Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021

‘Congratulations to Max but I feel for Lewis’: Drivers’ takes on the title-decider

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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The remarkable scenes that saw Max Verstappen claim his first world championship title and the controversy prompted strong reactions from drivers across the motorsport world.

From fellow F1 drivers, past and present, to IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula E, the World Endurance Championship and beyond, here are how some of the most notable names in motorsport reacted to Verstappen’s championship victory.

Obviously, on one side, I want to congratulate Max, first time world champ. And obviously Red Bull, a team I know very well. So I am, of course, happy for them.

But I can’t say that in the same sentence and not say I feel for Lewis because he had the race under control and sometimes that doesn’t swing in your favour, the Safety Car. And it didn’t not only swing in his favour, it obviously cost him the title. So I do feel for him. It’s a crazy end to the year.
Daniel Ricciardo, multiple grand prix winner and Verstappen’s former team mate

Congratulations to both Lewis and Max because both deserved the world championship this year.
Sebastian Vettel, four-time world champion and Aston Martin F1 driver

“He is a deserving champion” – Alonso

Congratulations to Max Verstappen for winning the title. It was only a matter of time that he won the trophy and whilst there was some fortune in the incidents today, I think he is a deserving champion.
Fernando Alonso, two-time world champion and Alpine driver

I want to congratulate both Max and Lewis for their great season. I’m happy for Max, so a special congratulation for the Championship title.
Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari driver

What a showdown! I love champions, records and stories that make my heart beat 300 beats a minute!

Congratulations world champion Max Verstappen. And to Lewis Hamilton for an epic season and a story that surely continues.
Mario Andretti, 1978 Formula 1 world champion

“This is unacceptable” – Russell

This is unacceptable! Max is an absolutely fantastic driver who has had an incredible season and I have nothing but huge respect for him, but what just happened is absolutely unacceptable. I cannot believe what we’ve just seen.
George Russell, 2022 Mercedes F1 driver

Congrats Max! What a phenomenal season! Really well deserved. Enjoy the party.
Nico Rosberg, 2016 Formula 1 world champion

Congratulations Max Verstappen for becoming the first Dutch F1 world champion.
Mika Hakkinen, two-time Formula 1 world champion

I’m extremely happy for Max and for this team because they have worked so hard throughout the year and for many years. Max really deserves this championship with the level he has driven at. I’m very happy to contribute to his title, he’s been a tremendous teammate and a great guy, I couldn’t be happier for him.
Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s Red Bull team mate

Huge congratulations to Max for winning the title. We raced with each other as kids as far back as karting. I know how strong he has been from the very start. It was just a matter of time before he achieved this and he deserves it.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari driver

Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly, Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021
‘We knew he’d be champion one day’ – Gasly

I’m really pleased for Max, we grew up racing together, we knew he would have been world champion one day and he did it today. It’s well deserved.
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri driver and Verstappen’s former team mate

All my congratulations to Max Verstappen for an amazing season.
Esteban Ocon Alpine driver

Huge congratulations to Max, it was such a tough battle throughout the season and I think he really deserved it today. I want to thank him also for giving this great result to Honda, as he’s given them the best way to celebrate their last year in F1.
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri driver

Wow what did just happen? What a hell of [an] F1 season! Congrats to an exceptional Max Verstappen. You’ve definitely shifted the boundaries this year. Also congrats to Lewis and Mercedes for this epic title battle and show!
Nico Hulkenberg, 12-year veteran of Formula 1 as race and test driver

Alex Albon, Red BullPierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Yas Marina, 2021
Hamilton ‘a class act’ – Albon

So happy for Max Verstappen and everyone at Red Bull Racing. Fortune went our way today, but I must say the whole team deserve all of it! At the track and at the factory together we put so much work into this season. And huge respect to Lewis Hamilton, a class act on and off track.
Alexander Albon, Red Bull reserve driver

Legend. You’re a F1 World Champion. Congratulations, very proud of you.
Giedo van der Garde, World Endurance Championship LMP2 driver and F1 commentator

Neither driver deserved to lose that title yesterday.

