Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021

Hamilton: “My worst fears came alive” in Abu Dhabi finale controversy

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says the controversial conclusion to last year’s season, in which he lost a potentially record-breaking eighth world championship on the final lap, left him “sitting there just in disbelief”.

In brief

Hamilton ‘knew something wasn’t right’ in Abu Dhabi finale

Hamilton described his feelings after losing the championship after FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi broke the rules to arrange a final-lap restart.

“You see things start to unfold,” he told Vanity Fair, “and my worst fears came alive. I was like, there’s no way they’re going to cheat me out of this. There’s no way. That won’t happen. Surely not.”

Asked whether he felt cheated, Hamilton said: “I knew what had happened. I knew what decisions had been made and why. Yes, I knew that something wasn’t right.”

Piastri should have shown more loyalty – Szafnauer

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has criticised the team’s reserve driver Oscar Piastri for showing a lack of “loyalty” by declaring he will not drive for them next year as Fernando Alonso’s replacement.

“There should be some loyalty to the fact that we have invested literally millions and millions of euros to prepare him,” he told El Confidencial.

Szafnauer said he has had phone calls from 14 other drivers who are interested in Piastri’s seat, but is adamant they have a valid contract with Piastri.

“Alonso is going to Aston Martin,” said Szafnauer. “We had a contract with Piastri and we have to understand where he takes us legally. We believe, and that is why we issued the statement, that we have a binding contract. Let’s spend some time studying where this takes us.”

Ganassi spoke to Palou for first time in weeks after podium

Palou returned to the podium in Nashville
Chip Ganassi and Alex Palou broke weeks of mutual silence after Sunday’s IndyCar race in Nashville as they celebrated third place in the race. The team and driver are involved in legal action over Palou’s attempt to join rivals McLaren SP last year.

“We didn’t really have a chat one-to-one since then,” said Palou. “I mean, it’s good, right? We just finished on the podium. It was a good day. It was a good day for the team overall as well with Scott [Dixon] finishing P1.”

Flooding hits Seoul ahead of Formula E finale

Formula E is due to hold its season finale double-header in Seoul this weekend, but parts of the South Korean capital have been hit by floods due to extremely heavy rain:

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Comment of the day

Vettel bowing out while Hamilton races on makes sense to @Matthijs:

As much as I like Vettel, it was obvious that he is well past his prime and that he only seldom shows the talent that was once there. Just like Raikkonen was last year.

With Hamilton (and also Alonso) my opinion is very different. They show on regular basis that they still are amongst the best in the field. I am glad that they are still racing, because they add to the excitement.

I am confident that Hamilton can still win a world title if Mercedes provides a car that is good enough. The only question is, how patient will he be when the Mercedes is not improving into a race-winning car.
@Matthijs

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Bustertje!

On this day in motorsport

  • 35 years ago today Nelson Piquet won the Hungarian Grand Prix after a wheel nut came off Nigel Mansell’s car while he was leading

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 130 comments on “Hamilton: “My worst fears came alive” in Abu Dhabi finale controversy”

    1. Hold on there Otmar…. Ok, so perhaps you do have a binding contract with Piastri. Fair enough. Perhaps you do feel that as you have invested money in him, he should show some loyalty to the team. Not going to argue with that….

      Where I’m a bit confused though is it seems like one of two things has happened here. Either you didn’t bother to speak to Piastri and just put a Tweet out saying he was your new driver which is a really strange thing to do or you did speak to him, he said “No thanks” and your response was to post a Tweet announcing him as your new driver anyway.

      Either way, it seems like really unprofessional behaviour from the Alpine team.

      1. I agree – it certainly seems like a mess created by a whole lot of assumptions being made instead of having a couple of simple phone calls before you put out announcements.

        That being said, I truly hope that Piastri has things properly sorted and signed or he’s potentially completely destroyed his future as a F1 driver. I guess we’ll find out over the coming days/weeks when the other side makes its announcements.

      2. G (@unklegsif)
        9th August 2022, 6:58

        It was reported st the time, from team statements and I think from Otmar, that repeated attempts were made to contact “camp Piastri”, but they had gone dark and could not be contacted and not wanting to get caught out again, they then released their statement about Piastri

      3. The only reason for rushing out that statement (with or without a phone call to Piastri) was to pretend to the world that you are in control.

        It’s poor management to focus on what others might think of you rather than actively managing the situation at hand and communicating with all people involved.

      4. You forgot the third option – where Alpine genuinely believe the contract is settled, and Piastri is wrong.

        Also unprofessional is Piastri tweeting (that’s enough, but there’s more) that he will not be driving for them.
        Settle it privately first, or risk becoming the new Alonso.

        1. You forgot the third option – where Alpine genuinely believe the contract is settled, and Piastri is wrong.

          Pete, didn’t forget it; he mentioned it in his first sentence :P

          Also it’s not a ‘third option’ as the unprofessional behaviour is not agreeing with your driver what to announce to the world about his future (a third option could be that his phone was out of reach).
          And it’s a tad childish too then accuse Piastri of unprofessionalism when he is merely reacting to an incorrect announcement about his future.

          1. Pete, didn’t forget it; he mentioned it in his first sentence :P

            Where I’m a bit confused though is it seems like one of two things has happened here.

            That makes 3 things, unless I can’t count…

            Seems pretty silly to say one side is being unprofessional when both sides have done exactly the same thing.

            Piastri’s post seemed far more ‘childish’ to me that Alpine’s. He could easily have said nothing public at all, as those who need to know what’s going on already do, without any need for playing media games.

            1. I’m a bit concerned about your counting as well.
              But it seems a simple case of you not understanding that Pete is confused about other things than you want him to be confused about.

              I did not check the level of ‘childishness’ of the posts, but I fully agree with Pete on the ‘unprofessionalism’ on the part of Alpine(‘s team principal).

