Nico Rosberg has claimed that his victory in the British Grand Prix is a “special day” for all involved with Mercedes’ Formula One operations.
The German driver took the win after pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and compatriot Sebastian Vettel both had car troubles when in the lead, and Rosberg is delighted to have won just a few miles away from the team’s factory at Brackley.
“It’s a very special day. Our team has done such a fantastic job,” Rosberg said on the podium after the race.
Yesterday after qualifying in P2, Rosberg spoke of the momentum that the team had built so far this season and he was quick to thank everyone who had made this possible.
“This is for my team colleagues working away in the factory, this is for all of you out there.”
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Rosberg took the lead of the race with just eleven laps remaining after Vettel lost drive, and today’s race winner made no secret of his delight at his compatriot’s demise.
“When Sebastian stopped, I won’t lie, I wasn’t disappointed about that one. Just a great race from then.”
This marks Rosberg’s third grand prix victory and he will be pushing to become the first German to win his home race since Michael Schumacher in 2006.
Lewis Hamilton says the Mercedes Formula 1 team cannot afford to let up in its push to improve ahead of a fiercer fight at the front of the field in 2018 – potentially including former team McLaren.
Hamilton clinched his fourth F1 drivers’ title in Mexico at the end of October as Mercedes continued its perfect record of championships since the introduction of the new V6 turbo hybrid engines in 2014.
The team faced a stiffer challenge in 2017 thanks to a resurgent Ferrari, while Red Bull also posed a threat towards the end of the season, setting the stage for another close fight next year.
Hamilton is expecting both Ferrari and Red Bull to remain a force at the front of the pack, but also feels McLaren could join the fight after ditching Honda in favor of a Renault engine supply for 2018.
“When I’m training and preparing for a new season, I firmly believe that we can be contenders for the next championship. It may turn out to be not possible, but you have to have that mindset,” Hamilton said.
“If you go in with expectations of finishing fifth, it’s not going to work. You’ve got to gear yourself up to win.
“Next year, McLaren will have Renault engines, then we may see four teams fighting for the championship. I think Red Bull will be quicker and Ferrari for sure will be fast again.
“We can’t stand still – we have to keep moving forwards.”
Hamilton started his F1 career with McLaren back in 2007, winning his maiden world title in 2008 before leaving the team for Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season.