Lewis Hamilton was reminiscing about his first title in an interview when he referred to his controversial 2021 title defeat.
Lewis Hamilton has once again dug down on his last year’s title. Hamilton and Max Verstappen were in a fierce battle over the 2021 title coming down to the last race in Abu Dhabi.
Now, Formula 1 is returning to Yas Marina where arguably the biggest F1 controversy of recent times took place. Lewis Hamilton was leading the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP looking all set to win his historic eighth title. However, a late crash of Nicholas Latifi turned the race upside down.
A safety car was triggered which came in just with 1 lap of racing left. However, only the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen were let to pass rather than the whole grid. This left Hamilton a sitting duck in front of Verstappen who had pitted for fresher soft Tyres.
Verstappen ultimately chased down Hamilton and secured his elusive first World Title.
Many blamed race director Michael Masi for the decision. Some went on to call the race fixed and Hamilton ‘robbed’ of hs title. Masi ultimately lost his position and job in the FIA.
Hamilton once again calls the race ‘manipulated’
Ahead of last weekend’s Brazilian GP, Hamilton was talking about the maiden title that he won in Brazil back in 2008. It was the last race of the season and ended in an extremely dramatic manner.
Hamilton overtook Timo Glock on the last lap to claim his maiden title. Due to a late shower, Hamilton lost his 5th place to Sebastian Vettel. However, on the final lap, he was able to overtake Glock because of his dry tyres. Hamilton got his 5th position he needed to edge out Felipe Massa and win the championship by just 1 point.
Glock, who was now interviewing Hamilton asked if there were any similarities between the 2007 title decider and the 2021 title decider. To this Hamilton responded bluntly:
“No, it was different,”
said Hamilton thoughtfully.
“It was different because this one  wasn’t manipulated by anybody. Someone made a decision for that result [in Abu Dhabi] to be the way it was, basically.”
“There are similarities between the pain of losing in 2007 [when Hamilton was pipped to the title by Kimi Raikkonen] and the last three laps [in 2008] – I had lost it basically – a similar kind of horrible feeling in your heart and your spirit.”
It is not the first time the 7-time world champion called the last lap decision manipulative. Just after he was overtaken by Max Verstappen in 2021 on the last lap, Hamilton said this on team radio:
“This has been manipulated, man!”
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