Toto Wolff has claimed Mercedes' results this year were all "irrelevant" given the team was rarely in the hunt for race wins.
Mercedes endured a torrid season as it lost time with aerodynamic developments in a bid to overcome its early-year problems with porpoising.
After introducing its final major upgrade of the year ahead of the United States Grand Prix in Austin, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton often then battled at the front, with the former scoring a maiden victory in Brazil.
Russell's result, coupled with strong early performances, allowed him to become only the third team-mate to outscore seven-time champion Hamilton over the course of a season.
Asked if he was surprised by Russell's strong early form, Wolff told the 'Beyond the Grid' podcast: "I didn't really look at the results so much.
"That's because we didn't really race for wins, and both drivers are calibrated to put them in a position to win and the car was simply not good enough.
"They worked together in trying to get it to a sweeter spot and that didn't really work out.
"I don't think it really mattered for them at the beginning whether one finished second and the other third or the other way around. It was irrelevant.
"And in the same way, all the results throughout the year were irrelevant."
Despite his dismissal of this term's results, Wolff was quick to stress a certain level of importance with regard to Russell's breakthrough success.
"I'm happy for George that he won his first race and that was important after the Bahrain situation two years ago," added Wolff, referring to Russell's Mercedes debut for Covid-hit Hamilton when a win was snatched from his grasp by a pit-stop blunder.
"But Lewis also told me about not winning a race this season as a first [and how he had] absolutely no problem with that. It plays no role."