Mercedes have secured their second Constructors Championship in as many years with Lewis Hamilton winning last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
Needing to outscore Ferrari by three points the team were initially denied the opportunity to celebrate following Nico Rosberg’s retirement and Hamilton’s 25 points not enough to beat Ferrari’s 28 for second and fifth place. The overall end result was decided by the stewards, however, when a banzai move by Kimi Raikkonen on Valtteri Bottas resulted in a 30 second post race penalty for the Ferrari driver. He came from a long way back in an attempt to steal the final podium position from his fellow Finn on the last lap, but there was not enough space for both cars. Bottas retired from the race but Raikkonen limped across the line with a damaged car to finish in fifth. He was later demoted to eighth by his penalty meaning Mercedes had outscored Ferrari by enough points.
“That was a day with every possible emotion: a bittersweet day on track, then a tense wait – and finally a confirmation that we have won a second world championship,” Toto Wolff said after the event. “Wow, there are never any simple days in this sport! But what a feeling it is to win a second title and a privilege to be part of this team.”
With just 100 points up for grabs from the last four races, Hamilton could win his third world championship as early as the next round. The next race is the US Grand Prix in Austin and Hamilton needs to outscore Sebastian Vettel by just nine points. Rosberg was unfortunate to retire in Russia due to a throttle issue meaning he is now seven points behind Vettel and in turn 73 behind his team-mate.
From the 15 races in 2015, Mercedes have started on pole for 14 of them – all but Singapore. They have won at 12 races, with Vettel securing victory in Malaysia, Hungary, and Singapore. Hamilton has 13 podiums while Rosberg has 11 while on only three occasions has one of the drivers failed to pick up points.