Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the marque was given “a slap on the wrist” in Abu Dhabi after it was beaten to pole position and victory by Red Bull.
Max Verstappen controlled proceedings at the Yas Marina Circuit, leading all 55 laps from pole position, to take his and Red Bull’s second victory of the year.
Mercedes ran its engine in a conservative mode but dismissed suggestions that it was the reason why it was beaten into second place by Red Bull.
It marked the only time in 2020 that Mercedes did not claim either a pole position or a victory at a race weekend.
“You can see that everybody has weaknesses, and we weren’t on our A-game this weekend,” said Wolff.
“That’s simply a fact, and Red Bull won fair and square.
“You can see that [Alexander] Albon also had a very good race, so they have a very good race car, and shows that when their car is in the right place, both drivers do a really good job.
“Probably Albon’s pace was quicker than us by the end. They could have been well ahead, and even worse for us.
“We’re leaving this race with a slap on the wrist. It wasn’t a great weekend for us, but a car that has never let us down all year, maybe apart from this last weekend.”
Mercedes finished the year with 13 victories and 15 pole positions from 17 rounds.