Hamilton claims title showdown ‘manipulated’ to Max Verstappen

Spread the love

Mercedes are considering scrapping plans to appeal the outcome of the Formula 1 world championship, despite Sir Lewis Hamilton claiming its epic finale had “been manipulated” in a largely-unaired radio message to his team.

An update was expected by Thursday at the latest on whether Hamilton’s team would continue to contest a ruling by officials during the final laps of Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which cruelly denied him a record-breaking eighth title.

Having lost an initial appeal against a decision relating to the deployment of the safety car – which allowed Max Verstappen to pit for fresh tyres and then slot in behind and surge past his helpless rival – Mercedes were leaning towards putting the reputation of the sport before their desire to correct what they deemed a major injustice.

That was despite the emergence of Hamilton’s initial reaction to being passed by Verstappen, with the Brit shouting four corners before the chequered flag: “This has been manipulated, man.”

The comment was not broadcast on the world feed but was heard on Hamilton’s onboard channel on F1 TV.

Much of the controversy centred around the decision by race control to order all lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to overtake the Mercedes before the final-lap shootout.

Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel – who were running in seventh to 11th places – were told to pass.

That was despite race control initially stating lapped cars would not be allowed to overtake and despite one interpretation of the regulations being that all such cars should do so, not just those between first and second place.

Norris said: “It was obviously made to be a fight, it was for the TV of course, it was for the result. Whether or not it was fair is not up to me to decide.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.