Lewis Hamilton on Max Verstappen and Abu Dhabi: “Was I robbed? Obviously”

Lewis Hamilton's latest verdict on the notorious 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix conclusion

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the drivers' parade. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 on the drivers' parade. Formula 1…

Lewis Hamilton insists he is “at peace” with the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - but insists he was “robbed”.

The end of Hamilton’s and Mercedes’ glory era and the beginning of Red Bull’s dominant spell was the final round of the 2021 F1 season.

Hamilton, aiming for an all-time record eighth championship, was overtaken on the final lap in Abu Dhabi by Verstappen who hadn’t yet won a title.

The Race Director Michael Masi’s application of the Safety Car rule ultimately allowed Verstappen to nip past Hamilton, and claim the race victory and his first title.

It remains one of the most controversial-ever F1 moments.

Masi lost his job at the FIA afterwards, and Red Bull and Mercedes’ rivalry stepped up a notch.

“Was I robbed? Obviously,” Hamilton has told GQ Magazine.

“I mean, you know the story.

“But I think what was really beautiful in that moment, which I take away from it, was my dad was with me.

“And we’d gone through this huge roller coaster of life together, ups and downs.

“And the day that it hurt the most, he was there, and the way he raised me was to always stand up, keep your head high.

“And I obviously went to congratulate Max, and not realising the impact that that would have, but also I was really conscious of, like, there’s a mini-me watching.

“This is the defining moment of my life.

“And I think it really was. I felt it. I didn’t know how it was going to be perceived.

“I hadn’t, like, visualised it. But I was definitely conscious of: these next 50 metres that I walk is where I fall to the ground and die – or I rise up.”

Hamilton was asked if he still fixates on that grand prix, and he replied: “If I see a clip of it, I still feel it.

“But I’m at peace with it.”

Hamilton has not won an F1 grand prix since then.

Verstappen, meanwhile, is on course for his fourth championship in a row.

Each driver is at the heart of the driver market which could shake up the 2025 season.

Hamilton will go to Ferrari in hope of finally securing his eighth title.

Verstappen is being mentioned as his replacement at Mercedes, amid the internal controversy at Red Bull.

Nearly three years on from their notorious moment, more chapters are still to be written about the Verstappen-Hamilton rivalry.

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