Hamilton welcomed home with guard of honour

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Recently crowned Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton returned home to a hero’s welcome last week. Calling into the Mercedes basecamp in Brackley, the entire staff turned out to join in the celebrations.

“This a very emotional day,” said Hamilton. “I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome. Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away. This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together.”

“Since I was fortunate enough to join this team in 2012, I have seen it go from strength to strength,” added Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “I still see many of the same faces who were here when I joined, but also new faces as we have continued to build the strength of this group. We are fortunate to have the right resources, which isn’t always a given, but importantly we have the right people.

“We have not allowed ourselves to become complacent, but remain motivated and energised. For me, I could not imagine working with a better group of people. I would like to say thank you very much to all of you.”

Wolff’s fellow team boss Niki Lauda echoed his colleague’s comments, saying: “For the fourth time in a row I’m in the fortunate position to say thank you to the entire team. 2017 has been a challenging year because of the rule change. A rule change always means uncertainty; no one knows what the other guys are doing.

“We started with a difficult car, but the team was able to consistently improve it throughout the season, which was the key to winning the championships. The team did a fantastic job and Lewis did a fantastic job. I’m really proud of everyone, it’s an incredible achievement. This year was the most difficult one so far and next year it will be even more difficult, but I trust the team 100%!”

Mercedes has been the dominant force in Formula 1 the last few years, despite Ferrari closing the gap over the past season. Hamilton has now won four world titles, making him the most successful British driver ever.

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