Hamilton Furious With ‘Manipulated’ Ending In Unplayed Radio Message – WTF1
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Hamilton Furious With ‘Manipulated’ Ending In Unplayed Radio Message

The way the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix came to an end would have been a tough pill for Lewis Hamilton to swallow. With a potential eighth drivers’ championship slip from his grasp on the last lap of the race, Hamilton was understandably livid at the scenes unfolding in front of his eyes.

The controversial one-lap dash to the line allowed Max Verstappen to pass Hamilton to seal the 2021 title in a very dramatic fashion. Red Bull’s strategists outmanoeuvred Mercedes, pitting Verstappen for fresh soft tyres whilst Hamilton kept track position on old hard tyres.

The surprise decision to allow select lapped cars to pass the Safety Car and get racing back underway spelt disaster for Lewis. Max dived past his rival on the final lap, and despite the Brit’s best attempts to repass along the straights, there was nothing he could do.

Unsurprisingly livid, four corners from the end, a furious Hamilton shouted on the radio claiming that “this has been manipulated, man”.

Curiously, this message wasn’t broadcasted on the world feed but was available to those watching Hamilton’s onboards on F1 TV.

As his race engineer Peter Bonnington remarked that he was “just speechless Lewis, absolutely speechless”, Hamilton remained deathly silent, choosing to stop in parc ferme rather than joining the champion and third-placed Carlos Sainz on the grid.

Gracious in defeat, he congratulated both Verstappen and Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner after the race. However, he’s potentially got himself into trouble, as his decision to skip the official FIA press conference and interviews is a breach of F1’s Sporting Regulations.

Article 56.1 states that the drivers who finish on the podium and a representative of the winning team must be available for an hour and a half post-race for TV interviews and the press conference.

No investigation has been announced yet, but if punished, he faces a fine of up to €250,000 or could be required to do some community work, similar to Horner participating in the 2022 Stewards Programme for his rogue marshal comment.

It’s not yet known if this was a decision from Hamilton himself or a request of Mercedes after they lodged two protests after the chequered flag. 

Hamilton wasn’t the only one keeping silent. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff refused to speak to the media whilst they protested the decision, and they’ve now lodged an intention to appeal this dismissed protest.

Awkwardly, both of them are expected to appear at the FIA’s prizegiving gala in Paris on Thursday. Imagine how furious the FIA would be if they were a no-show!

Do you agree with Hamilton’s thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

82 thoughts on “Hamilton Furious With ‘Manipulated’ Ending In Unplayed Radio Message

  • Steven Bremer says:

    I keep on thinking of about this and I feel that this is all about a failed strategy on the MB side. Not taking away anything from how odd the events were but if you think about it HAM could have pitted just as VER did. In that case if they cleared the lap cars it would have been a similar shootout but on more equal tires.

    For HAM and Toto do no-show is a sign of poor sportsmanship.

    • Mercedes could not pit Hamilton as there was no knowledge of the race getting back underway. If HAM pitted then VER would have stayed out taking track position and within the rules as Mercedes are protesting, the race would have finished under safety car with Max in P1

      • yeah but the thing is, it is never a sure thing. Nobody has the knowledge how it’s going to go, nobody has a crystal ball and we are all living right now. RB gambled on something different than MB, and won. MB could have also have decided to go for fresh softs, and they would have won. That’s life. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you get over it

        • idk if u saw the race, but RB won coz Masi broke his own safety car rules…The rules say it should have ended under safety car in that situation but Masi broke his own rules, so Max won.

        • In my opinion the decisions are not really gamble . The one that gambled was RB . MB calculated their response based on the regulations which where overwritten by race director. I think that’s what Mercedes is trying to fix with the appeal . Not winning the championship but putting more restrictions in race director’s power. We ‘ve seen it in spa too . That irritates me more than the last race

          • Nothing to do with who wins or loses, otherwise I would have stopped watching F1 when Senna and Schumacher abused their positions and dishonoured the sport.

          • Miguel Flores says:

            I hope that everything works out in favor of MB in court, so that you can continue with your life and be happy

          • If it goes to a proper court it will go in Merc favour, why do you think we are all so appalled…we don’t like Lewis that much, what we do hate is blatant cheating preventing a sport which we have all grew up with

          • It’s not been racing for a decade or so. However I think you have to look at who owns FI – Liberty Media, an American Company that promotes razzmatazz in sports. They would have an unhealthy relationship with a feeble race director, which leave the bad taste in the mouth.
            If you look at the stats of
            10 races won (against 8 for Hamilton)
            10 pole positions (against 5 for Hamilton)
            600+ laps led this year (against 290 for Hamilton)
            you would say the Championship is deserved.
            Verstappen is bit like Marmite – like it or loathe it.

            ps Charlie Whiting would never have allowed this to happen

          • Christopher Chung says:

            Indeed… 40 years in my case. Masi and fellow stewards have turned F1 into WWF.
            My struggle in not watching next year lies in my hope of witnessing HAM rightfully win his 8th. Then I’ll drop F1 cold-turkey right there and then.