      5. I disagree with the first part. Any notion of loyalty went out the window when they failed to get the F2 champion onto the F1 grid.

        1. @tommy-c Alpine couldn’t really do much. Because of the way F2 was last year, there had only been 4 weekends of F2 before the summer break. And of those 12 races, Piastri had won only 1 and wasn’t even the highest Alpine junior in the standings. Although it was clear that he was doing a really good job, it was only in the second half of the season starting from Monza that Piastri really took off on a pole and winning spree. You can’t really blame Alpine for not getting him a seat for 2022 in that regard. Perhaps though, Webber and Piastri expected Alpine to put up more money for the Alfa Romeo and Haas seats when they were available, but that was unrealistic, to be honest as evidently, Alfa wanted the Chinese backing from Zhou and Haas wanted someone experienced.

          Personally, I think Alpine’s plan of loaning Piastri out to Williams made perfect sense. He would get the chance to learn the ropes of F1 without the pressure of being with a big outfit, and Alex Albon is a decent reference who isn’t going to dominate the team dynamic. Going to McLaren means that he is stepping onto Norris’ turf, with a car that every single driver who has ever driven it (Sainz, Norris, Ricciardo) says is extremely tricky to handle, and immediately with the expectation of having to deliver P4 in the WCC.

      6. Elsewhere Otmar is quoted: ‘We have a contract with Piastri, which he signed in November’…’Part of that contract allows us to put Oscar in one of our cars in 2023’. Which is a curious way to refer to a driving contract with Piastri. Perhaps Oscar is only contractually bound to pop over after his day job to run simulator laps?

        1. Reminds me of that anecdote from the Beyond the Grid podcast with Briatore. He and his lawyers argued that their contract with one of the Benetton drivers (I forget which one) stipulated that he would have a car, but that this did not necessarily mean he would be among those Benetton selected for the F1 races. Classic Briatore shenanigans.

      7. Piastri is Otmar’s property.

    2. In sports we often see the team claim that the athlete is bring disloyal by seeking out the best business decision for themselves, whereas if the team seeks out the best business decision for them then somehow it is different.

      We’ll probably never know what language is really in the contract to make Otmar believe they have secured Piastri’s services for next year but I don’t like the idea of a driver seeking out the best opportunities for them of being disloyal.

      1. * being accused of being disloyal

    3. Hamilton ‘knew something wasn’t right’ in Abu Dhabi finale
      You should have written an article about this at the time Keith. Missed opportunity I say.

      1. Is that a joke?

        Every week has an article or snippet about it.
        And multiple comments sections full of it.

      2. As soon as I saw the article headline I thought “here we go again…..”

      3. Hamilton wasn’t speaking.

    4. I knew what decisions had been made and why.

      Racism?

      1. yeah, na. For years I baulked at the quote – until I saw the clip. Respect.

    5. I respect Hamilton as a driver, but the fact that he is still out there claiming he was cheated shows he, Russel, Wolf, they have not changed at all. What an utter disgrace that Mercedes and Hamilton have still not accepted this outcome. The whole team are dead to me. My only hope is that my favourite drivers (Sainz, Perez, Piastri) are never tempted to drive for this team.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        9th August 2022, 3:44

        Say what? :-) I’m not sure how to respond other than I’m sure Sainz, Perez, and Piastri would be pretty glad if you picked another set of drivers to cheer for and wouldn’t mention their names in this post.

      2. lol. Mate go cheer for Lightning Mcqueen that you do better.
        “The whole team is dead to me” how old are you? Eight?

        1. Yeah, the famous “how old are you” argument. Works like a charm every time!

          1. I stopped using it when I turned nine ;)

          2. It’s not about age, but content.

            You can be eight, as long as you don’t act like the world should care about your feelings, like your friend there did.

      3. @paul

        I hope your post is attempted humour! It doesn’t much matter that the drivers involved in the Abu Dhabi debacle were Hamilton and Verstappen. The sport shamed itself and that must never be allowed to happen again. Abu Dhabi must never, ever be ‘accepted’ and will not be by anyone who cares about integrity and truth.

        1. F1 ‘shames itself’ on such a regular basis you could set your watch by it.

        2. It truly was a shame. NEVER Seen this before in a championship deciding race. (Following since the early seventies) – What ever Masi did was close to criminal (in sporting regulations) – I still wonder WHY? Drivers are now punished harshly on white line transgressions (fair), but a major race director can’t ‘at random’ chose the winner by blatantly negating the rules. So, IMO (I’m Belgian) that resulted in a FAKE ‘world champion’. Max is excellent, but could and should never have won this race, so he’s in my point of view he’s on his way to win his FIRST driver’s Championship this year, not his second. And I’m certainly not alone in this opinion. I will congratulate Max on his first driver’s championship this year. But last year’s was ‘fixed’. No hatred or envy, just an observation of facts.

          1. No hatred or envy, just an observation of facts.

            Huh?
            No hatred or envy perhaps, but certainly complete denial of the facts.

            1. The history books show that Columbus discovered America, doesn’t make it true though…

      4. I’m hoping, for your mental state, that this is a joke

      5. Love these type of comments

        ‘Deserved the season’ deserved to win’ deliver3d the season’

        Anyone without obvious bias watching the last half of the season during a rock solid performance by Hamilton and a pretty much shambles by Verstappen without acknowledging they went into the final equal on points when frankly MV would have been disqualified in pretty much any other single seater season due to Saudi then says ‘he delivered a season’

        It’s irrelevant – he absolutely did not deserve to win that final race and had been beaten on all metrics until someone pulled a cheat out of the bag.

        You know for fun and laughs…

        It’s that simple.

        1. You know the car is part of the equation, right? Hamilton only beat verstappen once mercedes took off, oh, and also when he took him out or asked bottas to do so.

          1. Yep that was some driving by Bottas to calculate the angles and velocity on the fly to hit Norris who then hit Max….

      6. this is the first time Hamilton spoke about it, yet you are here claiming he is STILL talking about it. get your act together.