Both have been outstanding this year but ultimately we must all congratulate Max Verstappen on his first world championship.
Karun Chandhok, former F1 driver and Sky F1 analyst

Michael Bay wouldn’t write a better scenario…

What a champion you are! The example of never giving up, beating, on a season like this, Lewis who was on top of his form is truly exceptional! Congratulations – so happy for you.
Jean-Eric Vergne, two-time FIA Formula E Champion

Congratulations Max Verstappen! Well deserved. You are a legend.
Pastor Maldonado, 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner

‘I don’t love how that went down’ – Rossi

Obviously Max Verstappen deserved it just as much this year, but I don’t love any of the way that went down.
Alexander Rossi, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner

Man, racing is wild when Netflix is making the calls! Both drivers put in championship seasons. Whoever won it was deserving. Regardless of how it ended, the fans were the biggest winners. It has to be said that Hamilton’s class in the face of what happened – and how it happened – is remarkable. Young drivers should take note. They should’ve thrown a red, let them change tyres (which is still a bad rule), and given everyone a five lap shootout to the end. They should look at IndyCar’s rule of dropping lapped cars to the back within a certain number of laps from the end.
James Hinchcliffe, IndyCar race winner

Max, you’re incredible. The whole country is proud of you and your historic season! Enjoy it mate.
Rinus VeeKay, 2020 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year

And we give Steve [O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President] a hard time… [What the fuck] was that?

I said from the beginning of the season that it was gonna be tough for Lewis to get number eight! Boy was it, crazy way to end it! Congrats to Max Verstappen – What a season!
Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jnr, NASCAR Cup Series race winner

Trophy is not needed to recognise a champion.
Tatiana Calderón, World Endurance Championship LMP2 and Super Formula Championship driver

This sport is unbelievable sometimes.
Oscar Piastri, 2021 Formula 2 Champion

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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RJ O'Connell
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83 comments on “‘Congratulations to Max but I feel for Lewis’: Drivers’ takes on the title-decider”

  1. Sometimes it sucks when there are 2 exceptional drivers and only 1 title to give….

    1. Constantijn Blondel
      14th December 2021, 9:07

      Yep. The more I think about it, the more I wish there didn’t have to be only one … but then again, had that been the case, we wouldn’t have the kind of championship we had, right?

      I think in the end Max had a little less help from his car than Lewis had from his – so I can live with Max winning the WDC, and Lewis, as part of his team, winning the constructor’s … we all know the perceived difference in status between the two titles is BS – it’s time we put our hearts where our mouth :) Hats off for Max – he was the better driver, by just enough to grab the cup. Hats off for Merc (*) and Lewis – they were the better team, by just enough to grab the cup.

      (*) (mildly) dishonourable mention for Toto losing his marbles so publicly when it happened and then, afterwards, miss the chance to show he’s graceful in defeat. I cringed when I saw it and I cringe every time I see it again … come one Toto, you’re better than that!

      1. The Red Bull was the faster car throughout the year, so how did Max have less help?

        1. Maybe cause the telemetry confirmed the continued domination of Mercedes? Or simply cause Perez was nowhere to be found, yet Bottas right behind?

          1. “domination of Mercedes”

            And… this is why we don’t take you seriously.
            It’s been pretty evenly balanced, Red Bull had the faster car at the start on average (with the odd race slightly favouring Merc), then Mercedes came back and have been quicker (with the odd race like Mexico slightly favouring Red Bull).
            Keep pedalling your nonsense. Mercedes did not ‘dominate’ this season, everyone can see that except you and maybe Erikje and Barry too.

        2. I sure didn’t see the Red Bull being the faster car throughout the year. It certainly wasn’t in the last races and several others I didn’t see Max getting anywhere near as much help from his teammate. Max suffered more than Lewis for things outside his control.

          Gonna go out on a limb and guess you’re a Lewis fan more than a racing fan.

          1. Agree, mercedes was faster, but I wouldn’t call it dominant, marginally faster, I have a feeling this isn’t the strongest car that went against merc in the hybrid era, that must be the 2018 ferrari, too bad it didn’t have a proper driver.

        3. @williamstuart – “The Red Bull was the faster car throughout the year” What objective measurements can you cite for this assertion? All the data I’ve seen does not support this as a blanket statement.

          1. That’s weird, because the person who actually designed the car, who has intricate and infinitely more knowledge than yourself on the subject, disagree’s with you. He stated it live on TV, if you want to go and check.

      2. Adrian Newey says RB had the fastest car overall

    2. @macleod This sums it up quite well. Without either Max or Lewis*, this season would have been a walkover. But thanks to both of them we have witnessed one of the most exiting years in the sport.

