Stroll Slams ‘Ridiculous’ Abu Dhabi Ending For ‘Manipulating The Rules’ – WTF1
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Stroll Slams ‘Ridiculous’ Abu Dhabi Ending For ‘Manipulating The Rules’

Lewis Hamilton might have been the biggest loser from FIA Race Director Michael Masi’s controversial handling of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he wasn’t the only one to feel aggrieved. 

During the 2021 season finale, Masi made the contentious decision to only allow five of the eight backmarkers to unlap themselves under the safety car ahead of the one-lap shootout.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was one of those impacted as he was denied the chance to fight Daniel Ricciardo for 12th, having both pitted for fresh soft tyres under the safety car.

Now, the Canadian has slammed the decision as “ridiculous” for putting the show first and altering the rules to create a one-lap championship shootout between Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

“The rules were inconsistent. In Abu Dhabi there was a change in regulation with one lap remaining,” he told Sky Sports News at the launch of the AMR22.

“The rule is when there’s a safety car, all lapped cars get to overtake the safety car before we go racing.

“How it all played out – half the cars can, half the cars can’t – so that the two fighting for the world championship could have one more lap of racing.

“I think is just manipulating the rules in a way and I don’t think that’s right.”

Throughout his five seasons in F1, Lance has been on both sides of the stewards’ often unpredictable decisions and is now calling on the FIA to tackle the lack of consistency that stained the 2021 season.

“I understand it’s great to go racing and everyone wants to see the last lap of the race and the two drivers fighting for the world championship go head-to-head with one lap to go,” Stroll added. “But we can’t be making up rules at the end of a race, that has to be set in stone.

“If there was maybe an error where cars didn’t pass soon enough when the safety car came out or backmarkers weren’t allowed to pass the safety car early enough and the consequence is we won’t get the whole lap of racing well, then that’s how it is.

“That is the rule, the rules have to be consistent. In Formula 1 we’ve seen some inconsistency in penalties and decision making and I think this was maybe a little bit too much.”

Do you think Stroll’s right to be angry? Let us know in the comments below. 

19 thoughts on “Stroll Slams ‘Ridiculous’ Abu Dhabi Ending For ‘Manipulating The Rules’

  • David Kershaw says:

    Is it me or can we just start concentrating on this season? It’s clearly the media doing the beat up as it’s them asking the questions. Richard Benson in particular has a bee in his bonnet as his columns (not articles) are all biased. We really don’t care anymore – let’s concentrate on this season and the cars and how they think they will do. Stroll is hardly an authority anyway – he’s just driving Daddy’s car

    • He’s a current F1 driver who was in that race and was disadvantaged by Masi’s meddling, so he’s a perfect authority.
      This is also the sort of concern that will remain until it’s dealt with, regardless of what season it is.

  • Felipe Prieto says:

    And here I am, on a uneventful Friday, agreeing the hell with Sir Lancelot and actually glad he has a seat locked and can speak his mind freely… He’s 100% correct in his assessment: It was good to see; it was a manipulation.

    • Ok, so Masi let’s all cars through. No rules broken – Max still wins the race…..duh…..2nd scenario, they pit Hamilton – Max still wins….duh…..as Merc chose to keep Hamilton out. If he’d pitted as his engineer said they’d ‘lost position’ duh…… Safety cars happen – has been part of the sport for many a year. And unfortunately that means sometimes the person whose been leading the race for awhile loses. Also happens in Indy and other cars – dry your eyes Princess Hamilton fans. It’s getting boring

      • You missed the whole point. If they let all the cars through there would not have been time to restart the race. No rules broken or changed. Hamilton would have won…. duh…..

      • Nothing to do with the outcome, the fact is they bent the rules to suit. Lance is right, you can’t have half a battle. If all eight cars had unlapped themselves then we would have had a different race and (and who knows what could have happened), just because they were fighting for the minor places does not mean they don’t count.

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