After Mercedes clinched the World Championship in Sochi today team boss Toto Wolff paid tribute to Ross Brawn, who laid the foundations of the success after Mercedes took over Brawn GP at the end of 2009.
This was the first title for Mercedes, as there was no constructors’ championship during its previous period of domination in 1954-’55.
“It’s incredible, I have to pinch myself sometimes,” said Wolff. “We are part of the Mercedes-Benz history. We won for the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz ever, and I just feel proud, and honoured, to be part of that team. Part of a team whose foundations were built by Ross, who played such an important role in the team – the steps which were done in 2012, the people who joined us in 2012.
“We constantly ramped our game up, we made the right decisions, we got the right resources. The big boys back in Stuttgart understood what it needed, and since then we were on an upwards slope, and today is the result of all that.”
Although Daniel Ricciardo is now almost out of the drivers’ championship, and the title is set to go to one of the Mercedes duo, Wolff says the team will not change its approach and allow them to race each other harder.
“Of course 92 points means [Ricciardo] would need to win all three remaining races, and Lewis not to score eight points. Even though I’m a pessimist that would be a black swan, black swan, black swan event! I don’t think we are going to change something in our approach, because we want them to race each other respectfully, and we saw that today.
“Probably that was Nico’s corner but he missed the braking on the dirty line. Lewis was very cold blooded and good. So it will not change the approach, we don’t want it to end in some kind of circumstance or event on the track.”
Wolff stressed that any celebrations were overshadowed by thoughts of Jules Bianchi: “Of course, a colleague and a very talented young driver who I have known since the very early days in F3 and Formula Renault is fighting for his life. We’re not monsters – you have to split it, on one side we have worked so hard for that day today, but on the other side it will never take away what happened last week.”