      * and not an equally talented replacement

      1. Dont know about you, but I witnessed one of the greatest stitch ups in sporting* history.

        * I use the word sporting loosely as it is now apparent that F1 is a form of staged reality TV…

    3. @macleod and Constantijn Blondel

      Agree with both of these, and what some of the driver’s quoted above. Both of these driver’s deserved the title, and neither deserved to lose it imo, and absolutely no one deserves to win or lose a title in circumstances like this. I do feel for both Max and Lewis, who find themselves shoulder-deep in this controversy despite it being out of their hands. Both of them drove excellent seasons, and I still feel uneasy that it had to end like that.

      My take on the season is that Max was the faster driver (18 top two finishes in 22 races and 10 poles, albeit 2 of them were sprint race wins counting as ‘pole’) over the course of the season (and yes the car has some part to do with this, especially earlier on in the season), but Lewis was a slightly better racer (and he’s admitted that he feels his experience in past championships has helped him with that).

      Constantijn, I agree that both the WCC and WDC are equally prestigious, but personally by the end of the season I really couldn’t have cared less about it. Both Toto and Horner drive me up the wall. Yes I get that they’re in a very close championship battle but they both spent large portions of the season acting like 5 year olds. Something tells me someone like Jost Capito or Andreas Seidl might actually be tolerable in this sort of situation (mind you, I’m a McLaren fan so I may be biased here).

  2. Huge congratulations to Max. He outdrove the field this season, in my view, controversies aside.

    Also, the more I think about it, the more it amaizes me that he won it. How lucky have you got to be to have a Safety Car saving your life at the very end of the season? forget the controversy that followed, the fact that it was even possible for this to happen is mindblowing. The title was lost, Lewis was cruising to it…

    1. @fer-no65 I’ve always said that in racing your luck tends to even out over the course of the season. And boy, did it ever even out for Verstappen.

      I think the shock and suddenness of it all is why we’ve seen the visceral reaction we have from a lot of people who really should know better (and quite a few who don’t). Hamilton had that absolutely sewn up. He was 10+ seconds ahead and keeping pace with Verstappen on much older tyres. As Horner said to Sky at the time, they needed a miracle…and, incredibly, they got one.

    2. Think back to 2008 with Hamilton and Massa, Massa was world champion for a few seconds till Lewis overtook Timo Glock in the run to the finish line.
      Had the rain not intensified in the last minutes Massa would have been champion and Lewis career might have gone way different.

      Lewis deserved to win the race but over the whole season Max was the better driver with a record 18 1st/2nd finishes. The only reason there was even a last race battle is the in balance of luck during the first 21 races.

      1. Different scenario in 2008. Lewis was cruising to the title in Brazil ’til the rains came down. Pitstops propelled Massa into a position to win the race and snatch the Championship. The events of the last lap meant that he did the former, but Lewis recovered sufficiently to reinstate his claim on the latter.

        That was a case of genuine racing and ‘acts of God’, without the need for the race directors to try to spice things up a bit.

        BTW, never really bought this whole ‘Massa was briefly World Champion’ thing: it’s completely non-sensical.

        1. I think if you see it in a wider context you can see a similarity: hamilton was about to win the title in brazil, then rain came and propelled massa into a championship winning position, then glock and hamilton got back what he was about to lose.

          Same thing this year but across the season, with verstappen ahead, then baku, silverstone, hungary and then recovered with the SC.

          In a sense, 2006 is similar too, with schumacher about to win thanks to some unlucky issues for alonso, such as monza engine or hungary wheelnut, then it evened out with the engine and the puncture and alonso got back what was being taken from him, it doesn’t always even out but sometimes yes.

  3. Russell’s is the best. Spot-on.

    1. @jerejj I believe that quote is taken from some tweets Russell sent while sat in the garage watching events unfold. Tagging him as “2022 Mercedes F1 driver” helps illustrate where his thoughts were at that moment!

      I think Hinch’s comments sum it up best of all, although the late-race red flag is more of an established thing in Indycar whereas to do it in F1 would have looked even more contrived than what we actually got.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        14th December 2021, 9:55

        There has been 6 red flagged races this year, 3 of them to clear debris from the track. It is not contrived, it actually allows for more racing.

