Bernie Ecclestone criticised Mercedes for their Abu Dhabi GP strategy, saying that they could have been more daring.
Lewis Hamilton was on course to winning the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP until a late Safety Car completely turned the tables. While there was a massive slice of controversy involved in the way Hamilton was forced to surrender his lead, he was nevertheless on very old tyres.
While the seven-time world champion stayed out, Max Verstappen pitted for fresh softs, and then there was only one way it would go. He passed Hamilton on the final lap and crossed the line to take the win and the championship away from the Mercedes driver.
The team played safe, and if the rules hadn’t been broken, their driver could have coasted to victory. However, Ecclestone criticised Mercedes for their Abu Dhabi GP strategy, saying that a daredevil call with Valtteri Bottas would have caught their rivals off-guard.
When asked by Blick newspaper if Mercedes should have asked Bottas to stop his car to prevent a restart, the former F1 boss replied, “Pretty clever.
“I thought about it too, and there would have been some ideal places for the Safety Car to stay outside.
“Many would have been upset, but nobody would have had the current finale in the back of their minds without restarting the race.”
Ecclestone also gave his thoughts on Hamilton’s state of mind after the race was taken away from him in cruel fashion, and said that he might be considering retirement from the sport.
“I don’t know, but I don’t think he’s coming back,” he said.
“His disappointment is too big. And you can somehow understand it.
“Now would be (a good) time to tackle his dream of becoming a fashion entrepreneur with seven F1 titles like Michael Schumacher.”