Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Red Bull team advisor Helmut Marko has said FIA director Michael Masi had a ‘referee’s right’ to restart the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he did, which led to a number of complaints from Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team.
Hamilton was left heartbroken after he agonisingly missed out on a record eighth Formula One world title at the hands of Max Verstappen, however it wasn’t without controversy.
With six laps to go the Englishman looked certain to retain his Formula One crown as he carried a healthy lead in the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
However, a crash from the lowly Nicholas Latifi led to a safety car being deployed, which in turn reduced Hamilton’s once comfortable lead.
FIA director Masi then made the contentious decision to allow only five lapped cars to pass the safety car ahead of the race restart, which allowed the once struggling Verstappen to get almost side-by-side with the Mercedes man with one lap to go.
JUST IN: Nico Rosberg makes ‘crazy’ Max Verstappen comment as Lewis Hamilton named F1 GOAT
As a result the title rivals played out a final lap shootout to decide the world championship, which of course the Dutchman prevailed in – no doubt thanks to his much fresher tyres.
The finish led to two appeals from Mercedes against Masi’s restart, however this fell on deaf ears as both were turned down and Verstappen retained his maiden title.
And the Dutchman’s Red Bull advisor Marko believes the FIA director was well within his right to make the call.
He commented: “One must also credit Michael Masi who wanted to finish the race under racing conditions.
Alonso belief refuted as Esteban Ocon disagrees with Lewis Hamilton
Lando Norris sets himself tough 2022 Hamilton and Verstappen challenge
Verstappen’s title win represents a worrying fact for Hamilton
“With IndyCar or NASCAR, for example, there is a rule that they even add a lap so that the race can be finished under racing conditions.
“There were five cars in between and he just sent them away, so that you could drive this last lap.
“It’s like the referee, he has the right and if he decides like that, then that’s valid.”
As well as benefiting from Masi’s decision, another key aspect that no doubt helped Verstappen’s title-winning lap came with his team’s quick decision to take to the pits following the Lafiti’s crash.
As a result Verstappen’s car was kitted out with a fresh set of tyres, which ultimately helped him past Hamilton at the most important time.
Unsurprisingly Marko had plenty of praise for his team’s quick thinking as he added: “Our team acted sensationally.
“Immediately switched to the soft tyres and then, yes, Hamilton had no chance. He [Verstappen] asked me afterwards what I was thinking – ‘you will win it’, it was clear.”
Source: Read Full Article