than us. In the second stint, I was on the Medium tyre and had an issue with the engine, so I was really just trying to bring the car across the line. Max passed me which was painful, but then they had an issue and all of a sudden I was back in the lead. I was on the radio, telling my engineers I dont want to give it up, tell me what I need to do - I was pushing so hard at the end, taking every risk to bring it home with a win. This is a high, but I want to stay on that wave and win the next race as well. 
 
Valtteri Bottas 
Im really happy and proud to be part of this team. This is down to hard work by every single team member, both back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth as well as here at the race track - they really deserve this title! Its usually only a few people who are in the spotlight all the time, but there are many, many hidden heroes in our team - thank you all! We kept everything together even under immense pressure, minimised our mistakes and did a great job developing the car - huge congratulations to everyone. The race today was a bit tricky; everything went as planned at the start and we could gain the lead at the beginning, but after that it got more difficult. In the first stint, I was struggling with overheating the tyres, in the second stint, I was struggling with blistering on the Mediums, so we had to stop a second time. I think we didnt quite have the pace today. It was a slightly tougher race than I expected, I was a bit more optimistic before the race, but overall it is a great day for Mercedes. 
 
Toto Wolff 
We just wrote Championship history - but winning the fifth double World Championship feels so surreal. Who would have thought this would be possible when we embarked on this mission eight years ago? If anyone had mentioned this record back then, we would have told them they are crazy. And yet, here we are today, having just equalled the Ferrari record from the Schumacher years. Its a great honour to represent Mercedes on the track and I cant thank everyone enough for their great work, both here at the track and in Brackley and Brixworth, and also for the continued support from Daimler in Stuttgart and PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur and Turin. None of this would have been possible without their contributions and without the hard work and the passion of everyone on the team. I had a conversation with Lewis on Sunday night in Mexico; he had just won his fifth world championship, but both of us were not fully satisfied - because our objective was to win both titles. Thats why he was fighting so hard today because he wanted to finish this on a high, win the race and win the constructors championship for the team. Valtteri had a trickier season than Lewis, but he has improved his performance this year and played a vital role for this championship success. Five consecutive titles - Im immensely proud of this amazing achievement.

12 hrs ago

CircuitProDigital

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport win fifth consecutive FIA Formula One Constructors' World Championship!
Lewis Hamilton took his 72nd career victory today, his tenth of the 2018 season and second in Interlagos
Valtteri set the fastest lap of the race - his tenth fastest lap in Formula One - and finished the race in P5
Today's result marks the 50th win of the hybrid era for Lewis, which means that he won more than 50 percent of the 99 races since 2014
The result also marks the tenth win for the Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, a championship-winning car that has now earned its designation as a true Silver Arrow
Lewis (383 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 81 points from Sebastian Vettel (302 points), with Valtteri (237 points) in P4
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (620 points) lead Ferrari (553 points) by 67 points in the Constructors' Championship - an unassailable lead with 43 points still to be scored in the 2018 season

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, accepted the Constructors' trophy on behalf of the team

-----------------------

Lewis Hamilton
That's real history in the making for the team. If I were to stop today with Mercedes, I would always remember this day and that I was a part of it and that's so cool. This has been a seriously tough year and everyone on this team has fought so hard, harder than we've ever fought and we're the most united that we've ever been - which is not expected when you've had success in previous years and could easily drop the ball. The guys have been continuing to raise the bar. Today was such a tough race for me, but I really wanted to deliver and win this for the team. It has such a big knock-on effect; everyone on the team can now go into the last race and into the winter, knowing that they won the world title and that they're legends. I am so grateful for all the hard work - here at the track, back home at the factories, at PETRONAS and all of our partners - I'm so proud to be part of this team. I'm actually kind of nervous to go back to the factories and hear the roar - I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible. I didn't expect the Red Bulls to be in the race like that today, I thought they'd be in a similar pace to us, but they were quite a bit quicker. We struggled with the tyres in the first stint and they were able to manage the tyres better than us. In the second stint, I was on the Medium tyre and had an issue with the engine, so I was really just trying to bring the car across the line. Max passed me which was painful, but then they had an issue and all of a sudden I was back in the lead. I was on the radio, telling my engineers "I don't want to give it up, tell me what I need to do" - I was pushing so hard at the end, taking every risk to bring it home with a win. This is a high, but I want to stay on that wave and win the next race as well.