        1. Well, it is 9 months later now, isn’t it….

      7. Ironic how with more information available people only become more ignorant.

    6. Ding ding. Round 18 of the same comments. I will be happy to join explaining once again it is a season that delivers a championship, not a single race. And it was staged that Lewis was on equal points going into the last race. Something way too easy overlooked in all the Abu Dabi narratives. The real fraud happened way before that final race, so I couldnt care less about all the crying over that last race as it was a disgrace there could even be controversy. It was by far the most tainted unfair season I have watched since the Senna/Prost farce.

      1. You can’t explain something to people who refuse to listen.

        1. Such as the fact that being lucky or unlucky in any other race in the season due to things that are part of racing in a world championship, has nothing to do with whether a race director was heard by millions on international television during one of the biggest finales in racing this millennium bowing to the demands of the Red Bull pit wall?

          To the point where he literally made up rules, changed rules, ignored rules set by his own precedent just a year before meaning he understood full well what he was doing and prioritised Max getting close to Lewis as possible over every other driver on the grid.

          Picking and choosing who was worthy of continuing their race on the last lap of a world championship race and who was not. And not for safety reasons either.

          And the FIA having to investigate over the winter break, despite the stewards on the day pretending like race directors literally moving cars out of one drivers way because……fill in the blank…….is just a normal every day thing and that safety car rules were a super complicated thing that nobody really understands. Not even the race director (lol).

          And getting fired for doing it?

          Long story short.

          Championships are won over a season.

          Championships can be robbed by race directors ordering cars to get out of one cars way and ignoring the safety car rules, all to help one driver and screw multiple others over.

          Both statements can be true at the same time and neither cancels the other out.

          You mean that? Yes I wish people could listen also!

          1. What about changing rules mid season cause mercedes asked for it? That’s the same level of cheating to me.

        2. Hmm. No bias there, eh… GrizzleBoy is Lewis Hamilton’s alias here, is it?
          It suits, I guess.

          While you are here, though, can you please explain to me why the FIA didn’t just DSQ Mercedes right from the outset?
          I mean, that would have cleared it all up right from the beginning if it was all so crooked and rigged.
          Why risk Hamilton and Mercedes winning if the outcome was already decided behind closed doors?

          1. It doesn’t really matter that the drivers involved were Hamilton and Verstappen. If it had been Saintz and Perez, or Gasly and Norris, it would have been just as unacceptable. I’m quite perplexed that so many people seem not to understand this.

            1. The particular drivers involved matter a lot for some people, @paulguitar. It wouldn’t be the scale of an issue some people make it if it wasn’t those two.
              How many people would be so vocal about it if it was Ocon and Stroll? They don’t have anywhere near the fanbase…

            2. The point is that the travesty was separate from the specific drivers involved. Those defending what happened or claiming it was no big deal would do well to consider that if it happened again it could be ‘their’ driver that has the title stolen. Then they’d very likely start to care…

            3. I’ve ‘defended’ (or at least, can see and argue the logic behind) most of what happened at Abu Dhabi – and in all honesty I don’t see the big deal.
              I don’t follow any driver or team either – so maybe that’s why I’m not so fussed about it.
              It was a bit of a faux pas, for sure – but it’s a pretty small deal in the grand scheme of things. The restart was fine in accordance with F1’s sporting regs, the only thing wrong was how many cars were unlapped – which I don’t believe would have changed the championship order or race results anyway.

              F1 has a long, strong history of bending and ignoring rules when they feel like it. They are as soft as talc.
              If I rated the FIA’s performance in F1 officiating out of 10 over all the years I’ve been watching, it’d be a solid 3 at most.
              Which probably explains my lack of surprise at what happened pretty well…

              Maybe people’s expectations are just too high?

            4. It definitely does matter that it was Verstappen and Hamilton, because that’s where the only unarguably wrong decision was made: to not let all lapped cars through. Given that letting all cars through would still have put Verstappen right behind Hamilton, the first driver who was really disadvantaged by the decision was Carlos Sainz – and how often does RaceFans or any other outlet ask Sainz if he’s still upset over Abu Dhabi? Never? Definitely not every other week.

            5. @MichaelN Putting aside that Hamilton WAS disadvantaged by only some cars being allowed through, the REAL issue is that the rules explicitly stipulated that the SC was required to do one more lap, meaning the race would have ended under SC conditions.

              It confuses me that people are still arguing the nuances of the unlapping decision, while mostly ignoring the early SC withdrawal.

              If a race isn’t run to pre-agreed rules, then it’s not a race. The results stand, but until steps are put in place to ensure a repeat does not happen, F1 has dropped all pretence of it being a sport or being about racing.

          2. Sorry I am not sure where your at s other than happy to tLH beaten.

            Because whether your soft soaping the acknowledge complete screw up of ‘unlapping a few cars’ means little to you the facts are it happened and regardless of your ‘thoughts’ would have changed the result.

            There is little argument about that.

            Because much as you hate it – the right guy would have won that race.

            MV did nothing to deserve that race until he was gifted it.

            He was soundly beaten the last third of the year and despite his antics and some seriously weird race management- lost that race. Full stop.

            That right there says it all.

            1. Because much as you hate it – the right guy would have won that race

              You are completely overestimating how much I care who won.

              The ‘last third of the year’ is only that – but the season lasts for an entire year. There are so many variables throughout a season.
              Perhaps Hamilton needs to ask himself why he wasn’t ahead in the championship going into the final race, when he probably should have been.

        3. All i’m going to say is rember Baku 2021.

          Verstappen get a puncture driving long on old tires. Then there’s that unusual restart, followed by Hamilton and his magic button when the race was there on plate for him to win.

          In my opinion Hamilton was a part of this farce from the get go and contributed to the close even points ending. He contributed to the farce hoping for a story book ending to the hybred era. An historic race where it all comes down to the final race.

