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Dec.14 (GMM) Sunday’s 2020 finale in Abu Dhabi may have been one of the most boring grands prix of all time.
That is the view of Toto Wolff, even though both Mercedes were uncharacteristically beaten in both qualifying and the race by Red Bull’s dominant Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull camp, therefore, was happy.
“We couldn’t have finished the year better,” Dr Helmut Marko told Sky Deutschland.
“We’d even forgotten the feeling of how easy it is to race away from the front.”
As for 2021, Marko revealed: “Honda is reporting to us very, very encouraging figures from the bench testing.”
It’s all a good omen for Red Bull heading into the winter break – but also true is that Lewis Hamilton is recovering from covid-19 and the Mercedes engines were reportedly turned down on Sunday.
“Red Bull simply had the faster racing car,” Mercedes boss Wolff admitted.
“Albon was catching up a lot at the end which shows that their car was in the window – not ours. Even a 100 percent fit Lewis would not have won this grand prix.”
But even Wolff’s Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner admitted it wasn’t a good spectacle.
“That was the most boring race you can possibly win,” he said.
But Hamilton said it is at least good news that both Verstappen and Alex Albon were competitive in Abu Dhabi, setting up a two-team battle for 2021 “which is what the sport needs”.
“I really hope and pray that in 2022 the cars are better to follow, because I don’t know – it feels like a boring race to watch,” said the seven time world champion.
His boss, Wolff, agrees: “I’ve never received so many sleeping emoji messages during a race in my life. It might be worth revising the track configuration to make it more fun but that’s not my job.”