Mercedes are FIA Formula One Constructors’ Champions elect, with the team taking an unassailable lead in the team title standings after Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen received a post-race penalty for causing a collision in today’s Russian Grand Prix.
Drivers’ Championship leader Lewis Hamilton won the race, but his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg dropped out of the race after seven laps with a throttle problem. With Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finishing second and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen crossing the line in fifth place, Mercedes did not have a sufficient advantage in the standings to take the team title.
However, soon after the race Raikkonen was handed a 30-second time penalty for causing a late-race collision with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and when this was added to his race time the Ferrari driver dropped to eighth in the race classification. The demotion meant the Finn scored four points instead of 10.
As such Mercedes, with 531 points, took a 172-point lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship and with a maximum of 172 on offer from the final four rounds and with Mercedes having more wins than Ferrari, the Anglo-German team are champions elect.
Afterwards, Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars congratulated the team on its achievement.
“After winning in 2014, we raised the bar again to secure this year’s title, and we needed to because our rivals gave us plenty of headaches as they stepped up their performance,” he said. “The work by our team is the perfect example of what drives Mercedes-Benz forward: the best technology. The most efficient hybrid petrol engine that our company has ever made, world-beating aerodynamics and intelligent design in every part of the W06 Hybrid racing car.
“Most importantly, though, we must not forget the human factor: we have two exceptional sportsmen at the wheel, Lewis and Nico, and a fantastic team behind the scenes, who have delivered 12 wins in 15 races so far this year. Their work has made every employee of Mercedes-Benz a world champion and we are very proud of them.”