          No one could have forseen Horner’s appeal to the racing gods, Nicholas ‘it has to be this lap, mate’ Latifi and Micheal ‘its called motor racing’ Massi.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkIk6zOVkoc

          1. “Horner said it has to be this lap”, “all right”, *crashes on purpose like piquet junior*! Obviously joking.

      2. Ding dong. Your explanation is crucial to yourself. You need it. These facts remain: Max is a Masi-Assisted champion of 2021. A MAC Max.

        For Hamilton’s answers in interview: Surely you are big enough to ignore a non -champion? Your own “explanation” as to how Max is a champion to you, should give you enough comfort.

        Plus, Max is on the way to be a champion of 2022, thanks to the fastest car in the field. “99% of the field’s drivers could win with that fastest car”. That’s Max’s claim when Merc had a better car. Surely the same claim applies. No? Or let’s hear your ding ding that somehow Max hasn’t got the fastest car. Not content yet, are we?

        1. Sorry, your first sentence works both ways around. Hamilton would have been a FIA assisted champion of 2021 (tyre change mid season, wing gate, pit stop changes, engine regulation). Your second sentence I can unfortunately not follow at all. As to your third I would say Ferrari and RedBull are on same level, but I am fine stating RedBull is the fastest car and that potentially delivers Max another championship. Just like I always said Lewis got this many championships because of the car. Let it be clear that in F1 the driver does not have a great deal of influence, whomever it is. That is what I dislike about Hamilton, his inability to admit this and show some reflection.

    7. Piastri should have shown more loyalty – Szafnauer

      Piastri v Alpine round two, need more Pop-Corn.

      Ricciardo argues 2022 ‘not as bad as it always seems’

      Perhaps not but perception is reality.

      1. @johnrkh – I think Szafnauer forgot he was in F1 if you don’t have solid contract you don’t have nothing. Ruthless is something the drivers need to thrive….

    8. Hamilton described his feelings after losing the championship after FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi broke the rules to arrange a final-lap restart.

      When I read this line it was obvious that Keith wrote the round-up today.

      It’s been determined, and all teams agreed/accepted this, that arranging to restart the final lap was totally legal.
      Merely the partial unlapping (which only the thinnest of straws can link to the eventual race win) was deemed incorrect.

      1. Merely the thing that would’ve either made Lewis win by default due to taking extra time for other cars to start unlapoing or given him an actual chance at winning if unlapoing was decided against is what was deemed incorrect?

        Seems like an awfully big “merely”.

        Seems almost like a stackable offense for bringing the sport into disrepute and delegitimising the integrity of that championship year.

        What is Masi upto these days?

        1. Ah, I get it now. Masi should have wasted a lap just so Hamilton could finish first behind the SC.
          That would have been totally legit and without any possible chance of anyone being upset or looking for a conspiracy…

          We all know full well why Masi was turfed out of the role, and which team demanded it. No doubt with threats of pulling their engines out from under their 3 customer teams.
          The fact the Masi himself can’t even talk about it due to a NDA says quite a bit, don’t you think?
          I have no doubt he has pretty big bucket of dirt on a certain silver-coloured F1 team if that’s what he really wanted to use it.

          Fortunately, he has never lowered himself to such media games that Mercedes and Red Bull like to play.

          1. Masi should have wasted a lap just so Hamilton could finish first behind the SC.

            Well yes, as that’s procedure. Or, as the comment you replied to states, if finishing under green flag is that important, don’t unlap anybody. Both of those would have followed rather than broken the rules, so yes, would have been ‘totally legit’.

            1. The unlapping thing was an issue, sure – but not the finishing behind SC.
              Regardless, unlapping 3 cars or 5 cars or none is extremely unlikely to have altered the outcome of the championship – which is the part that everyone is getting their knickers in a knot about.
              Had Mercedes pitted for fresh tyres, on the other hand…. Then it absolutely would have made a difference.

            2. @S No unlapping would’ve likely affected the outcome in Hamilton’s favor as he would’ve had a big enough lead by S3 to stay ahead until the timing line.

            3. I doubt that very much @jerejj.
              Very very much.

              How old were Hamilton’s tyres…?

            4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              9th August 2022, 13:35

              It doesn’t matter what the outcome would have been. What matters is that they broke procedure to put another driver literally in front of the other driver under Safety Car.

        2. would’ve either made Lewis win by default due to taking extra time for other cars to start unlapoing

          It’s proven over and over again that there was more than enough time to let the other three cars unlap themselves as well. The first five cars took just over 10s and there was still 50s before race restart allow the remaining cars to unlap and get the SC in. Especially since all were determined to finish the race under green conditions as requested by the team principals.

      2. What is this comment even about. Everything in that statement by Keith stands. Hamilton lost the championship and Masi was found by the FIA in their report to have contravened the rules. Even Horner stated that Masi made a mistake.

        1. Everything in that statement by Keith stands.

          It stands, but not all of it is correct.
          Hamilton didn’t lose the championship at all because it wasn’t his to lose. He simply failed to win it.
          There were many other events and occurrences throughout the year that also could have allowed him to win it – not just that one.

          1. If the rules had been adhered to Hamilton would have been WDC before Abu Dhabi, because Verstappen would have been black-flagged at the previous event for his brake test.

            That’s moot though. The fact is the two drivers raced at Abu Dhabi starting on equal points, and the actions of Masi removed the title from Hamilton. Masi has been fired and F1 admitted a mistake was made. Hamilton will never officially have that title, but it’s clear he won it fair and square.

            1. If the rules had been adhered to, Hamilton would have been penalised in Bahrain for track limits breaches, and that would have changed the rest of the entire season.
              The butterfly effect could lead to anything… Who knows, maybe Mazepin could have become champion…

              If you believe that Hamilton won something, then good for you. Whatever makes you feel better about it, @paulguitar.

