'It was theft' - WRC legend Ogier on Hamilton’s F1 2021 title defeat

Eight-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier thinks Lewis Hamilton was “robbed” of the 2021 Formula 1 world drivers’ championship.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in parc ferme.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in parc ferme.
© xpbimages.com

Hamilton lost out to Max Verstappen in a dramatic season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The Mercedes driver dominated the race and looked on course for a record-breaking eighth title until a late Safety Car caused by Williams’ Nicholas Latifi allowed Verstappen to switch to softs and overtake him on the final lap.

The handling of the final laps by race director Michael Masi has been heavily scrutinised after he didn’t follow the FIA’s sporting regulations with the Safety Car procedure.

As a result, the FIA has launched its own investigation with the future of Masi unclear going into this season.

Speaking to French outlet RMC, Ogier said: “I think he will come back. He is in an ultra-competitive environment with the best team at the moment. It must have been a very difficult situation for him. He really felt like he was robbed. And he was robbed, let's not be afraid to say that.

“Although I have a lot of respect for Max and he had a great season, on that last weekend Lewis dominated the race and was in front all the way until the very end. Unfortunately for him, there was the famous Safety Car only a few laps from the finish.

“So whether it was one or the other, they are both great champions, but looking just at that weekend, it was theft. And that's very hard to swallow for Hamilton.”

Since his title defeat, Hamilton has remained quiet over social media.

However, Mercedes will launch its W13 later this month with Hamilton and George Russell expected to shakedown the car at Silverstone on February 18.

Read More