        1. @andyfromsandy On most of those occasions the track was blocked or impassable due to the amount of debris on the track. With Latifi’s accident there was quite a bit of debris but there was still a clear route through on the racing line. The one possible exception is Baku – which was of course very late in the race as well – but I think race control were genuinely concerned about the possibility of further tyre failures and red-flagged the race to give everybody the opportunity to change tyres (although they didn’t say as much at the time to spare Pirelli’s blushes).

          The point, though, is that Indycar has an established practice of red-flagging races rather than using a caution when they’re in the last part of the race and there might not be enough time for a restart from under yellows. With the possible exception of Baku above there is no such practice in F1, and this weekend would have been a fairly bad time to invent one.

          You might say that what actually happened was similarly “invented,” which is fair enough, though I would note that the International Sporting Code requires the race director to exercise his overriding authority with respect to red flags “in accordance with the sporting regulations” whereas there is no such limitation on his use of the safety car. So the rules appear to give the race director more leeway to use the safety car “creatively” than is the case with red flags.

          1. Red flagging a race doesn’t set a precedent. Allowing only some cars lapped cars through does. At a GP I can’t recall just now Masi has claimed he needs to let all lapped cars through even though Max and Lewis at the time were complaining their tyres were getting too cold for a safe restart.

          2. @andyfromsandy Of course it sets a precedent. I completely agree with @red-andy: The sporting regulations simply do not allow a red flag for anything other than conditions that are unsafe to run behind the safety car. If Masi had done it in violation of the regs, and Hamilton won after being allowed to change his tyres—a rule in place on safety grounds but with no unsafe conditions to justify it—we would be locked in an equally contentious debate right now.

            I think where Hinchcliffe was really spot on was in referencing IndyCar’s late-race rule that allows the race director to simply drop lapped cars to the back of the field. That would have been a helpful option for the race director.

    2. @jerejj I also think Tatiana Calderon has a fitting quote: “Trophy is not needed to recognise a champion”

      1. Which can be interpreted multiple ways, for example verstappen, leclerc, norris, russell don’t need to be champions to know they’re capable of that.

        1. Nah, I think there saying Lewis was robbed.

  4. Constantijn Blondel
    14th December 2021, 8:53

    Many good and carefully-worded reactions, and I find no disagreement with any of them.

    I liked Alonso’s, but I think it’s Hinch with whom I find myself most strongly in agreement.

  5. After years of endless luck, karma hit back. Lewis was very lucky with red flags this season as well (in Imola and Silverstone). Although I admit that the end of the race was controversial, at least it handed the championship to the best driver of the season.

    1. Nice brief summary

    2. Complete and utter rubbish.

      1. Only a hamilton or merc fan would say that, that comment makes sense.

    3. But that’s the problem– Even with luck on his side, his teammate doing battle royale to slow down Hamilton, and the high ground tactically for the VSC and the final Safety Car– Max was losing the race until it was quite literally, handed to him.

      He didn’t earn the win. It was gifted to him.

      1. He still had to fight for it. The faster mercedes but the gripier redbull with his softer tires.
        If Mercedes made the correct call when SC was called out they too could have new tires but they did not .
        Conclusion, the SC was lucky but the battle true and fair.
        You can blame FIA/Masi for it. But max won fair and well deserved the title.

        1. Yes, and a championship isn’t decided in 1 race, they need to keep in mind also the 3 races where verstappen lost more points than here through bad luck.

  6. I was really impressed how Hamilton handled the situation after he stepped out of the car. There must have been so many emotions running through him. Instead he was very composed and lets Mercedes fight the fight with the FIA. The way Lewis and his father were one of the first to congratulate Max and Jos was sheer class. I respect him/them even more after this race.

    1. Agree @matthijs, after a couple of minutes alone in the car to compose himself (completely understandable, given what had just happened) he conducted himself admirably. It is a shame his team chose not to behave in the same way.

      1. @red-andy do you think that Horner and Red Bull would have done any different to Mercedes if the roles were reversed? I don’t blame them for doing what they did, it was an awful way for the title to be decided. And I wouldn’t blame Red Bull for contesting it if it had happened to them – Horner did expressly say he didn’t want this race to be treated any differently from the rest.

