Paddy Lowe: “In 2014 we had such an advantage that we didn’t need to use the engine at full power”

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It seems like we are witnessing the beginning of a new era in Formula 1. After seven years of Mercedes domination, Red Bull has re-established itself as the dominant force in Formula One and appears to be unchallenged.

According to Paddy Lowe, ex-Mercedes Executive Director, never before in the history of Formula 1 has a team been more dominant than Mercedes in 2014. Lowe was at Mercedes when they won the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship from 2014 to 2016. They continued that sweeping success until Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing finally stopped their winning run in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

On this topic a few months ago, Wolff denied Lowe’s historical account that Mercedes hid pace in 2014, but in a recent interview Lowe came back to the subject revealing his perception of the events.

“I don’t know why it should be secret because everybody suspected it anyway but in 2014 we had such an advantage that we didn’t need to use the engine at full power most of the time,” he said to

“That was an amazing piece of history, to be honest. I don’t think any other team has ever had that much of an advantage to play with in terms of power.

“We had a situation where you could kind of dial in how much advantage you needed on that particular day — and that persisted for quite a number of races in that season [2014].

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The people in Brixworth did such an amazing job that year with the development of the engine. If you analyze it strategically, that came from some incredible strategy from Mercedes itself led from Stuttgart going back many many years.”

Lowe, for a good portion of his time in F1, was in close contact with Mercedes, therefore knowing the team and its strategy very well. In his twenty-year at spell at McLaren, the team used a Mercedes engine for sixteen of those years. They won three Drivers’ Championships during that time — two with Mika Hakkinen and one with Lewis Hamilton.

“I worked with McLaren for twenty years and most of that was with Mercedes as our engine supplies, so I have a long history with Mercedes and I know how much strategic effort they had put into building up the capability in Brixworth, which ultimately came through to deliver that engine in 2014.”

“It’s one of Mercedes greatest successes in motor racing history — and it played out to this advantage which really embarrassed the other engine suppliers that year,” he concluded.

Photo: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team