Monaco Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg has praised the improvement that Mercedes have made since the Spanish Grand Prix, allowing him to claim his first win of the season.
The win was particularly special for Rosberg as his father, Keke, won the race thirty years ago, and Nico has spent most of his life in Monaco.
“Yeah, amazing,” Rosberg began in the post-race press conference. “This is my home, I grew up here, I went to school here, I’ve lived here all my life so it’s a very special day for me.”
Rosberg was able to hang on to the lead heading into the first corner, but he revealed after the race that his start was poor.
“The whole weekend went perfectly. The start was very close, terrible start, so close to Sebastian and with Lewis also, but then that worked out well.
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“After that, I was just able to control the pace and the car was really good, you know, the tires held on okay so that was really the key to the victory today. Massive thanks to the team, firmly improved from Barcelona, and I’m just ecstatic.”
Rosberg’s victory was certainly a long time in the making, with the team failing to convert any of its previous three pole positions into a win in 2013. However, it was fourth time lucky for the German team, and Rosberg will be delighted to have won in such fashion, even with the cloud of a protest from Red Bull hanging over the team’s head.
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.