Dubai: Black Falcon AMG GT3 takes outright win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2018

Dubai: Black Falcon AMG GT3 takes outright win at the Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2018

 

DUBAI (13 January) – The Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#2, Abdulaziz Al Faisal / Hubert Haupt / Yelmer Buurman / Gabriele Piana) has won the 2018 Hankook 24H DUBAI, the 13th running of the annual event that, at one point, had looked likely to be won by the sister #3 entry.

Abdulaziz Al Faisal drove the #2 Mercedes-AMG across the finish line after completing 606 laps of the 5.39km Dubai Autodrome. The result continues the event’s domination by German manufacturers and cements Buurman, Haupt and Al Faisal as dual winners of the Hankook 24H DUBAI following their first victory together in 2015 with Black Falcon.

“I can’t express how happy I am!” explained Al Faisal. “My thanks to my team and my teammates, it’s been an amazing job from everyone. I’ve done this for 11 years now, and finally I’ve won it for a second time. It was a bit harder this year, the competition has grown, but I’m really happy to be here!”

The overall 24H GT and A6-Pro leaders finished just two laps ahead of the Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R (#12, Otto Klohs / Lars Kern / Mathieu Jaminet / Sven Müller), which replicated the runners-up spot it achieved at the same event 12 months earlier. Incredibly, the GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (#964, Mark Ineichen / Rolf Ineichen / Christian Engelhart / Mirko Bortolotti) finished just five seconds further back, completing the overall top three and A6-Pro podium in the process. The Lamborghini had qualified on the 24H GT pole position, but would fall to the back of the pack in the opening stages thanks to three successive punctures.

The SPS automotive performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#16, Valentin Pierburg / Tim Müller / Lance-David Arnold / Dominik Baumann) was the fastest A6-Am runner in 4th place overall, finishing just one lap ahead of the V8 Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1 (#18, Luc Braams / Duncan Huisman / Alex van t’Hoff / Rick Abresch / Finlay Hutchison). The HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#25, Alexander Hrachowina / Indy Dontje / Bernd Schneider / Martin Konrad / Brice Bosi) had led the class until its fuel cap worked itself loose, coinciding with gearbox problems, but recovered to complete the A6-Am podium. Reigning Champions of the Continents Herberth Motorsport (#911, Daniel Allemann / Ralf Bohn / Robert Renauer / Alfred Renauer / Dennis Olsen) could do no better than 4th in-class thanks to power steering failure at an event the #911 Porsche 991 GT3 R won outright last year with Formula 1 Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley at the wheel.

In the newly segregated 991-Pro class, the FACH AUTO TECH Porsche 991-II Cup (#62, Matt Campbell / Julien Andlauer / Thomas Preining / Jens Richter) took class victory ahead of category polesitters race:pro motorsport (#63, Stanislav Minsky / Murad Sultanov / Klaus Bachler / David Jahn / Nicholas Foster) and Porsche 991-I Cup (#82, Artem Soloviev / Vadim Meshcheriakov / Denis Gromov / Roman Rusinov). The second race:pro motorsport entry (#26, Stephen Grove / Bertram Hornung / Matthias Jeserich / Glenn van Parijs) fared better in 911-Am, taking category honours ahead of the MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II Cup (#67, James Thorpe / Sean Mc Inerney / Phil Quaife / Claudio Cappelli). Former 24H SERIES champions Duel Racing (#95, Ramzi Moutran / Nabil Moutran / Sami Moutran / Jules Westwood) completed the 911-Am podium, two laps further adrift.

After several years away from the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook, Tsunami R.T. (#37, Andrii Kruglyk / Come Ledogar / Oleksandr Gaidai / Alessio Rovera) made a successful return to the series with its Porsche 991 Cup MR II, pulling a 21-lap gap over the MRS GT-Racing Porsche 991-II (#89, Helmut Rödig / Georg Bernsteiner / Altfrid Heger / Christopher Zöchling) in the process to take SPX category honours. Further back, the category pole sitting Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo (#10, Oliver Webb / Lim Keong Wee / Melvin Moh / Aleksander Schjerpen / Tadas Volbikas) secured the final spot on the category podium, just ahead of last year’s class winner’s GDL Racing Team Middle East.

The VDS Racing Adventures MARC Focus V8 (#58, Raphaël van der Straten / Karim Al Azari / Grégory Paisse / Wolfgang Haugg / José Close) got its SP2 title defence off to a good start with class victory ahead of the CCS Racing KTM X-BOW (#201, Charel Arendt / Holger Baumgartner / Tom Kieffer / Uwe Schmidt) and the Speed Lover Porsche 991-I (#78, Dominique Bastien / Jesus Diez / Carlos Rivas / Bob Wilwert), while the only other KTM X-BOW in the field – that of KTM MMotorsport Australia – suffered mechanical woes that ultimately dropped the #246 X-BOW to 5th in-class in-sight of the chequered flag.

