Marko Points Out the Big Flaw in Mercedes’ Strategy That Cost Lewis Hamilton the F1 Title in Abu Dhabi

Published 12/15/2021, 3:35 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Mexico City Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 7, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton before the race REUTERS/Edgard Garrido


Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton tasted a horrific defeat at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw the driver’s title go to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The advisor to the Milton-Keynes-based outfit, Dr. Helmut Marko has stated the reason, the Knight lost the final race at the Yas Marina was due to their pit stop strategy.

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The 7-time worlds champion only pitted once during the course of the race. While, Verstappen had three pitstops, one of them being the crucial one during the safety car towards the end of the race. Hence, Marko feels that Lewis having old tires, and Max having fresher ones gave him the edge over the Brit.

Marko feels Mercedes should blame themselves for Lewis Hamilton’s strategy

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The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the title-decider between Max and Lewis. A safety car turned the tables in the championship, giving the Dutch driver to pit and get fresher tires to steal the lead from his arch-rival. It paid off, as Verstappen took the chequered flag and was crowned the 2021 world champion.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 10, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Marko feels the Brackley-based outfit have no one but to blame themselves for their botched strategy. As quoted by FormulaPassion.it, Marko said, “It was a mistake on their part, I don’t understand why they complain like that. So much when they could in turn equip Hamilton with fresh tires.” (Translated from Italian via Google)

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Verstappen admits to Wolff and Hamilton congratulating him

The rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull this season has been an intense one, to say the least. Nevertheless, the two have massive respect for each other even in defeat, as Max reveals that both, team boss of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, and Hamilton congratulated him after he took his first F1 title at the dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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He said, “Toto sent me a text – congratulations on the season and that I deserved to win, that was very nice,” Speaking about his arch-rival, Max said, “Lewis came up to me and congratulated me. It must have been very tough in that last lap. It also shows the respect we have for each other.”

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

“Of course we had our tough times through the season but we respect what we’re doing and we were pushing each other to the limit and it has been very enjoyable racing against him,” the Red Bull prodigy concluded.

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With a few months still to go before the start of the 2022 season, Verstappen is hoping to retain his world championship. What are your predictions for next season? Will we see another intense title fight? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

1259 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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