Christmas came early this year for the Silver Arrows. After an equally challenging and successful Formula One season, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport received a few treats in the past days – including the FIA Formula One World Championship trophies. On Sunday, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ won the title “Racing Car of the Year” at the renowned Autosport Awards in London. Yesterday, the team was awarded its fourth consecutive FIA Formula One World Constructors’ Championship trophy at the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Versailles, France, while Lewis received his fourth Drivers’ Championship trophy. And tonight, colleagues from both Brixworth and Brackley will celebrate together at the team’s legendary Christmas Party.
2017 stats: A busy year in numbers
It has been a busy season for the Silver Arrows by every measure. Every team member had to go the extra mile in order to defend the titles across a major regulation change, following a renewed challenge from our rivals at Ferrari and Red Bull. The fact that Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport was the first team in Formula One history to achieve this goal underlines just how difficult an endeavour this was.
The stats paint the same picture: 2017 was a year of hard work, but also one of great success. Over the course of the season, the Silver Arrows won 12 of the 20 races, claimed 15 pole positions and led 714 out of 1,196 race laps. Including practice and qualifying sessions as well as pre-season and in-season tests, the two cars completed 7,789 laps – that’s 127,802 corners and 382,233 gear changes. The numbers for Mercedes-Benz Power are equally impressive: Mercedes-Benz powered cars accrued a total of 938 points in 2017 and raced 6,783 laps – more than any other engine manufacturer. The engineers also counted a total of 21,871 completed laps, 1,075,026 gear changes and 874,840,000 fuel injections. Indeed, Lewis completed every single racing lap but one during the 2017 season.
From the Autosport Awards to the FIA Prize Giving Gala
The team’s extraordinary performance is not just reflected in this year’s stats; it was also recognised by a number of awards that the Silver Arrows received in the past week. The celebrations started with the Autosport Awards on Sunday where the team picked up the trophy for Racing Car of the Year – winning the prestigious award for the fourth consecutive time. At the same event, Lewis won the categories International Racing Driver and British Competition Driver.
The following day, he received three prizes while attending the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Annual Awards Lunch: two BRDC Gold Stars – one in recognition of the strongest performance of the year in international motorsport, the other one for winning the Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship – and the Johnny Wakefield Trophy for the fastest lap of the Silverstone circuit. Lewis is now the most decorated recipient of BRDC Gold Stars in the history of the Club, surpassing the record of 10 Gold Stars previously set by Sir Stirling Moss. On Tuesday, Engineering Director Aldo Costa travelled to his home country Italy where he accepted Autosprint’s annual Cascho d’Oro on behalf of the team.
The most prestigious award ceremony, however, did not take place until yesterday, when the FIA Prize Giving Gala was held in the historic Palais de Versailles just outside Paris. For the fourth consecutive time, the FIA Formula One World Constructors’ Championship was awarded to Mercedes. And it was also the fourth time that Lewis collected the FIA Formula One World Drivers’ Championship trophy – all of which he won in a Mercedes-powered car.
The best party is yet to start
“This has been a very challenging season for us,” Toto said. “We knew that we set ourselves an ambitious goal when we said that we want to defend the titles across a major regulation change. We raced against some very strong opponents who put up a good fight. So every team member had to work extra hard in order to reach our target. I am incredibly proud of the accomplishment and I want to thank everyone in Brixworth, Brackley and Stuttgart for their hard work.
“It’s great to see the all the other motorsport champions being honoured here as well,” he continued. “I know how hard everyone fought who received a championship trophy tonight – huge congratulations to all of you!”
While the FIA Prize Giving Gala marks the official end to the 2017 Formula One season, there’s still one event to come: the Silver Arrow’s legendary Christmas Party. Some people call it “the best party in F1”, others claim that they think it was great, but they don’t remember much... All we know is: it will be a celebration worthy of four consecutive world championships.