Alonso and Button weigh in on Mercedes championship fight

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Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have both shared their thoughts on the battle for the drivers’ championship unfolding at Mercedes in 2014.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have enjoyed racing by far the fastest car in 2014, winning all but one of the races – only McLaren in 1988 has made a better start to an F1 season – but the internal fight looks set to rage on.

Currently, just four points separate the two drivers at the top of the standings, and as the F1 season reaches its halfway point, we’re poised for a fascinating battle.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are two drivers who have been embroiled inΒ title fights over the years, and for Alonso, a psychological battle for victory is not only inevitable, but it is also important for those involved.

“It’s very important,” said the Ferrari driver on mind games. “I think it’s a very tight fight. Rosberg’s still in front, they will fight until the end probably, because even if someone has some retirements, with the 50 points in Abu Dhabi, it’s difficult to imagine one of them will arrive with more than 5o [in hand], so it will be very interesting.

“They will enjoy the fight, but at the same time there will be some ups and downs, and they have to be strong as well.”

Jenson Button was rather diplomatic and refused to pick a winner, but he did say that he hopes that the 2014 world champion is a deserving one.

“Score more points! Do a better job!” he quipped when asked how to beat your teammate. “I’ve been asked who’s going to win the championship this year… who knows. I hope it’s the guy who does the better job on the circuit.”

With just two races to go until the summer break, whoever is leading the championship ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the beginning of fall could have a psychological edge as well as the mathematical one. Either way, as Alonso said, it looks like that we’re set for an Abu Dhabi finale – double points and all.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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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 ofΒ 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.