‘Really terrible’: Ex-Mercedes engineer unhappy with news getting ‘buried’

Mercedes claimed an eighth consecutive Constructors' Championship in 2021, marking a reign that started in 2014.

The 2021 season finale was truly a race like no other, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen having gone toe-to-toe for the Drivers’ Championship.

As well as that, Red Bull and Mercedes were also locked in a battle for the Constructors’ Championship too, something that was somewhat forgotten about following the controversial end to the race at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Of course, Hamilton lost an unprecedented eighth world title on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a result of former race director Michael Masi having made a ‘human error’, according to the FIA.

Hamilton led virtually the entire race, with Verstappen having been in second for the majority of it.

READ: Toto Wolff says Mick Schumacher ‘deserves a chance’ after ‘brutal’ sacking

The race was turned upside down, though, after a late Safety Car was needed to recover Nicholas Latifi’s crashed Williams, following a heavy impact with the barrier in the final sector.

It was in the final two laps of the season when the rules were broken by Masi, after he opted to only allow the lapped drivers between the two title rivals to unlap themselves.

As well as this, he then decided to instantly restart the race, instead of making the pace car complete an additional lap, as it stated in the rulebook.

It meant that the final lap marked the return to green flag racing, something that infuriated Toto Wolff.

Article continues below

Verstappen, of course, managed to overtake Hamilton on the final lap of the race to claim his first title, whilst Mercedes claimed an eighth Constructors’ crown.

Speaking on the famous finale and the Silver Arrows’ woeful 2022 campaign, former Mercedes executive director Paddy Lowe admitted that he “felt a bit upset” at how the Germans Constructors’ Championship was somewhat “buried” and forgotten about, given the circumstances Hamilton lost under.

“No, not at all,” Lowe told PlanetF1.com, when asked if he had any doubts about Mercedes returning to the top in 2023.

“It’s just such a difficult process. With the complexity of the cars these days, the rate at which you can develop, especially fundamental aspects of them, within the season, it’s very, very difficult.

“You know, the clock keeps running and you’ve got to keep pushing stuff out, and there’s a lot of frustration there when you know what’s wrong, but you can’t fix it quickly because it involves some very difficult parts to change quickly and so on. So I felt for their pain around that.

“I mean, on the other hand, they had a fantastic run, so there’s absolutely no reason to feel disappointed by what they’ve achieved – it’s got to stop some time, hasn’t it? And they stopped well beyond anyone else’s high watermark there. So you know, all credit to the team.

READ: Ferrari fired warning about signing Frederic Vasseur

“That’s one of the bits I felt a bit upset about from Abu Dhabi last year, was how it was all about the driver and the controversial Drivers’ Championship.

“And the fantastic success of Mercedes in the Constructors’ – it’s just unbelievable to win eight Constructors’ Championships in a row.

“That far eclipses any single Drivers’ Championship by whether it was Lewis or Max in the one year, an eighth consecutive Constructors’, that should have been massive news and it really got buried, which I thought was really terrible.”