Ex-Mercedes employee reveals surprising stance on Max Verstappen defeating Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen won the 2021 Drivers' Championship following a controversial call by former race director Michael Masi.

Despite 2022 having recently finished, revelations regarding the remarkable 2021 season finale continue to break the surface, with the most recent having come from a former Mercedes employee.

Former Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe has incredibly revealed that he was “happy” to see Max Verstappen claim the title over Lewis Hamilton, with the Brit admitting that he loves “jeopardy in racing”.

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix certainly saw that, with the race win and the championship having ultimately been decided by former race director Michael Masi.

Hamilton led virtually the entire race until the last two sectors of the final lap of the season, following a ‘human error’ by Masi.

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A late crash for Nicholas Latifi saw a Safety Car released onto the circuit; however, Masi failed to apply the correct rules when it came to ending the neutralised conditions.

The Aussie decided to only allow the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen, who was in second, to unlap themselves.

Whilst this was already a breach of the rules, Masi also brought the Safety Car in a lap earlier than it should’ve done.

Had the rules been followed then the race would’ve finished behind the Safety Car, meaning Hamilton would’ve claimed an eighth World Championship.

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Alas, that wasn’t the case, as Verstappen superbly overtook the 37-year-old on the final lap.

Verstappen, of course, backed his 2021 title up with another this season, which came as a result of pure superiority from the Dutchman.

Lowe was pleased to see the Red Bull driver claim a title “without any argument”, before adding why he was pleased to see the Dutchman claim the 2021 title.

“Good to see Max secure a championship without any argument,” Lowe told PlanetF1.

“I was quite happy that he won it last year, actually – which is probably controversial, but Formula 1 is a sport of jeopardy. It always has been.

“Nothing’s fair in Formula 1. I’ve been on the wrong side of fairness many, many times and then [on] the right side of good luck as well.

“That’s the nature, that’s the interest, that’s the excitement of the sport, actually. It’s not a sport where everything should go to plan and always the best person by some analysis should win. That’s why we watch and love the sport and there’s never a right answer anyway to anything.”

2022 was a much simpler year for Verstappen, who dominated the first season of the new aerodynamic regulations.

The Dutch driver claimed a record-breaking 15 wins on his way to the 2022 crown, following a collapse of Ferrari in regard to the title fight.

When discussing the 2022 season, the former Mercedes employee added how much he “enjoyed” seeing Ferrari fighting at the front again, but that ultimately the new regs still resulted in “so much spread” through the field.

 “I enjoyed seeing the resurgence of Ferrari, they developed a great car,” Lowe added.

“I think it’s a real shame that wasn’t translated in the end into better results.

“So that was a sort of a good thing and a bad thing, I think. Great to see them with a good car, but not so great that it didn’t score all the wins it could have done.

“Great to see some change in the world order around the leading three teams. You know, I think noteworthy, completely not to my surprise, that the same three teams are at the top despite the cost cap, because of their embedded excellence in engineering and the tools for engineering great cars, which don’t go away with a cost cap.

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“So I think it’s been good to see some disturbance but in another way, it’s still a shame there’s so much spread down the grid.

“I love jeopardy in racing, so I like to see different things happening and people struggling through but succeeding.

“It’s been a lot of variety in the season, I know Max won a lot of races but there has, despite that, been a lot of variety. So I think that’s good.”