The era of V8 engines in Formula One has come to a close in Brazil as Sebastian Vettel handed Renault one final victory as an engine manufacturer using its current configuration of power unit.
Over the years, there has been an increasing push to cut costs and subsequently reduce the size of the engines, meaning that the V8s replace V10s back in 2006. However, next year will see the introduction of turbocharged V6 engines, meaning that the V8s have come to the end of their eight year life cycle in Formula One.
The era has been dominated by Renault who tasted championship success with its own works team in 2006 before an imperious run of form powering Red Bull as the team has developed from midfield runners to quadruple world champions. The French manufacturers ended the V8 era as they began it: by winning. Sebastian Vettel claimed his ninth straight win in today’s Brazilian Grand Prix with a fine display that saw him finish the season in style.
“Winning today seems a fitting end to the era – we’ve won a lot of races and learned a great deal,” deputy managing director Rob White explained. “The challenge facing the Viry team for 2014 cannot be underestimated. Success in the past is no guarantee of success in the future, but if we keep the same spirit and work ethic that have yielded results with the V8, it bodes well for next year and beyond.”
The V8 engine has certainly served Formula One well, and the new configuration of power unit in 2014 has a tough act to follow.
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.