2014 F1 American Grand Prix Race Review.
- Lewis and Nico achieved the team’s tenth one-two finish of the season to equal the record set by McLaren in 1988
- The result now means that only a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver can now win the 2014 World Drivers’ Championship
- In claiming his 10th victory of 2014, Lewis has now won more Formula One races than any other British driver (32)
- Both drivers employed a two-stop strategy, starting on the soft tyre and switching to mediums twice during the race
What an incredible place this is to go racing. We have such great support here and I have to say a massive thanks to the fans who have been awesome all weekend. I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to be out front here. It’s a very special feeling to have such an amazing car, an amazing team and to be on this incredible run. It’s been an unbelievable job from the team all year so a big thanks to everyone here at the track and at the factories back home. We managed to correct the problems from qualifying today which was great and I pushed as hard as I could. For the overtake, I just stayed as close as possible to Nico and waited for the moment to be just close enough to throw it up the inside. This is a good circuit to be able to follow another car but it’s still not easy. You have to judge the risk in these situations but I felt confident I could pull it off. Once I got past Nico, it was just about controlling the race. I’m very, very proud to now hold the record for the most Formula One wins for a British driver. I have to say, though, it’s all thanks to the team and the car we have this year that I’ve been able to reach that landmark so quickly. Ten wins in a season is just… well, wow!
It was a tough day for me and it feels horrible to finish second after starting from pole. The conditions were very different compared to yesterday and it took me too long to find my rhythm at the beginning. In Formula One it is all about adapting quickly, but it just took me too long. Only 10 laps after Lewis passed me, I got it right and was able to push much more. Lewis just did a better job today, so congratulations to him. It’s getting tougher but there is still a chance for the title and everything can happen. I’m still going to be pushing flat out just as I always have. I never give up.
Today, we ensured that only a Mercedes-Benz driver can win the 2014 Drivers’ title, and that is an incredible achievement for the whole team – regardless of whether Lewis or Nico comes out on top in Abu Dhabi. It was a very strong race from both of them: each had the pace to win and the decisive laps came at the start of the second stint, when Nico was suffering of too much understeer on the prime tyre and Lewis was able to catch and then overtake him on lap 24. After that, both cars were very evenly matched and it was fantastic to see the tenth one-two finish for the team; that is record-equalling and shows the amazing job everybody in this team has done this year. Now we need to get our heads down and work to ensure two clean races on the sporting and reliability front in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
The decisive moments in this afternoon’s race came in the laps after the first pit stop, when Nico was suffering from understeer on the prime tyre and there was a pace difference between the two cars. This allowed Lewis to close the gap on Nico, take advantage of the DRS and make a clean overtake into Turn 12. Both drivers had to manage the challenge of making the tyres last long enough in each stint and they did a great job with this, running at a strong pace all the way to the flag. There were some alarming moments in the final laps as we saw our pair closing on a gaggle of cars absorbed in their own battle. But they were able to negotiate these backmarkers safely to bring home our tenth one-two finish of the season – which is a real tribute to what this team has achieved in 2014. As we have seen throughout the season, tiny margins are making the difference between first and second place finishes, and it’s fantastic to see such Nico and Lewis battling neck and neck in such a sporting way. We reached a number of milestones today but, on a personal level, the most significant is to see Lewis break the all-time record for race wins by a British driver. I worked closely with Nigel Mansell, the previous record holder, during his most successful years in the early 1990s, and he was another great, lionhearted racing driver; to see Lewis set a new record this afternoon is very special.
Enjoy all the highlights from the race and the celebrations too at http://goo.gl/nijN2K