MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS secured second place in the Constructors’ Championship today after a thrilling final race of the season.
“Well, I’ve certainly got a few more grey hairs after that race! Both cars made fantastic starts but it was soon clear that we hadn’t found the sweet spot with the car balance for Nico and he was struggling for rear-end grip. Lewis was stronger in the opening stint and showed good pace before and after his first stop,” said Ross. “Our race obviously turned on the two drive-through penalties for Felipe and Lewis. Our drivers had been reporting that Felipe was consistently crossing the white line at pit entry with all four wheels and when the FIA eventually took action, that obviously helped us.”
“Then we had Lewis’ unfortunate incident with Bottas and we have to take that one on the chin as we should have kept Lewis better informed of just how quickly the Williams was closing, even though he was a lap down,” explained Ross. “He then drove strongly after the penalty, especially considering his floor was damaged by the flailing tyre. But the key thing today is that the team secured second position in the Constructors’ Championship, even though we made rather hard work of it. That was done on the basis of a very good step forwards and one we made for good reasons. My thanks and congratulations to everyone at our team for all of their hard work, dedication and commitment. Red Bull have been extremely dominant in 2013, and congratulations to them. But our progress is the first fruits of the technical team we began building two years ago and I am optimistic that the trend of progress will continue in 2014.”
The team finished the 2013 season with a total of 360 points - 218 more than in 2012. The season saw a total of three wins, six further podiums and eight pole positions.
“Our target today was to secure second position in the Constructors’ Championship; we achieved that target and that’s what counts. Ferrari, and Fernando in particular, made life extremely hard for us in the first half of the race and that kept us on our toes and gave us some nervous moments,” said Toto. “Lewis’ incident with Valtteri was unfortunate; we must be glad that it did not ultimately cost us any positions in the standings and learn our lessons from it. Thank you to everyone at the team, both at the track and at our factories, for their efforts and please keep up the hard work! Congratulations also to Red Bull, who once again showed incredible pace and have set the standard this season. From tomorrow, our attention will be fully focused on 2014 and taking another significant step forward in performance.”