Every IZOD IndyCar Series team has to maintain a never-ending pursuit of victory. The strong level of competition throughout the series demands it, and team owner Sam Schmidt understands how much of a boost it can be to defeat such a stout field of rivals.
“Winning is the ultimate goal here — second place is just the first loser,” Schmidt says in a Honda Racing online video that focused on his team’s efforts last weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
“The competition level is so high that when you do win, it’s just the ultimate accomplishment. Because you know you’ve beat the best drivers and the best teams in the world…It really takes a team effort to get it done. To win at this level takes extreme commitment, training, dedication, hard work, and, I’d say most of all, it takes courage.”
The first episode of Honda’s “Inside the Indy Challenge” also touches on how Schmidt’s drivers, Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier, have made their way to the top level of American open-wheel racing. You can check out the full clip here.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.