Lewis Hamilton has praised Nico Rosberg for being “a great team-mate” after Mercedes wrapped up the Constructors Championship at the Russian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes team congregated at their bases in Brixworth and Brackley on Monday to celebrate their second consecutive title, with Hamilton on the verge of securing the Drivers’ Championship too.
Hamilton was understandably in a joyous mood, and the Briton reserved special praise for Rosberg, a childhood friend who had turned into something of an enemy last season as the pair battled for the world title.
“I know everyone at the factories will keep pushing to keep us at the front and myself and Nico will definitely be doing the same,” he told PA Sport.
“I just want to mention too what a great team-mate Nico is. He’s had a much tougher season so far than I have but has been a real team player throughout.
“I know he’ll be fighting back through the many years to come in which we’ll no doubt be competing hard against each other.”
Rosberg conceded that he wasn’t in the mood to celebrate after a disappointing retirement in Russia, but added that he had been boosted by the team’s collective success.
“It’s been a tough couple of days for me,” said Rosberg, “but being back at the factories and seeing all my colleagues so happy after the Championship win really puts a smile back on my face.
“I’ve seen this team grow since the start of the Silver Arrows project in 2010 and the level we’ve got to now, all working together, is unbelievable. There were some really tough years at the start but we are now the big team of Formula One – dominating the sport and breaking records along the way.”
Hamilton has not yet won the World title, and Rosberg has said that he will be putting pressure on the defending champion right to the end.
“I’ll keep pushing until it is mathematically sure but l just want to concentrate on the remaining races and win some races,” added the German.