        • That’s a ridiculous point of view. Pitting was the last thing Merc should of done, as it proved they would of lost track position and it would take the Race Director to do the following for it to be a success:
          1. Ignore his own past safety car desicion (Safety Car written ruling he gave after German Grand Prix 2020)
          2. Ignore the FIA Sporting Code (48.12 states “any car which has been lapped by the lead car should pass the lead car to be unlapped” also it states “safety car should be removed the following lap”)
          3. Minimum of 50 years of president

          In summary FIA will get destroyed in a proper court and they know it!

      • Mercs were playing the percentages given that there was a low probability for safety car to come out given the # of laps remaining. RB had nothing to lose and they happened to get the “miracle” they needed. Even if the race had been red-flagged and they had a multi-lap sprint to the finish, I’m 100%+ sure RB would’ve welcomed that opportunity as well.

    • Joeri Marcelis says:

      the problem with “could’ve pitted” is, that if he had, Max would’ve stayed out, and gotten in front.
      sure, Lewis could’ve done the same: get fresh softs, overtake Max on the used hards.

      but the difference is: no one knew how long the SC period would take. if it’d gone to the finish, Lewis would also have lost.

      Max didn’t have that. He was well enough ahead of P3 to keep his position after pitting.

    • Rodrigo Carmona says:

      This is on my mind too. MB did not box not one but two times to ham. With that they really was having the chance to go side by side until the end.

      • Despite not pitting Merc find them 12 seconds ahead with 11 laps remaining, man that’s a terrible strategy

        • Rodrigo Carmona says:

          I can see the sarcasm, but could happen that no VSC or SC but a tire blow up about the tire age.
          That car is insane and Ham is a hell of a driver, but he’s not running alone.

          • I was screaming at the TV if I’m honest wondering why Lewis didn’t put in the VSC. But I’ve no issue with them not during the SC. In my opinion it wouldn’t of mad any difference at the end if Hamilton was on 20 lap old hards/medium or 40 lap old hards Vs scrubbed in Softs against the pole sitter absolutely nailed on that Verstappen would of got him

    • Ok let’s say Merc did the strategy and at the end of the race Ham has better tires and should be able to catch Max. Then let’s say Latifi also crashed and everything was the same. My question is how you can be certain that the dumbhead Masi would do the same thing if this time Max is in front and Ham is on 2nd place? Are you sure that he would do the same – allowing Ham to pass SC and did what Max did? Because this guy is just so inconsistent. The decision on similar situations change race by race. So even if we can go back to the past and repeat the race again, I’m not quite sure Masi will make the same decision again. I really wish FIA be more neutral and consistent next year. They’ve got what they want – a new champ to get more viewership so now I hope they go back to basics and do everything fairly and consistently. We need a proper and fair competition. No need to manipulate and sabotage everything to make sure that the title race is tight like this year. That’s what I called poor sportsmanship.

    • That’s a ridiculous point of view. Pitting was the last thing Merc should of done, as it proved they would of lost track position and it would take the Race Director to do the following for it to be a success:
      1. Ignore his own past safety car desicion (Safety Car written ruling he gave after German Grand Prix 2020)
      2. Ignore the FIA Sporting Code (48.12 states “any car which has been lapped by the lead car should pass the lead car to be unlapped” also it states “safety car should be removed the following lap”)
      3. Minimum of 50 years of president

      In summary FIA will get destroyed in a proper court and they know it!

  • Lewis’ father was the one true gentleman. Went to congratulate both Verstappen and Verstappen’s dad. I’m sure he has his opinion about the entire race and everything that went down over the season. But he’s acting like the better man by dealing with it in private and not shouting at the top of his lungs.

  • Anthony Hamilton is one of the most class act people in this whole debacle. Lewis and Max deserve this title. However the Stewarts been pretty shitty the whole season with the ending as their peak stupidity. I would never understand they didn’t use a Red Flag and go Baku style restart.

    • Surprised they didn’t red flag the race at that point given where Latifi crashed and the time needed to clear his car & the debris. If Michael Masi wanted racing, a 6-lap sprint would’ve been a far more viable option than what transpired.

  • It was manipulated… Sainz could have gone in for a possible win but he still and a lapped car in front of him!!

    • I would love to know what ferrari and the other teams think of an official being able to change the rules 3 minutes from the end of a 9 month season, that saw an entire race being won behind a SC.
      I can’t help but think they are saying to themselves it could be us they stick it to next time.

  • I can’t even begin to understand how it must’ve felt to lose it like that on the last lap. I’d be fuming and so can he, really good sportsmanship of Lewis to let it go like that and move on farely quickly.

    • Not a Lewis fan by any means, but I know if I were in his situation, it’d be a mega struggle for me to maintain composure.

    • ask Massa – He won the Brazilan Grand Prix in 2008 and was the leading driver in the Championship. On the very final corner Hamilton overtook Timo Glock, and in doing so overtook Massa to claim the champoinship that year.

