Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has heaped praise on his team after ensuring that one of its drivers will win the 2014 Formula 1 drivers’ championship in Austin yesterday.
Although it has been clear for many months that the only drivers with a realistic chance of winning the title were Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo had mathematically been in contention from third in the standings.
However, following Hamilton’s win at the United States Grand Prix yesterday, Ricciardo is now unable to deny Mercedes its first drivers’ championship since 1955.
“Today, we ensured that only a Mercedes-Benz driver can win the 2014 drivers’ title, and that is an incredible achievement for the whole team, regardless of whether Lewis or Nico comes out on top in Abu Dhabi,” Wolff said after the race.
“It was a very strong race from both of them: each had the pace to win and the decisive laps came at the start of the second stint, when Nico was suffering of too much understeer on the prime tire and Lewis was able to catch and then overtake him on lap 24.”
Wolff said that the 10th one-two finish of the year paid testament to the great team effort at Brackley this year, but said that the focus must now lie on keeping the racing clean and both cars running properly.
“It was fantastic to see the tenth one-two finish for the team,” he said. “That is record-equalling and shows the amazing job everybody in this team has done this year.
“Now we need to get our heads down and work to ensure two clean races on the sporting and reliability front in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.”
With a 24-point lead, Hamilton is unable to wrap up the championship in Brazil as he could have without the controversial double points rule for the final race in Abu Dhabi. However, after five straight wins, the Briton is in the form of his life, leaving Rosberg requiring an almighty turnaround in fortunes to claim a maiden world title.