• IN WORDS: When Athletes Become Legends - Dr. Dieter Zetsche

Dr. Dieter Zetsche pays tribute to the newly-crowned five-time F1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton

'Something extraordinary in racing history!'

It all came to a climax on Sunday afternoon when Lewis crossed the line in fourth place, sealing his fifth Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.

Watching the action were thousands of enthusiastic spectators on the packed grandstands in Mexico and millions of fans glued to their TV screens at home.

Among the latter was Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and the entire Mercedes team,“ he said. „Together, you guys created something extraordinary in racing history!"

Dr Zetsche has closely followed Lewis's career development, especially since he joined the Mercedes F1 team in 2013. "With Lewis joining our team, the most recent era of Mercedes success in motorsport began - now crowned by five Drivers' World Championships in a row for the team, four of them with Lewis."

"Even as the success grew, Lewis never stopped pushing himself to get even better. And, so did the team, again and again. It's incredible what they have achieved and how far they have come thanks to tremendous passion, hard work and a lot of outstanding expertise."

'Each of those drivers dominated an era'

Lewis's most recent title win puts him into an elite group of just three drivers who have won five or more World Championships in Formula One.

The other two are Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher. All three occupy a special place in the racing history of Mercedes-Benz; indeed, Fangio's name is now almost synonymous with the historic success story of the Silver Arrows in the 1950s.

"With this result, Lewis punched his well-deserved ticket to join that super exclusive club of just three drivers who've won five or more Formula One titles," Dr. Zetsche admits.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and work with all three of them at Mercedes-Benz. Each of those drivers dominated an era in motorsport - in his own way. Each is a very special personality and great athlete."

For Dr. Zetsche, Sunday was an epic evening in the motor racing history: "It's rare that one gets the opportunity to watch up close when athletes become legends and teams truly gel to become the absolute best in the world. That's what just happened."