Mercedes is ready for the final 2017 race after celebrating the titles...

Mercedes is ready for the final 2017 race after celebrating the titles in Brixworth and Brackley

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With the Formula One season coming to an end in Abu Dhabi this weekend, the 2017 champions took some time out of their busy schedules today to celebrate their 2017 achievements. Two weeks before the FIA Prize Giving Gala, which will officially crown Lewis and Mercedes with their fourth world championships, the Silver Arrows team paid special tribute to Lewis. He first celebrated winning this year’s Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships in Brixworth before marking the occasion in Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honour” as the entire team came out to celebrate its championship success.

For the fourth time in a row I’m in the fortunate position to say thank you to the entire team”, the chairman of the board Niki Lauda said

“2017 has been a challenging year because of the rule change. A rule change always means uncertainty; no one knows what the other guys are doing. We started with a difficult car, but the team was able to consistently improve it throughout the season, which was the key to winning the championships. The team did a fantastic job and Lewis did a fantastic job. I’m really proud of everyone, it’s an incredible achievement. This year was the most difficult one so far and next year it will be even more difficult, but I trust the team 100%!”

Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff added that since joining the team in 2012 he has been watching it go from strength to strength

“We are fortunate to have the right resources, which isn’t always a given. But importantly we have the right people. We have a team that works together in the right spirit and the mindset of success in Brixworth and Brackley. We have not allowed ourselves to become complacent, but remain motivated and energised. For me, I could not imagine working with a better group of people. I would like to say thank you very much to all of you”, Wolff commented.

Lewis Hamilton said the day was very emotional

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now. But to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance. Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater”, the driver added.

In the final race of the 2017 season – the Abu Dhabi Grand prix – Mercedes will fight the same way it did in Australia seven months ago

“Regardless of what stands in the trophy cabinets back at base, our focus is always on the next race and the next championship. Our goal in Abu Dhabi is quite simple: to give the best of ourselves, to extract the maximum from our “diva” in her final race – and to win”, Toto Wolff commented.

“We saw promising pace in both Mexico and Brazil, both circuits where we had expected to struggle more than we did. And this is a positive sign of the progress we have made in understanding our difficulties this year. But we have not been on the top step of the podium since Austin. And we are determined to change that in Abu Dhabi.”

“Yas Marina is a circuit that holds intense memories for the team, with two title showdowns in the past three seasons. We have claimed three consecutive wins and very much intend to make it four this year. The circuit offers a range of slow to medium speed corners that perhaps are not our car’s most natural habitat. But our recent steps forward give us confidence that we can perform strongly there. Valtteri [Bottas] is on an upward swing of form, with two podiums in the past two races; and Lewis will be aiming to finish this historic season on a high. This is a goal that we all share.”

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