Verstappen had the advantage over the Mercedes drivers in the last Grand Prix of the season, winning his first pole position of 2020 and the following with a race victory.
He crossed the line almost 16 seconds ahead of Bottas with Hamilton another two and a half.
Motorsport boss Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes’ limited pace is due to the team having to deactivate the MGU-K element of the engine due to reliability issues.
“We took a little bit of power, a little bit of performance out of all the Mercedes engines,” Wolff told Motorsport-Total.com.
“We have a gremlin in there. The damage to the MGU-K occurred for less than the mileage it is normally expected to last. And we don’t yet understand exactly why. ”
The pilots, however, played down the Austrian’s comments, saying they didn’t know their engines had cut power.
“Honestly, I didn’t know the engine was off,” Bottas said.
“I can’t really say much. I don’t know if that was how much it was. Then I do not know.
“Red Bull was obviously faster and for the first time this year they have such a gap in race pace against us so… not much to say. ”
Get your hands on the official Mercedes 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store
His teammate Lewis Hamilton was also unaware.
“It’s really the same thing,” he says. “I don’t… naturally, when we come back now, we’ll be asking about it because I wasn’t aware of it, personally.”
“I arrived late Thursday night so I think HPP and Mercedes have done an amazing job this year for us. You like my reliability, for example, it was… managed to finish each race so it was really fantastic but there were problems with other engines that Mercedes has done, for example for the Force India and with the Williams so it’s not… we definitely have work to do
“If they did something it would make sense for sure and I’m just thankful that we’re done now and we’re not going to be using the engines anyway so… they were good enough that we could do donuts!
When Verstappen revealed that he read that the Mercedes engines were shut down, Hamilton and Bottas expressed surprise.
MV: I also read that they had to lower the engines a bit, so that doesn’t help them
LH: What is the engine?
MV: The MGU-UK.
MV: Yeah is that what they said?
LH: Is that true? I do not think it is.
VB: It might be, but we don’t know.
MV: Maybe they just don’t want to tell you!
Follow us on twitter @ Planet_F1 and like our la page Facebook.