              You do at least acknowledge that those two drivers came into the final event on equal points because of several other controversial stewarding calls in both directions….. Right?
              It wasn’t a one-way street. There was even an (arguably) incorrect call on the first lap of the final race in favour of Hamilton…

            2. @paulguitar

              Just did a little history

              S is an absolute troll over this and loves to just argue from completely ridiculous view points ‘fia have a long history etc’

              Not in such clear cut screw up they don’t…

              Waste of time and effort – pretends to be neutral but is actually just a glad LH lost type

            3. Yeah, I’m not upset Hamilton lost, @drgraham.
              But that doesn’t make me biased.
              I’m equally content when Verstappen loses too – especially if it’s due to something entertaining, as Abu Dhabi was.

            4. @paulguitar

              The loveliest part about Mercedes/Hamilton fanatics that is going to drive me insane at some point is the switch from the “literal” to the “spirit of the rules” just to fit their bias. This is the most collective hypocrisy I’ve read about any subject online ever.

              Example:

              Abu Dhabi 2021 was wrong since it’s not in the spirit of the regulations to change the rules so we can have close racing at the last lap between the 2 title contenders. (Masi didn’t break the rules. The race director can overwrite the safety car procedure. There is a specific paragraph in the safety car section in the regulations)

              Silverstone 2021 copse crash is fine and we Hamilton fans are fine with the 25 points over Verstappen by dumping him in the wall since the literal appliance of a penalty due to the regulations doesn’t include the result of the crash.

              Bahrain 2021 is fine that the race director change the weekend’s track limits mid-race and caused Verstappen to lose a win by having to give the place back when otherwise it would be within the rules because he literally can.

            5. @cobray The rules do not say that the Race Director can override the safety car procedure. I suggest you don’t take a single paragraph out of context, and instead read the whole thing.

              The Race Director has overriding authority over the clerk of the course regarding the use of the safety car, but BOTH of them are required to follow the regulations.

              The paragraph the “Masi was allowed to change the procedure” camp keep hanging their hat on deals with scenarios where the judgment of the Race Director and the Clerk of the course has different outcomes. In that situation, the Race Director decides. It does NOT allow the Race Director to do whatever they want with the Safety Car.

            6. @fluxsource

              I read the whole thing. He can override any part of the safety car procedure and do whatever he feels like it, simple as that. No context, no opinions, no camps. He can do it, end of.

              Its too powerful and they should have stated it in a way that “in a state of x or y emergencies and do only this and that” but we are not writing the rules, FIA is.

            7. @cobray It doesn’t say that. It’s not ambiguous.

              I obviously should have said read the whole thing while actually paying attention.

            8. @fluxsource I never said nor implied it’s ambiguous.

              The clerk of the course shall work in permanent consultation with the Race Director. The Race Director shall have overriding authority in the following matters and the clerk of the course may
              give orders in respect of them only with his express agreement
              :
              a) The control of practice, sprint qualifying session and the race, adherence to the timetable
              and, if he deems it necessary, the making of any proposal to the stewards to modify the
              timetable in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
              b) The stopping of any car in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
              c) The stopping of practice, suspension of a sprint qualifying session or suspension of the
              race in accordance with the Sporting Regulations if he deems it unsafe to continue and
              ensuring that the correct restart procedure is carried out.
              d) The starting procedure.
              e) The use of the safety car

              “You are wrong plus patronizing.” is not an argument. “You are wrong because of this and that.” is an argument.

            9. @cobray The Race Director has overriding authority over the clerk of the course, not over the rules. The rules you quote above are in a section about officials (15), and in particular about the clerk of the course (15.3). It’s a section about the responsibilities of the various officials, and 15.3.e refers to who has the authority to make decisions about the safety car. It does NOT give any authority to override or otherwise ignore ANY other rule in the sporting regulations.

              You are wrong because you are taking a line in the regulations out of context and making a wild leap that it applies everywhere.

            10. @fluxsource

              The Clerk? You have to be joking.

              The Race Director shall have overriding authority in the following matters (a, b, c, d, e…) and the clerk of the course may give orders in respect of them only with his express agreement. <—- That’s how any normal person reads that.

              Need more proof you are completely wrong? From the protest filed by Mercedes.

              Conclusions of the Stewards :
              The Stewards consider that the protest is admissible.
              Having considered the various statements made by the parties the Stewards determine the
              following:
              That Article 15.3 allows the Race Director to control the use of the safety car, which in our
              the determination includes its deployment and withdrawal.
              ….

              The stewards in Abu Dhabi. You are wrong, enough said.

            11. @cobray My interpretation is how any competent person would read the regulations.

              As for the stewards, they are far from infallible.

              which in our the[sic] determination

              Their determination is, to be blunt, dumb.

              They are also NOT the final arbiters of interpreting the regulations. However, as the appeal was dropped, I’ll guess we’ll never find out how a competent body would have interpreted that clause.

              You are wrong, enough said.

              You seem to be confused about how debate works. If you’ve got something so fundament wrong, I’m not going to place much stock in the rest of your opinions.

            12. @fluxsource Can I see a source that supports your dyslectic Clerk claim in 15.3? I mean other than your opinion if you don’t mind of course. An official document like I posted would suffice. Heck, just an opinion from a reputable source will do. Have fun searching, I’ll be waiting.

            13. @cobray The source is the same regulations you quoted.

