‘Secret’: Ex-Mercedes engineer questions Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff approach

After being a dominant force in Formula 1, Mercedes have found themselves struggling for pace in the new era of the sport.

Paddy Lowe, a former technical director at Mercedes, has urged the team to stop downplaying its success in the sport, as it struggles to compete against Red Bull’s dominance.

Mercedes is currently going through arguably the toughest period the team has experienced since Lewis Hamilton joined their driver line up.

Having failed to adapt to the new set of regulations introduced in 2022, Mercedes finished third in the Constructors’ Championship, the team’s worst performance since the 2012 season.

George Russell recently hailed the RB19 as the best racing car he has ever seen.

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“The Red Bull is the best racing car I’ve ever seen,” Russell told Auto Motor und Sport. “Better than any Mercedes of the last ten years.”

“The gap [Red Bull] have to the rest of the field, I think is bigger than we’ve seen probably since Mercedes in 2014. You know, it’s a serious, serious gap, and I guess everybody needs to keep working harder to understand how to close that gap,” Russell told reporters after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff have similarly acknowledged the impressive performance displayed by Red Bull in both the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

“We had those years where we were as strong but in this sport, even if it’s not great for the show that the same guys win all the time, it is because they have done a good job and we have not,” Wolff admitted.

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Lowe has, however, urged his old Mercedes team to not forget the impressive success they have had in previous seasons, particularly 2014.

“I don’t think any other team ever had such a big lead,” Lowe told formel1.de.

“In 2014, the situation was such that we could determine how much head-start we needed on any given day.”

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2014 saw the team secure the Constructors’ Championship with a 296 point lead and Hamilton win the Drivers’ title with a 101 point lead over his nearest non-Mercedes rival.

“I don’t know why people are making such a secret of it now,” he continued.

“Everyone suspected we were doing that anyway, and to be honest, it was pretty extraordinary in the context of Formula One history.”  

“They don’t need to be ashamed of that. The people at Brixworth simply did an excellent job with the engine. It was one of the most remarkable achievements in motorsport history,” Lowe added.

“It led to a huge lead that was quite embarrassing for the other engine manufacturers, frankly.”