Paddy Lowe on the ‘massive news’ that ‘got buried’ in Abu Dhabi 2021

Henry Valantine
Williams team principal Paddy Lowe, pictured in 2019.

Paddy Lowe, Williams team principal. Barcelona pre-season testing, February 2019.

Paddy Lowe believes Mercedes’ eighth consecutive Constructors’ title victory “got buried” in the drama surrounding the 2021 Drivers’ title in Abu Dhabi, and it should have been “massive news” in its own right.

The title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went down to the last lap at Yas Marina in 2021, as did the fight between Red Bull and Mercedes for who took top honours among the teams.

While Verstappen passed Hamilton on the final lap to take the Drivers’ title in controversial circumstances, Mercedes secured Constructors’ honours for a record eighth straight season, after a year-long battle with Red Bull between all four of their drivers.

Lowe acknowledged to PlanetF1.com that Formula 1 is a “sport of jeopardy”, which contributed to the reasons why he was “quite happy” to see Verstappen take the Drivers’ crown for the first time in 2021, but feels more should have been made of his former team’s success in the Constructors’ standings.

Mercedes dropped down to third in the team standings after the mass regulation changes for 2022, with Red Bull and Ferrari having largely run well clear of the eight-time champions for most of the season – George Russell’s victory in Brazil being the only time a Mercedes won a race all year, but they had started the year even further away from the front.

“No, not at all,” former Mercedes executive director Lowe told PlanetF1.com when asked if he had any doubts the team would bounce back from their rough start to 2022.

“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.

“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.”

Read more: Paddy Lowe exclusive: On life after F1, but hints a return may come in another form