Mercedes drivers celebrate dream team triple

Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:52am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BRIXWORTH, England (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took time out from their title battle on Tuesday to join Mercedes bosses and factory staff in celebrating the team's third successive Formula One constructors' world championship.

"The smallest guy here, with the smallest part into our engine, is a winner," non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told staff crowded into the 'pitstop' canteen for a champagne celebration at the Brixworth engine facility.

"I know how many hours you have to work, especially after Malaysia," added the Austrian, himself a triple world champion as a driver.

"We have to keep on going at the same pace and make sure that none of our cars in the last races have any problems."

If Hamilton winced inside at the mention of a Malaysian race that blew a mighty hole in his championship chances nine days ago then he did not show it.

Instead, the Briton focused on the fact that his 49 wins to date - with McLaren and Mercedes - had been powered by the German manufacturer's engines and looked forward to more success.

"Today is about all of you guys. I am so proud of everyone," said Hamilton, whose engine failed at Sepang just as he was heading for a victory that would have put him back in the championship lead.

Instead, after a subsequent troubled weekend in Japan, he trails Rosberg by 33 points with four races remaining and the knowledge that even four wins may not suffice.   Continued...

Formula One - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Japan- 9/10/16.  Mercedes' drivers Nico Rosberg of Germany and Lewis Hamilton of Britain attend a news conference after the race. REUTERS/Toru Hanai