Formula One: Sensational 1-2 finish at Mexican Grand Prix!
Best podium of my life!
Nico Rosberg: That was the best podium of my life! Thousands and thousands of people singing your name after winning on a great track… it’s unbelievable! In that moment you feel like a rock star on stage and I enjoyed every second. Thank you so much to all the Mexican fans who made my win here so special. And thanks also to Bernie and the organisers who worked hard to set up this amazing event. It was a perfect weekend for me. I had a good Qualifying and was able to control the race from the front, responding each time Lewis came closer. It was tricky because there was really no grip on the rears – especially after the Safety Car, with cold tyres. But in the end I felt comfortable.
The performance this weekend is down to great teamwork with my engineers, as we found a great setup for the special conditions here, so a big thank you to them. Now I look forward to the race in Brazil. It's always great to come with a win to the next race, so hopefully I can carry this form to Interlagos.
Lewis Hamilton: Today was a pretty good race. I actually really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun. I was pushing so hard, giving absolutely everything that I had, and I think I had more pace than Nico. But, unfortunately, you can’t really follow another car here. The closer and closer you get it’s like two negative poles of a pair of magnets repelling each other, so there was nothing I could do. I knew I needed a good start to get the run on Nico into Turn One. But I had hardly any tow and, from there, he made no mistakes.
When it came to the pit stops, there was no real stress. At the time, I just didn’t agree with the decision to pit a second time, that’s all. The team takes these decisions and I abide by them but I initially wasn’t sure on this one. As it turned out, there was then a Safety Car anyway. I have full confidence in these guys and we still got the 1-2 as a team, so that’s positive. I have to say, it’s been the best week and the best crowd I’ve ever seen here in Mexico. There are so many people with so much energy and so much excitement for the sport here. All the other countries we go to need to make a big effort to keep up with these guys. Next stop Brazil and I’ve never won there, so that’s the goal in two weeks.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: What a fantastic weekend here in Mexico and an incredible atmosphere on the podium, probably the best I’ve ever seen, after a breathless race. Our boys just always keep pushing each other to new achievements. If one of them gets written off, he bounces back even stronger the next weekend, and that’s what
Nico did today. It was an unbelievable weekend: he had the fire in his belly after Austin and, from the first lap, he was right on it. He did a perfect job this afternoon. But Lewis didn’t make life easy for him at all: he was right there all day, waiting for a slip that never came, and took a strong P2 finish.
Change of strategy.
Of course, the main focus of interest was around the decision to convert our one-stop strategy to a two-stopper. From our side, it was a simple precaution: after the first stint on the option tyre, we had seen higher than expected wear levels and one of Lewis’ tyres was even down to 0% rubber. The stint we were trying to do with the prime was already on the limit, and with that information in hand and a pit-stop gap to spare to the next car, it was the low-risk option to stop both cars again. Lewis obviously had a few questions about that and that’s totally normal – race drivers have emotions and if they didn’t focus on winning every time, they wouldn’t be the talents they are. But we have the overview on the pit wall and Lewis followed the instruction to pit. After that, the Safety Car came out and made the matter academic: we would have pitted both cars for fresh tyres anyway. But it was Nico’s day today: he didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend and fully deserved his win.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): First of all, I want to congratulate the entire team on the excellent preparations for this weekend, and especially the team at Brixworth who responded to the challenges of this high-altitude circuit exceptionally well – as we can see from the number of Mercedes-powered cars in the top 10. The same goes for our technical partners at PETRONAS, too, who met the unique challenges of Mexico City head on and delivered a perfect performance.
These are difficult conditions to simulate in the lab and our engineers did a great job to anticipate the circuit’s demands.
On the limit.
From the team’s perspective, this wasn’t a simple race. We went into it with lots of unknowns and plenty of parts of the car right on the limit, especially in terms of brake cooling. We had to manage the temperatures throughout to ensure that they stayed within limits and we didn’t get into a situation of runaway brake wear – but great communication between the engineers and drivers meant we could do that. Tyre behaviour was also an unknown and, after the first stint, it was clear that the wear levels were higher than we had predicted on Friday. After completing the first stint, we had no rubber left on one of Lewis’ tyres, and a much longer stint to complete on the prime.
Strong 1-2 finish.
With a clear pit-stop gap to the cars behind, we therefore switched to a two-stop strategy because the planned stint length on the prime tyre would have been too marginal for comfort. Then the Safety Car came out anyway and took the matter out of our hands, as we would have stopped both cars had we not already just done so. Overall, it’s extremely satisfying to come to a new circuit and take a strong 1-2 finish. Congratulations to Nico on a flawless weekend and to Lewis for a combative drive. But congratulations most of all to the organisers and fans, who created a feeling something like it must feel to win the World Cup as we stood in front of the podium. It was proof that Formula One is in great shape.