        My prediction (hope!) now though is that they are looking for financial compensation for what happened and a confirmation of the rules, or maybe a set of new rules governing these situations, rather than looking to change the result of the championship. They’ve won the constructors, and I can’t imagine Lewis would want to have his 8th title given to him by the courts.

        An acknowledgement from the FIA that although technically no rules were broken (because of the race director has final say clause), there needs to be work done to the rules to bring credibility back to the sport, is much needed I think for everyone to start moving on.

        1. Red Andy can couch his replies any way he likes to make him look magnanimous but had the lapped cars not been let through and Lewis won out he would of been fuming that rule 48.12 was not adhered to.

          What are your thoughts to how admirably Max handled himself when he left the podium in Jeddah? rhetorical question. I don’t really care.

        2. @oweng It’s a fair question. I think Red Bull would undoubtedly have taken the issue to the stewards’ room. I’m unconvinced they’d have taken it any further than that. I also think they would have played the media game and put their narrative out there, rather than refusing to talk to the media at all, though whether that’s better or worse than what Mercedes did probably depends on your point of view.

          Finally, I don’t think those hypothetical actions would have been right either – the right thing to do would be to congratulate your opponents, point out that the situation was caused by ambiguous rules, and offer to work with the FIA to ensure that the regulations are revised to ensure similar scenarios in future are handled much more transparently. I think that probably also addresses the second part of your comment about what Mercedes are hoping to get out of the action – there are much more constructive and less damaging ways to achieve the same thing.

          1. @red-andy thanks for the reply. My hope is that the next step by Mercedes is pretty much what you say, and I think that we’re in agreement with what should happen there – no further attempt to change the result of the race or championship, but to clarify what they want to happen when it comes to the rules and the stewarding as a result of all this, which should open a discussion between all drivers and teams with the FIA about how they can improve and clarify things. My understanding of submitting the notice of appeal is that that was a process that needed to be done to leave the door open to further action. So I don’t begrudge them that either really.

            But what happens next is key. This year has a cloud over it because of stewarding and the rules and it needs sorting out before the start of next season.

          2. @red-Andy after Silverstone, I think there’s no question that Red Bull would take it as far as possible to get the result overturned. Especially after they had Sergio test out theories in the test after the race.

        3. The biggest unanswered question for me is – does the Race Director actually have authority to override the rulebook when it suits him? If he does, it seems that he has the ability to contrive a race result and leaves him open to allegations of impropriety or, if you’re cynical, to the strong allegation of bias.

          I’m keen to know if anyone can refer me to the rule which gives the Race Director the final say over the rule book

          1. The job of the race director is specified in the FIA Code and, when necessary, further detailed in the sporting regulations of the respective series. Note however that unlike with various of their other duties, their authority on the use of the safety car (article 11.10.3.e, and repeated in F1’s sporting regulations article 15.3) does not explicitly include the phrase ‘in accordance with the sporting regulations’.

            Nevertheless, the race director can issue specific event notes and directives. The full extent of this doesn’t seem to be codified anywhere, but it led to things like previous race director Whiting declaring that a double yellow flag (i.e. there are marshals on the track) could be observed by slowing down by less than half a second in a particular timing sector. F1 has accepted long ago that the race director does indeed have some authority to ‘make up’ rules.

    2. +1,000. In all the excitement this crept under my skin and stayed there for the rest of the day. You can be a 7 times WDC all you want, but to have this outcome is just shattering and to respond like Lewis….wow. Not the 7 titles, but this reaction makes him the GOAT for me, Max has some serious catching up to do in this department (of course he has got some time, he’s 12 years younger), for him to take that title away from Lewis.

    3. Yes, very well done. After all he is a world champion and was so way before Mercedes became successful. Let them do the whining and legal stuff. Lewis is bigger than Mercedes.

      1. I think in the last few years (2016 and 2021) when he had a true championship battle he showed it’s not a joke to beat him, even for a very strong driver, or (rosberg) when luck comes more your way across the season, in both situations he was close enough (5-8 points) that if either of his opponents slipped up in one of the last laps he could’ve taken the title.

        This also goes for 2007 btw.

        1. 2007? the year BMW should of been disqualified for using cool fuel in Brazil, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Lewis being robbed of a WDC, certainly the last time I’ll be giving any more money to Sky.