Valtteri Bottas
I'm really happy and proud to be part of this team. This is down to hard work by every single team member, both back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth as well as here at the race track - they really deserve this title! It's usually only a few people who are in the spotlight all the time, but there are many, many hidden heroes in our team - thank you all! We kept everything together even under immense pressure, minimised our mistakes and did a great job developing the car - huge congratulations to everyone. The race today was a bit tricky; everything went as planned at the start and we could gain the lead at the beginning, but after that it got more difficult. In the first stint, I was struggling with overheating the tyres, in the second stint, I was struggling with blistering on the Mediums, so we had to stop a second time. I think we didn't quite have the pace today. It was a slightly tougher race than I expected, I was a bit more optimistic before the race, but overall it is a great day for Mercedes.

Toto Wolff
We just wrote Championship history - but winning the fifth double World Championship feels so surreal. Who would have thought this would be possible when we embarked on this mission eight years ago? If anyone had mentioned this record back then, we would have told them they are crazy. And yet, here we are today, having just equalled the Ferrari record from the Schumacher years. It's a great honour to represent Mercedes on the track and I can't thank everyone enough for their great work, both here at the track and in Brackley and Brixworth, and also for the continued support from Daimler in Stuttgart and PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur and Turin. None of this would have been possible without their contributions and without the hard work and the passion of everyone on the team. I had a conversation with Lewis on Sunday night in Mexico; he had just won his fifth world championship, but both of us were not fully satisfied - because our objective was to win both titles. That's why he was fighting so hard today because he wanted to finish this on a high, win the race and win the constructors' championship for the team. Valtteri had a trickier season than Lewis, but he has improved his performance this year and played a vital role for this championship success. Five consecutive titles - I'm immensely proud of this amazing achievement.

James Allison
This is an amazing, amazing group of people built up over many years. The skill and the dedication in a sport that is famously complicated - to get all those ducks lined up in a row, not just once or twice but season after season - is just incredible. What was difficult about this season is that the opposition were that quick. We came to the races not knowing if we were going to win, not having any idea whether they were going to smash us. It ebbed and flowed all through the year. We thought we had them punched down so many times - only for them to bounce back up and give us a really tough time, and it's still happening now. The fact that this year has been so desperately close shows that the difference between the teams is utterly tiny - and it was Lewis who made the difference for us this year. He keeps putting it on pole, in the races we can make mistakes and he'll recover it by doing something unlikely on the track that no-one sees coming and he's spent the whole year not making mistakes. He's just the consummate racing driver. We're very lucky with the driver partnership that we have. Valtteri had a lot of bad luck at the start of the year when he might have had some race wins and has not had the same success that Lewis has had. Valtteri has been stronger this year than he was last year, he's been a brilliant team-mate to us all and a huge asset.
... See Less

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport win fifth consecutive FIA Formula One Constructors World Championship!
Lewis Hamilton took his 72nd career victory today, his tenth of the 2018 season and second in Interlagos
Valtteri set the fastest lap of the race - his tenth fastest lap in Formula One - and finished the race in P5
Todays result marks the 50th win of the hybrid era for Lewis, which means that he won more than 50 percent of the 99 races since 2014
The result also marks the tenth win for the Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, a championship-winning car that has now earned its designation as a true Silver Arrow
Lewis (383 points) leads the Drivers Championship by 81 points from Sebastian Vettel (302 points), with Valtteri (237 points) in P4
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (620 points) lead Ferrari (553 points) by 67 points in the Constructors Championship - an unassailable lead with 43 points still to be scored in the 2018 season

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, accepted the Constructors trophy on behalf of the team