              15) OFFICIALS
              15.1 From among holders of an FIA Super Licence the following officials will be nominated by the FIA:
              a) Three stewards one of whom will be appointed chairman.
              b) A Race Director.
              c) A Permanent Starter.
              15.2 From among holders of an FIA Super Licence the following officials will be nominated by the ASN
              and their names sent to the FIA at the same time as the application to organise the Event:
              a) One steward from among the ASNs nationals.
              b) The clerk of the course.
              15.3 The clerk of the course shall work in permanent consultation with the Race Director. The Race
              Director shall have overriding authority in the following matters and the clerk of the course may
              give orders in respect of them only with his express agreement:
              a) The control of practice, sprint qualifying session and the race, adherence to the timetable
              and, if he deems it necessary, the making of any proposal to the stewards to modify the
              timetable in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
              b) The stopping of any car in accordance with the Code or Sporting Regulations.
              c) The stopping of practice, suspension of a sprint qualifying session or suspension of the
              race in accordance with the Sporting Regulations if he deems it unsafe to continue and
              ensuring that the correct restart procedure is carried out.
              d) The starting procedure.
              e) The use of the safety car.
              15.4 The stewards, the Race Director, the clerk of the course and the Technical Delegate must be
              present at the start of the Event.
              15.5 In exceptional circumstances, should any stewards not be present at the start of the Event, they
              must be available and contactable at all times to fulfil their duties.
              15.6 The Race Director must be in radio contact with the clerk of the course and the chairman of the
              stewards at all times when cars are permitted to run on the track. Additionally, the clerk of the
              course must be in race control and in radio contact with all marshal’s posts during these times.
              15.7 The stewards may use any video or electronic means to assist them in reaching a decision. The
              stewards may overrule judges of fact.

              For completeness I’ve quoted the entirity of section 15.

              In a clause about the clerk of cource and the Race Director, it says the Race Director has overriding authority. (note, not absolute authority, and then goes on to list the areas in which the Race Director may override the clerk of the course.

              Only an absolute idiot (or someone deliberately misrepresenting the facts in order to support an absurdly partisan view) would come to the conclusion that a clause about the working relationship between the Race Director and the clerk of the course would then lay out areas where the Race Director may ignore anything else laid out in the document. Anyone writing a document that did such a thing would be laughed out of the job for doing such an absurd thing.

              The only reason the FIA are pretending this is the case is because they a pathologically incabable of admitting any kind of fault, and the fools who as singing their song are preventing real change and helping ensure the next decade of F1 is as absurd as the last.

            14. @fluxsource

              For starters sorry about the harsh tone in the previous post. Pretty low from myself.

              I agree with your post. It’s not me who said that Race Director has absolute authority. I already said I don’t agree with it and should have been a mention of emergencies etc.

              The stewards dismiss the protest[51] on the grounds that, according to articles 48.13 and 15.3 in the Formula One sporting regulations, the race director has the “overriding authority” to amend any rule regarding safety car procedure as they wish and to declare Hamilton the winner for leading at lap 57 would retrospectively shorten the race.

              But what we are arguing is that we have no proof of a rule break since the clerk of the course never said that he was not in compliance with the race director decisions to override safety car protocol so we could have the last lap of racing.

              X number of lapped cars may now overtake and safety car in this lap messages are both sent from the clerk of the course who has to agree to the overriding decisions of Masi.

              If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car. …

              Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and make every effort to take up the position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car. … Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.

              Maybe the clerk of the course was completely bypassed and Masi did everything himself. But there is no proof of that.

        2. Masi was found by the FIA in their report to have contravened the rules. Even Horner stated that Masi made a mistake.

          And I also agree that the rules were not followed correctly.
          But all (FIA, Mercedes*, Horner, I) agree that it was the unlapping of all cars (or none) that wasn’t according to the rules.
          The ‘SC in’ the same lap was (albeit ambiguously) according to the rules.

          The comment (and many before) is to point out that Keith keeps on linking the error (not all cars unlapping) to the race or championship outcome.

          The only people who were disadvantaged were not in the championship race. And whilst Sainz complained, he clearly didn’t have the speed as he could not even approach (let alone overtake) a lapped Ricciardo. I doubt he could’ve entered into the fight at the front (but we’ll never know).

          * after their failed protest.

        3. I think we all know Masi made a mistake under severe pressure. The delay in clearing up the crash in good time is what I think contributed most, along with the 2 TP’s in his ear the whole race. He was looking good for a normal restart under green (as expected by Brundle at the time) but was cornered when they took too long.
          I wonder if Masi knew the crash would take longer than expected to clear, would he have went for a red flag?

      3. Exactly, unfortunate that this needs to be repeated every time. The FIA stewards and FIA review were very clear on this, yet it keeps being framed in this inaccurate fashion.

      4. Any source to all teams accepting the early withdrawal of the safety car was entirely legal?

    9. Maybe, but Alpine shouldn’t have hastily announced him without first informing him.

      How is Raphael Rashid’s tweet F1 or otherwise motorsport-related?

      1. As it says right above it: “Formula E is due to hold its season finale double-header in Seoul this weekend, but parts of the South Korean capital have been hit by floods due to extremely heavy rain”

        1. @sjaakfoo Oh, I failed to notice because the tweet & paragraph are separate.

    10. A friend sent me a picture of a stick man with an F1 hat saying ‘This is Bob. Bob likes F1. Bob doesn’t talk about Abu Dhabi 2021. Bob doesn’t talk about Silverstone 2021. Bob recognises that both Lewis and Max are very talented. Be like Bob.’

      This seems like the way to live. But I am going to talk about Abu Dhabi anyway.

      Some have mentioned that the teams made an agreement that the race should finish under green flags if at all possible. For me, this was an incredible act of stupidity from the teams. Why would you allow the rules to be as vague as that? However, I think that agreement probably only referenced, in this situation, that a red flag would have been a legitimate way to end it. Or possibly doing that final lap with the lapped cars in place. I would not have been particularly happy with either outcome, as I was unhappy with the red flag in Baku and don’t think being near to the end of the race should be factored in the race director’s decision of what to throw; only whether it is necessary from a safety perspective. But both would technically have been within the rules, although the latter is still slightly shady, so I suspect that is what the teams were getting at.

      But what actually happened; rushing the restart and only allowing some lapped cars to un-lap themselves, is simply not allowed according to the rules, and I don’t believe that is what the teams were getting at with the unofficial agreement, so I still believe Hamilton was robbed in Abu Dhabi.