      • Christopher Chung says:

        Yeah, we remember that one. Except in that case, no officials were involved. I think Glock simply had car issues.

  • If ending the race under yellow was unacceptable,
    then they HAD to red flag.
    should of been discussed before the race any incident within 10 laps from end if risked ending in yellow would be an immediate red flag with no tire changes.

    • Really weird that they hadn’t considered that when Baku was this very same season. That would have been a much more credible and fairer way to engineer the exciting finish they wanted. They do that and they don’t end up looking nearly so culpable but Masi always seems caught off guard by anything that happens and improvises bogus solutions like those two laps under safety car in Spa which no one in their right mind would have confused for a race.

  • His wife, the Belgian ex-kart driver Sophie Kumpen, claims Verstappen has threatened her by text message, assaulted her, and last week slashed the tyres on her car three times, the Dutch radio Omroep Brabant said. completely in character to pay off massi.

  • Manipulatiom. A farcical ending to the result. No longer a Championship.

    57 yrs an afficionado of F1 – NO LONGER. I have watched my last race.

    It is NOT a sporting event any more.

    • Miguel Flores says:

      Imagine that every time your favorite loses you throw such an argument. That’s what I call a tantrum. Not typical of a man your age.

  • Alexandre Feliz says:

    Off topic: forget about the final lap and head back to start of race…what was the difference between Max have to let Hamilton pass after going outside the lines in the previous Grand Prix and Hamilton going WAY outside the lines and not having to let Max pass in this Grand Prix? No one else curious?

    • That argument would be fine if Max even remotely tried to make the corner. That’s where the difference is for me. I don’t support either of the two FYI, so let’s not turn this into toxic fandoms fight.

      • Alexandre Feliz says:

        But that was an honest question. I don’t have money on any of them. But the corners are there for something… it’s a track. If you don’t follow the track Ang gain advantage you have to be penalized…and Max was well penalized in my opinion. Rules are rules and must be enforced…always.

        • V12wasthebomb says:

          No worries, perhaps I phrased it poorly but I was not taking a jab at you I just wanted to make sure we could reason and talk.
          I agree with you that corners are there for a reason. So I guess my question is: What else could HAM do with VER trying to side end him? In my view HAM ran wide specifically because VER did not try to make the corner but instead to ram into HAM’s side, forcing him off, by braking too late. I agree this is not optimal, but what penalty would you have applied in that case? Because I’m not sure I’m following what could be done except leave it be. If HAM gained a lasting advantage by running wide, it’s actually VER’s fault in that case.

          • Alexandre Feliz says:

            Ok. But VER did make the corner…this time :). Maybe last week VER could not make the corner because HAM ran wide and almost hit VER. There will always be controversy. In Brazil ( I think) there is a saying that in English is something like “opinions are like as*es…everyone has its own”:)

          • Haha, well said. IMO he doesn’t make it at all this time either, that’s where my argument stems from. If you think he does, then yes, I can see what you mean now. For me this bit was totally fine.

          • Neville James Ashtyn Smith says:

            VER made the corner (this time) but didn’t leave space for HAM to do so. HAM should have had to give the place back, but VER should also have goten a 5 sec penalty at his next stop.

  • Iredtay de la Upidstay says:

    They need to acknowledge that they took too long to deploy the SC and that their desire to have a “car race” is the same as desiring Max as champion…F1 is not a drag race….and the race director in the end because he is fearful of both Toto and Chris did what he hoped would cause the least amount of trouble for him. He let them “ settle it” on the track….Hamilton had done everything right….including passing the lapped cars that Max had removed by the race director….the race should have ended under full course yellow.

  • Simon Egerton says:

    It is absolutely disgusting what the FIA did just for TV and money, to coin a phrase Hamilton made some time ago, Cash is king, I hope Masi gets the sack post jean todt, he certainly deserves being ousted manipulating a race outcome like that, F1 has lost a 44 year fan after that mockery of a race this past sunday

  • It just goes to show why Masi should be replaced. He hasn’t brought consistency to the races this season. This was a huge blunder from both the Stewards and Masi. There should be an asterisk out beside Verstappens name that the title was given to him and not earned outright. Sad day for F1 racing.

  • I believe that Lewis’ dad was better able to handle it because he has been doing so his entire life, keeping your cool is akin to preserving your life as a Black person is thought to do even when they know that they are being wronged.

  • F 1 screwed Hamilton and turned their racing. As entertainment, not sport. They gave a substandard driver the title, erasing a 10 second advantage and allowing red steer to change tires. If you think you did anything, great. I will find something else to do and I won’t be participating in this farce. F U.

  • Lewis and Max should both be crowned 2021 F1 Champions…that is my view…this is an exceptional year and there needs to be an exceptional gesture by F1A for posterity. ..Lewis deserves his 8th title and Max wins his first…but both need to be given their championship titles….
    This is my understanding of all round justice now that the story has reached this far….one gesture for POSTERITY

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