Michael finished in sixth place at today’s Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, making up two places on his starting position, whilst Nico came from the back row of the grid to finish in the points in 10th place.
Michael completed a three-stop strategy, running option/option/option/prime, whilst Nico also completed three stops from his P23 starting position, running prime/option/option/option.
Of 65 total pit stops today, just nine were under 21 seconds - and five of those were by MERCEDES GP PETRONAS. In a race with only one retirement, Michael and Nico gained a total of 15 places from their grid positions. Today’s race was the fourth consecutive Grand Prix which has featured a Safety Car deployment.
Ross said: “We made the absolute most of the car and opportunities we had at our disposal today. The car performed well throughout the race, our strategies were right for both cars, and the pit crew produced fantastic stops - we have performed strongly all year in the pits, and today our stops won us places, particularly for Nico during the Safety Car period when he jumped two cars. Michael and Nico both delivered great performances in the cockpit, passing cleanly when they needed to and defending strongly. Overall, I think it was a very exciting race and a fitting Grand Prix in which to crown a new World Champion. Congratulations to Sebastian and Red Bull Racing on his second World Championship - he has driven impeccably all year, and together they have set the standards we must now aim for and exceed.”
For Norbert: “Michael and Nico both delivered strong races this afternoon and quite competitive lap times. Michael raced and finished among the top three teams, leading laps during the pit stop cycles, and Nico drove strongly through the field into the points, as we believed he could after qualifying yesterday, even starting from P23. Compliments to our pit stop and strategy crew as well, who played a key role in our team result this afternoon. Congratulations to Jenson Button and McLaren-Mercedes on their victory over the World Champion but, most of all, we take our hats off to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing - not just for winning the title, but also for defending it with an exceptional level of performance throughout the season.”