      But at the time, I said I would reserve judgement on Michael Masi and wanted to know the results of the investigation first, because while he clearly made a mistake I thought it was likely that he might have been pushed by the FIA or Liberty to make the call. Then he made an agreement not to talk about what happened in Abu Dhabi, which just screams suspicious. It looks to me as though Masi was instructed by someone at either the FIA or Liberty Media to make that call on the final lap, and then was made a scapegoat and sacked. I simply can’t understand why else he wouldn’t be allowed to talk about the decision. However, I definitely don’t think the call was made to stop Hamilton winning the championship; it was done just to create an exciting conclusion to the championship, and Hamilton was unlucky that he happened to be the one in front at the time.

      But whoever was responsible for Abu Dhabi seems to know that it was a farce, generally hated by fans, and put the sport in a bad light. So 2022 has so far been much better and we haven’t seen any examples of show being prioritised over sport, and hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again. So I think it is time to be like Bob and move on from Abu Dhabi (I say after writing a whole comment about it), and cast it with Monza 1960, Canada 1973, Suzuka 1989-90 and the entire 1994 season as examples of poor officiating ruining certain races or seasons at the time, but looking back make great stories that help to make the history of Formula 1 interesting. And looking at the entire 2021 season, it was Verstappen and Red Bull that deserved the title most after losing so many points in Baku, Silverstone and Hungary.

      1. @f1frog Very well put post, COTD worthy.

      2. @f1frog – very well written and someone did change Masi mind after he said no cars overtake…..

        1. I’m not saying it’s necessarily like that but how often have you seen “lapped cars may NOT overtake”? I never did, could it be a typo meant to be “lapped cars may NOW overtake”? Because the W is only 3 keys on the left of the T on my italian keyboard, not sure about the one in question.

      3. +1 but this season should be there too. I’m not buying Ferrari’s explanation they didn’t do anything wrong. There is something odd going on. Leclerc was leading championship by so many points that it was their championship to win. It will take a miracle if they will catch RB/MV. Still if they can lose the lead I believe everything is possible so I’m still hoping they can catch

        1. At this point I feel like even a verstappen injury like schumacher’s in silverstone 1999 wouldn’t be enough for ferrari to win if he comes back after 6 races in good form like schumacher did.

      4. #BeLikeBob

    11. However, I definitely don’t think the call was made to stop Hamilton winning the championship; it was done just to create an exciting conclusion to the championship, and Hamilton was unlucky that he happened to be the one in front at the time.

      That’s a decent account of it.
      Although, I would argue that Mercedes’ strategy choices put them in that position. They could have pitted and been the faster car on fresher tyres. But they chose not.
      Regardless of the why – that was entirely their choice, and they made it twice.

      So I think it is time to be like Bob and move on from Abu Dhabi (I say after writing a whole comment about it), and cast it with Monza 1960, Canada 1973, Suzuka 1989-90 and the entire 1994 season as examples of poor officiating ruining certain races or seasons at the time, but looking back make great stories that help to make the history of Formula 1 interesting.

      Without such nonsense in F1, it wouldn’t be F1.
      F1 needs the sideshows and drama, because the racing rarely delivers it.

      1. @S No one expected a sudden rules make-up based on the entertainment factor, hence, the call against pitting over track-position prioritization.
        Otherwise, they would’ve pitted if Masi’s intent of differing from standard procedures would’ve been anticipatable.

        1. Mercedes took a guess on how long it would take to clear up Latifi’s incident, @jerejj.
          There was nothing at the time that strategic decision was taken to indicate that the race would definitely end under SC. It could equally have restarted without all the controversy.

          Mercedes thought it would take long enough to benefit them. Their gamble simply didn’t pay off.

      2. I think they made it twice because they thought being alongside or in front of Verstappen on the first straight would have had the same result as the start of the race with only the best case scenario involving Hamilton still being in shape to trundle across the kerbs back onto the track. Add to that the probability of the race finishing under yellow being reasonably close to certain.

        1. Add to that the probability of the race finishing under yellow being reasonably close to certain.

          I’d contest that finishing under yellow was about the least certain thing that day.

          If Latifi’s incident was going to take that long to clean up, they’d have gone Red instead.
          It was quite possibly going to finish under green one way or another, no matter what. Having been given the teams’ backing, it was almost inevitable.

    12. All those months and years checking Vanity Fair for round-up material have paid off! At last, a story about F1… Actually quite a good read; lays it on a bit thick, but could explain why he’s so extraordinarily driven while other drivers lose their mojo.
      Can we have “socks by Primark; sunnies by Lidl; watch by Rollix” etc captions on the RaceFans pictures?

    13. Can’t believe I’m still replying to this, but here it goes. Masi Made a mistake, even as a Verstappen fan there’s no doubt in my mind about that. The reason why he did however, is just because the teams put him under so much pressure it was more a case of when than if he would break. And the tone of voice Toto had against him is a factor in that too. Like Horner or not, his “Michael, why aren’t we getting these cars out of the way” is a stark contrast from Toto’s “Nooo Mikey” or “you must reinstate”. He acts as if he’s his dad, and gives orders, Horner is much more business like and tries to be on the same level. I think Mercedes set themselves up for not being liked by the RD, and Lewis paid the price for it.

      1. What got me was all the complaining about Masi not following safety procedure, yet Toto demanded at one point “no safety car please Micheal”. He got what he wanted on the final lap.

        1. Excellent comment !!

        2. That comment by Wolff should have been enough to remove him from the paddock for a good while. When a car needs to be retrieved from the track, the priority should always be the safety of the people involved. Whether that is via VSC, a Safety Car, a Red Flag or – like in the old days – proper observance of Yellow Flags is a separate topic. But the priority is definitely not favoring any teams’ strategic choices or protecting their competitive advantage.