-----------------------

Lewis Hamilton 
Thats real history in the making for the team. If I were to stop today with Mercedes, I would always remember this day and that I was a part of it and thats so cool. This has been a seriously tough year and everyone on this team has fought so hard, harder than weve ever fought and were the most united that weve ever been - which is not expected when youve had success in previous years and could easily drop the ball. The guys have been continuing to raise the bar. Today was such a tough race for me, but I really wanted to deliver and win this for the team. It has such a big knock-on effect; everyone on the team can now go into the last race and into the winter, knowing that they won the world title and that theyre legends. I am so grateful for all the hard work - here at the track, back home at the factories, at PETRONAS and all of our partners - Im so proud to be part of this team. Im actually kind of nervous to go back to the factories and hear the roar - I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible. I didnt expect the Red Bulls to be in the race like that today, I thought theyd be in a similar pace to us, but they were quite a bit quicker. We struggled with the tyres in the first stint and they were able to manage the tyres better than us. In the second stint, I was on the Medium tyre and had an issue with the engine, so I was really just trying to bring the car across the line. Max passed me which was painful, but then they had an issue and all of a sudden I was back in the lead. I was on the radio, telling my engineers I dont want to give it up, tell me what I need to do - I was pushing so hard at the end, taking every risk to bring it home with a win. This is a high, but I want to stay on that wave and win the next race as well. 
 
Valtteri Bottas 
Im really happy and proud to be part of this team. This is down to hard work by every single team member, both back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth as well as here at the race track - they really deserve this title! Its usually only a few people who are in the spotlight all the time, but there are many, many hidden heroes in our team - thank you all! We kept everything together even under immense pressure, minimised our mistakes and did a great job developing the car - huge congratulations to everyone. The race today was a bit tricky; everything went as planned at the start and we could gain the lead at the beginning, but after that it got more difficult. In the first stint, I was struggling with overheating the tyres, in the second stint, I was struggling with blistering on the Mediums, so we had to stop a second time. I think we didnt quite have the pace today. It was a slightly tougher race than I expected, I was a bit more optimistic before the race, but overall it is a great day for Mercedes. 
 
Toto Wolff 
We just wrote Championship history - but winning the fifth double World Championship feels so surreal. Who would have thought this would be possible when we embarked on this mission eight years ago? If anyone had mentioned this record back then, we would have told them they are crazy. And yet, here we are today, having just equalled the Ferrari record from the Schumacher years. Its a great honour to represent Mercedes on the track and I cant thank everyone enough for their great work, both here at the track and in Brackley and Brixworth, and also for the continued support from Daimler in Stuttgart and PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur and Turin. None of this would have been possible without their contributions and without the hard work and the passion of everyone on the team. I had a conversation with Lewis on Sunday night in Mexico; he had just won his fifth world championship, but both of us were not fully satisfied - because our objective was to win both titles. Thats why he was fighting so hard today because he wanted to finish this on a high, win the race and win the constructors championship for the team. Valtteri had a trickier season than Lewis, but he has improved his performance this year and played a vital role for this championship success. Five consecutive titles - Im immensely proud of this amazing achievement. 
 
James Allison 
This is an amazing, amazing group of people built up over many years. The skill and the dedication in a sport that is famously complicated - to get all those ducks lined up in a row, not just once or twice but season after season - is just incredible. What was difficult about this season is that the opposition were that quick. We came to the races not knowing if we were going to win, not having any idea whether they were going to smash us. It ebbed and flowed all through the year. We thought we had them punched down so many times - only for them to bounce back up and give us a really tough time, and its still happening now. The fact that this year has been so desperately close shows that the difference between the teams is utterly tiny - and it was Lewis who made the difference for us this year. He keeps putting it on pole, in the races we can make mistakes and hell recover it by doing something unlikely on the track that no-one sees coming and hes spent the whole year not making mistakes. Hes just the consummate racing driver. Were very lucky with the driver partnership that we have. Valtteri had a lot of bad luck at the start of the year when he might have had some race wins and has not had the same success that Lewis has had. Valtteri has been stronger this year than he was last year, hes been a brilliant team-mate to us all and a huge asset.
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