Hamilton and Mercedes receive their title trophies at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony
So, another year and another haul of trophies for Mercedes at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony. Having secured their respective fifth titles in 2018, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were honoured at the award show in the Grand Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, Hamilton picking up the silverware for claiming the FIA Formula 1 drivers’ title, while Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff was on hand to collect Mercedes’ constructors’ championship trophy.
Both Hamilton and his Mercedes bosses received additional prizes too. Hamilton scooped up the Personality of the Year award – fair enough, really, when you’ve become only the third driver in history, after Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher, to win five drivers’ championships, and still had time to launch your own fashion collection.
Meanwhile, Wolff and the Mercedes’ Non-Executive Director Niki Lauda won the President’s Award, after the Silver Arrows became only the second-ever team to secure five consecutive F1 constructors’ titles. Fittingly, Wolff received that trophy from FIA President Jean Todt, the man who was at the helm of Ferrari when they became the first team to manage the feat.
Mercedes had arguably their toughest run to the constructors’ title in 2018 since they emerged as F1’s team-to-beat in the post-2014 hybrid era, with Ferrari mounting a serious challenge that Wolff admitted had left him drained by the end of the year.
“It was an unbelievable season,” said Wolff. “Did I enjoy the battle with Ferrari? No, I didn’t, it was really tough. But if I look back, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. It’s what Formula 1 is all about.
“It’s the pinnacle of motor racing and you expect your competitors to be very strong. In the end it makes the end result even more enjoyable.”
Mercedes now head into Formula 1’s off-season knowing they will face new challenges in 2019, with an aerodynamic rule change being brought in next year designed to make overtaking easier. That, coupled to the improved performance of both Ferrari and Red Bull in 2018, means that, if Mercedes leave the FIA Prize Giving in 12 months’ time with a brace of trophies in their hand luggage, the achievement will be all the more impressive.