The United States Grand Prix in Austin turned out to be a truly memorable occasion for the team last Sunday. While Valtteri Bottas was chalking up a seventh Grand Prix victory of his career, a fourth of the season and his first at the Circuit of the Americas, Lewis took the runner-up spot to make it nine one-two victories for the team in 2019. It was victory number 14 for Mercedes in the 19th round of the season. The Silver Arrows have now made 31 podium appearances between them in the current campaign. Most significant of all, however, were the points for second place which were enough for Lewis to clinch his sixth drivers’ championship title in Formula 1. It was also his eighth podium in the USA, which breaks the record previously held by Michael Schumacher for the most podium finishes in this particular fixture.
Facts and figures about Lewis: In Austin, Lewis Hamilton became Formula 1 World Champion for the sixth time in his career. He is the second-most successful Formula 1 driver in history, just one title behind record championship winner Michael Schumacher who has seven. But Lewis is the outright leader on several other best-of lists that probably get less attention than they deserve. Having started from pole position on 87 occasions, he is the most successful qualifier in the history of the premier class (ahead of Michael Schumacher on 68). And on race Sundays too, Lewis continues to extend his lead in terms of Grand Prix victories: his tally of 83 makes him the most prolific of all currently active drivers. Only Michael Schumacher on 91 has more race wins. Lewis has registered at least one victory every year in his 13 F1 seasons so far – no other driver has achieved that. Lewis also leads another chart by virtue of finishing in the Top Ten in 33 successive races. Second most consistent in terms of uninterrupted points-scoring series is Kimi Räikkönen on 27. Lewis has finished in the points in 85.42% of his 248 Grand Prix races so far – a higher percentage than any other driver. Over the course of his career, Lewis has held the lead in 145 Formula 1 races, three more than the nearest challenger, Michael Schumacher. With 150 podium finishes, Lewis is getting ever closer to the record world championship winner in yet another classification: Schumacher ascended the podium 155 times in his career; Lewis is already the best of the current crop of drivers in terms of podium appearances.
Two Top Five finishes for Mercedes-AMG in the FIA Motorsport Games: 22 different countries were represented by 44 contestants lining up in GT3 cars for the GT Cup which was being staged for the second year running, this year as part of the FIA Motorsport Games at Vallelunga Autodrom in Italy. The two qualifying races on Saturday were followed by the main one-hour race on Sunday afternoon. This had a most satisfactory outcome for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, with two cars finishing in the Top Five: Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla (both FRA) in the number 87 Mercedes-AMG GT3 prepared by AKKA ASP and flying the flag for France narrowly missed out on a podium, finishing fourth after starting from 14th on the grid. Another partnership mounting an impressive charge through the field were Eric Zang and Zhang Ya Qi (both CHN) in the number 70 Phantom Pro Racing car. They made a great start from 13th, immediately getting past several opponents. They also benefited from a canny strategy: in contrast to most of the field, the Chinese pairing waited until the end of the pit stop window, which allowed them to make optimal use of the time before a sudden downpour and to move up into the lead group. At the end of the one-hour race, which was led across the finish lane by the safety car due to the heavy rain, they booked fifth place for the Chinese squad.
Podium in Japan and class achievements in Brazil: In the grand finale of the 2019 Super GT series, Naoya Gamou and Togo Suganami (both JPN) secured podium number three of the campaign for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport. The LEON Racing duo (#65) took second place at the end of the 49-lap race, thereby scoring enough championship points to lift Gamou into fifth place in the drivers’ championship. Also contributing to a successful weekend at Twin Ring Motegi were Tatsuya Kataoka and Nobuteru Taniguchi (both JPN) who finished fifth in the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by GOODSMILE RACING & TeamUKYO. The team ended the season in third place, with Kataoka and Taniguchi also taking fourth place in the drivers’ standings.+
In the Endurance Brasil series, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing had four class podiums to celebrate, all thanks to Team Scuderia 111. At the end of the three-hour race at Autódromo Internacional de Santa Cruz do Sul, the father-and-son team of Xandy and Xandinho Negrão (both BRA) in the number 9 Mercedes-AMG GT3 were first to cross the line in the GT3 category, thereby securing their third victory in class of the current season. These two drivers continue to extend their lead in the GT3 championship. They were joined on the podium by their team-mates Júlio Campos and Guilherme Figueiroa (both BRA) in the number 8 car who finished third. A strong performance in this penultimate event of the season was rounded off with a double podium in the GT4 category: Alexandre Auler and Leandro Romera (both BRA, #3) finished second in class, followed by their team-mates Flavio Abrunhoza, Leandro Ferrari and Sergio Jimenez (all BRA, #22) in third place.