Phoenix Racing meanwhile secured a provisional GT4 1-2 finish with its pair of brand new Audi R8 LMS GTs, a strong result on the category’s 24H SERIES debut. The #248 entry (Philip Ellis / Joonas Lappalainen / Gosia Rdest / John-Louis Jasper) finished ahead of the #247 R8 LMS GT (Adderly Fong / Marchy Lee / Shaun Wei Fung Thong / Darryl O’Young / Charles Kwan) with both pulling away from BLACK FALCON Team TMD Friction Mercedes-AMG GT R SP-X (#264, Kevin Wing Kin Tse / Jonathan Hui / Antares Au / Frank Yu) throughout the night.

The first ever endurance race for the McLaren 570S GT4 would come to an early end when the ALFAB Racing entry (#241, Erik Behrens / Daniel Ros / Fredrik Ros / Anders Lewin) would retire with turbocharger failure. The most high profile retirements of the 24H SERIES powered by Hankook season opener, however, involved a collision between the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 (#3, Khaled Al Qubaisi / Jeroen Bleekemolen / Luca Stolz / Manuel Metzger) and the Mercedes of reigning Teams’ and A6 champions Hofor-Racing )  (#1, Michael Kroll / Chantal Kroll / Roland Eggimann / Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout). The Black Falcon Mercedes had led 198 laps until that point and looked set for victory but a collision under braking meant both would retire on the spot.


Liqui Moly Team Engstler opens 24H TCE season with first win

The Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR (#130, Luca Engstler / Florian Thoma / Benjamin Leuchter / Jean Karl Vernay) meanwhile continued Germany’s domination of the Hankook 24H DUBAI by securing the team its first series victory at the Dubai Autodrome.

The German-based outfit ultimately finished ahead of the LMS Racing by Bas Koeten Racing SEAT Leon TCR (#129, Olli Kangas / Kari-Pekka Laaksonen / Antti Buri / Willem Meijer) and the Bonk Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS (#115, Hermann Bock / Max Partl / Rainer Partl / Volker Piepmeyer / Michael Bonk) in a TCR podium lockout that also saw three different manufacturers finish in the top three. The dual Peugeot 308 Racing Cup entries of reigning TCR champions Team Altran Peugeot meanwhile would finish line-abreast two places further back, the #308 entry (Guillaume Roman / Olivier Baron / Michael Carlsen / Kim Holmgaard) leading the sister #908 (Lionel Amrouche / Cyril Calmon / Henrik Sørensen / Aram Martroussian) over the line.

 

Further back, the CWS Engineering Ginetta G55 (#178, Colin White / Jac Constable / Simon Murray / Bradley Liebenberg) would secure SP3 class victory, and would be the first of two entries from the British outfit to finish on the podium. The second, #278 (Adam Hayes / Steven Wells / James May / Paul May) would finish 3rd in-class after a tumultuous race, while LAMERA-CUP (#238, Nicolas Beraud / Fabien Delaplace / Laurent Piguet / Stephane Pasquet) would split the pair in 2nd place. 24H TCE polesitters Century Motorsport (#229, Nathan Freke / Jon Barnes / Mark Farmer / Dominic Paul) would drop to 4th in-class after early mechanical issues.

 

Further back in CUP1, Hofor-Racing powered by Bonk Motorsport (#131, Martin Kroll / Michael Schrey / Michael Fischer / Bernd Küpper / Gustav Engljähringer) would head an all-BMW M235i Racing Cup category podium ahead of Sorg Rennsport (#151, Stephan Epp / Fabian Danz / Kris Richard / Josh Caygill / Yannick Mettler) and QSR Racingschool (#154, Jimmy de Breucker / Mario Timmers / Rodrigue Gillion / Tom Boonen / Simon Klemund).

 

Propping up the field, the Ciceley Motorsport Renault Clio Cup IV (#162, Adam Morgan / Max Bird / Frank Bird / Jake Giddings) successfully completed its debut 24-hour endurance race with victory in the A2 class, just ahead of the 2017 A2 championship-winning Jönsson Consulting Peugeot RCZ (#171, Søren Jönsson / Lars Mogensen / Niels Nyboe / Christian Hansen / Kasper Bruun). Bouncing back from early collision damage, the second Ciceley Motorsport entry (#164, Max Coates / Harald Rettich / Adam Hatfield / Steffan Jusjong) completed the A2 podium.

 

One notable retirement from the 24H TCE SERIES powered by Hankook season opener in Dubai was the only Honda Civic TCR in the field, run by RKC/TGM Motorsport (#99, Ricky Coomber / Thomas Gannon / David Drinkwater / Umair Khan), which retired prematurely with a broken head gasket on its competitive world debut.

 

CREVENTIC’s 2018 endurance racing program will continue in just a few weeks time in the UK, as the 24H TCE SERIES powered by Hankook gears up for the Hankook 24H SILVERSTONE on 9-10-11 March. The 24H GT will also be back in action that weekend with the supporting Hankook 12H SILVERSTONE for GT and Prototype machinery alike. Further information can be found at www.24hseries.com.

 

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11 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.

11 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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