ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Mercedes hit back at Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel on Friday after the most dominant driver of recent years quipped that the team had made the Formula One season boring with their success.
“Is there anybody out there who believes that it was a boring season? Not one single soul,” motorsport head Toto Wolff told the official Formula One website ahead of Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“It was an incredibly exciting season, despite our record. Our drivers were battling each other to the limit and I am sure that the fans appreciate that.”
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have between them won a record-equalling 15 of the 18 races so far, with a record 11 one-two finishes, but the title outcome is far from decided.
Hamilton, the 2008 champion, leads his German team mate by 17 points but with double points and 50 for the winner on Sunday.
Vettel wrapped up last year’s title, his fourth in a row, with three races to spare and ended the year with nine successive wins. But this season he has been little more than an onlooker.
The German has not won a race and has been overshadowed even within his own team by Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
“I think Mercedes made it very boring this year,” the 27-year-old told reporters with some irony on Thursday, while admitting that the season-long duel between the two team mates had been good to watch.
“They had great races, battling for the lead, which is obviously the most interesting position in the race for the people to watch,” said Vettel.
“Remembering races like Bahrain, I think they put on a great show for the fans and took it to the last race, so I think both of them deserve to win after such a great season.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond