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Mercedes seals first constructors’ championship with Pirelli

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Victory for Lewis Hamilton and second place for Nico Rosberg at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix has given Mercedes its first constructors’ championship with Pirelli. Juan Manuel Fangio drove a Mercedes during his 1954 driver championship-winning season, during which he also used a Pirelli-equipped Maserati, but this is the first time that Mercedes have claimed the title in their own right since the constructors’ championship was established in 1958.

Hamilton took victory from pole, but Rosberg’s performance was all the more remarkable as he changed from P Zero Yellow soft to P Zero White medium tires on the opening lap, following a lock-up and flat-spot after the start. As a result, the German completed 52 laps – in excess of 300 kilometers – on one set of tires, having re-emerged in 20th place following his pit stop. Rosberg set his personal best lap time of the race on the 52nd lap, one lap from the end. Sauber’s Adrian Sutil also completed 40 laps, this time on his opening set of soft tires, underlining the very low rate of tire wear and degradation in Sochi.

Most of the drivers started on the soft tire, with the highest-placed starter on the medium being Force India’s Sergio Perez in 12th. Perez completed 23 laps on his first set of tires, before switching to the faster soft tires to make up places at the end of the race and clinch 10th place. He battled with Williams driver Felipe Massa: the highest-placed two-stopper, who finished 11th after starting 18th on the grid.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Wear and degradation were extremely low at this brand new track in Sochi, which enabled most drivers to utilize a one-stop strategy and Nico Rosberg to claim second place after completing 52 laps on one set of tires. Congratulations to Mercedes for winning the constructors’ championship for the first time and we look forward to a continuation of the battle for the driver’s title. This has been a fantastically-organized event here in Russia and we’ve been made to feel extremely welcome at this amazing venue.” at this brand new track in Sochi, which enabled most drivers to utilize a one-stop strategy and Nico Rosberg to claim second place after completing 52 laps on one set of tires. Congratulations to Mercedes for winning the constructors’ championship for the first time and we look forward to a continuation of the battle for the driver’s title. This has been a fantastically-organized event here in Russia and we’ve been made to feel extremely welcome at this amazing venue.”

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