“Someone had decided the outcome…”

Talking about his first world title last weekend in Brazil, Lewis Hamilton returned to the controversial outcome of the 2021 championship.

In a three-way chat with Felipe Massa and Timo Glock at Interlagos, the seven-time world champion paid tribute to his rivals but also refused to compare his 2008 title to the crown lost in Abu Dhabi last year.

While the championship was decided in the last hectometres of the race at the time, when Massa won the Grand Prix believing himself to be titled before Hamilton’s McLaren overtook Glock’s Toyota (shod on stick tires) in the last corner, the outcome of the final at Yas Marina a year ago still sticks in his throat.

Hamilton was leading comfortably after dominating the Grand Prix when a safety car intervention reshuffled the cards for a final green-flag lap that should never have happened.

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“It was different, because nobody had manipulated that final in 2008, Lewis recalls. In Abu Dhabi, the race was manipulated: someone decided the result by making a decision to be the one we know…”

This “someone” is obviously the race director Michael Masi whose choice to relaunch the event without following the regulations has earned him the exclusion of the FIA.

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