          1. the priority of the last lap was exactly favoring a team, by braking the rules and manipulating the WDC result. Mockery of F1 as a sports, with a paperchamp who did not deserve the title, cause he didnt earn it on track, but got it gifted from the RD.

    14. There was a nice piece in that article in Vanity Fair that discussed Lewis possibly being in the new Top Gun movie, but no – Race Fans went for the click bait approach.

      More and more tabloid by the day.

    15. I think they made it twice because they thought being alongside or in front of Verstappen on the first straight would have had the same result as the start of the race with only the best case scenario involving Hamilton still being in shape to trundle across the kerbs back onto the track.

    16. I have taken the time to read the full Vanity article and must first of all say that it is a terrible thing society makes anyone feel like Lewis describes, especially the parts about his youth years. I live in a bubble where this just doesn’t exist nor do I or any friends participate in such demotivating or offensive behavior. The article has given me a good insight into the DNA of Lewis and explains a lot of what I observe in/about him. What I do not understand is why this is such a glass half empty story. I hope it is not because he is a glass half empty person because that would paint a very one-sided picture of his life. There are mainly reflections on wrong-doings towards him (apart from some more cheerful fashion, movie and music parts at the end of the article) but never does he show any reflection on the privileged and blessed life he has had and the sheer luck he has met ramping up to his achievements. He seems to always be in the I have something to prove and you are all always wrong mode and seems to genuinely believe it are all his achievements despite what has been said to him in the past. Yet these terrible things in the past may have happened but seem nowadays to primarily exist in his own head together with lots of assumptions. Assumptions like him shying away for a fight (nobody thinks that about him). F1 doesn’t seem the environment that will free him of that past, since you would think it would have happened by now (how many titles does it take?). I genuinely believe he should try to get specialist help and maybe a new ambition or challenge in life. After an understood attempt at an eight title of course. It won’t mean an afwull lot to people like me since I do reflect on how they got about and know F1 is the sport where athletes have the least influence on the overall result of maybe any sports, but that’s unimportant since it apparently will mean a lot to him.

    17. Exact, something was wrong, Sir Hamilton.
      Not pitting for softs

      1. What you’re doing here is called gaslighting.

        1. It really isn’t. Lewis didn’t pit for softs, and as it turned out that was the wrong thing to do.

          Of course, with my tinfoil hat on, if he had pitted, Max would have stayed out for track position and the race would have finished behind the SC so Lewis would still have lost…

          1. The race would’ve ended on green conditions just like it did, they were determined to avoid a SC finish.

            1. They (Liberty, FIA, Masi) were determine to gift the orange folks the title, if possible by any means. And by braking the rules and making an absurd show out of what was sport they did.

        2. For the record Gaslighting is when a person [as in that movie], or a system [as in our use of A.i and Meta], or an organisation , act in ways which leaves the individual to doubt their experiance, or their memory, or their perceptions, or their sanity.

          What did we just witness – ” Its called motor racing…. ”

          Gaslighting without understanding just demeans the concept to another faddy lable.

    18. Worst nightmare come true, they gave me my career and 7 titles but took one from me

      1. Who ‘gave’ Hamilton his career and titles? @peartree

        That’s one of the strangest comments I have ever seen on here.

        1. https://www.pitpass.com/72496/The-Biggest-Injustice-in-Formula-One-History
          Sir whiner was all to happy to take it here. Never said that it should go to whomever deserved it.

          1. What an absurd conclusion that article comes to. At the time of standing on the podium, Massa knew nothing about Crashgate. How was he more magnanimous thinking he’d lost with controversy, vs Hamilton shaking Verstappen’s hand while knowing the race had been manipulated? Does Singleton even know what the word means? And that’s before talking about how neither Renault nor Piquet forced the Ferrari pit crew to drop the ball so spectacuarly. If they’d done their job properly…

            1. Yes, singapore was a controversial episode that gave ferrari an opportunity to mess up, and they obviously did, you could compare it to the tyre issue verstappen got in baku, it was unlucky and he lost more points than otherwise, but it gave hamilton the opportunity to make the mistake while overtaking perez as well: no verstappen blow out = hamilton 3rd instead of out of the points.

            2. Ohh, and had verstappen’s tyre not exploded, we wouldn’t have had the abu dhabi controversy, cause verstappen would’ve been far enough ahead to win with a 2nd place in abu dhabi, and conversely, had hamilton not gone in too deep after the red flag, he would’ve won the title with 2nd place in abu dhabi, so again no controversy.

            3. @fluxsource

              And Hamilton should have defended the inside of turn 5 and then the inside turn 6 and he could have been champion. Perez proved it’s possible after all even on old tires and while under DRS threat even.

              Or you can agree that the fact that a team or driver failed their job will never make an injustice ok.

            4. Only the manipulation by the RD gifted VER the title. Paperchamp

        2. @paulguitar strange is how naive you are.
          Nigel has said it himself Lewis is one of the greatest drivers but he mustn’t forget that he has been of the best supported drivers ever. He has had a contract with merc since the age of 13, he is British, he is very marketable, he started his career at McLaren, f1 supports Hamilton, stewards support Hamilton many strange calls went against but even more went for him. F1 is politics.

          1. I’ve been watching since 1976 and attending races since 1987. Hamilton is the best I have seen in that time, and it was clear since Cadet Karts that he was an exceptional talent. He’s mostly had excellent equipment in F1, and that’s because he’s been the best driver of his era. It was the same for Fangio, Prost, Senna, Schumacher. None of these guys have been ‘given’ anything.

            The constant need to minimise Hamilton’s achievements is very strange.
            @peartree

    19. As much as I try to forget Abu Dhabi 2021, here it is again… the funny thing is the changes/actions that followed that race tells a story in itself. I felt sorry for both drivers and teams and the polarised viewpoints on insanely poorly presented arguments on who deserve to win or lose doesn’t take away from the one constant…

      FIA completely destroyed one of the best battles the sport has seen in years

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