  7. I find it remarkable that so many of the reactions are not focusing on the controversy (apart from George’s, but I guess that were his tweets during the race and he’s obviously looking at Mercedes’ interests), but just on the congratulatory part. It seems most drivers have an “sure it’s odd, but that’s racing for you” attitude. I guess it’s logical though, they’re all colleagues in the same business. The fans are the ones throwing a fit, not the ones taking part. Same as football really where fans try to kill each other and the players are only unfriendly when the game is on (mostly, I’ll make an exception for Atletico Madrid ;-)).

    On a different note: I was very disappointed with how the track improvements of Abu Dhabi should make for a better race. Wasn’t happening, and it really was a boring race from start to (one lap before) finish.

    1. It may have been different if other drivers/teams had had their finishing position in the race or the championship adversly affected by only allowing certain lapped cars through.

      1. Probably, point is that most (all?) of these guys have a certain stance when it concerns them directly, but don’t seem to think there’s much of a scandal when they’re not hurt by it themselves.

    2. On a different note: I was very disappointed with how the track improvements of Abu Dhabi should make for a better race. Wasn’t happening, and it really was a boring race from start to (one lap before) finish.

      It was less spectacular than I had hoped, but without the turn 4 changes, Verstappen would not have been close enough to try an overtake on Hamilton on lap one and he would not have overtaken Hamilton in turn 4 in the last lap. However, with the tyre advantage he had, it was very much possible that he overtook Hamilton later in the last lap, so I don’t think that the track changes decided the title fight.

      1. And even if they did, don’t forget red bull could’ve likely been more competitive across the race without the changes.

    3. There a quite a few from drivers and others involved in racing dealing with that issue around the social media sites. But apart from the one from George they have selected, I think they have pretty much picked just the congratulations Max ones. Nice follow up from Mario Andretti

      The
      @LewisHamilton
      Master Class on how to be the best in every way. A champion who wins most days & shows the world how to behave & stay composed when situations aren’t kind to you. LH brings his A-game even when his soul is ripped out. Strength. Control of spirit. Role model

      1. well not quite..
        More podiums
        More points
        more laps in the lead
        more wins.
        more bad luck

        Telling stats this year for Max.

        But i agree, he defeated a lewis on his top, so a excellent performance all around.
        Let the FIA soap this year not taint a great season with two great drivers fighting every opportunity.

        1. I guess until Max loses out in similar circumstances and then you might be singing a different tune.

          1. Not sure if mercedes fans are forgetting this, but if hamilton had won the title it’d have been unfair because of the earlier huge luck difference, this only partially evened it out.

          2. ‘earlier huge luck difference’

            There’s no such thing, this isn’t the Dark Ages where superstition and ignorance reigned.

        2. You forgot one category Max led in also:

          Most points earned from an event where no actual racing took place (Spa)

          Yes, his luck was so bad. Except where dealings with the FIA were concerned.

  8. I don’t think Piastri’s comment is really about the tile showdown though…

  9. Both Lewis and his dad deserve high praise for how they reacted (publicly at least). Mega class, congrats for such inner control. Not sure how Max and his dad would have reacted if the tables were turned, but I bet it would have been way different.

    1. I have the same feeling yes. Very well done and rightfully so. Lewis should seriously consider moving to Ferrari next year. I am sure they would be willing to kick one of the current kids out for him. Getting your 8th at your third team would be something!

      1. I wouldn’t bet on ferrari before seeing what car they make, and then I’d like to see the competitiveness in the 2nd half of the season!

  10. Lewis did not get unlucky. His team got outsmarted by someone in power in a very unsportsmanlike manner in order to create an artificial showdown. It would be wrong to call this unlucky.

    1. cheated would be the right word in my opinion

    2. they weren’t cheated, but masi’s quest for drama and epicness left them on a very vulnerable situation.

      if he wanted that to not feel rigged, he would red flag the race, let both change tyres, standing start, let them solve it. Everybody would be happy, being given the same conditions.

      the way he did it felt he was looking for the best way to finish off a movie.

      this guy is a mess. he must go.

  11. A SC in the last part of a race has a tendency to favor one of the parties more then the other.
    Lewis made a sad remark after he was passed about a rigged race. But after the race he was graceful in his defeat and both he and max shared a moment of pure respect for each other. The contact between the dads was great also.
    Very bad was the attitude of Toto who did not congratulate nor was reachable for a reaction. Even Lewis was not allowed to take part in the press conference. Unprofessional and pure amateurism. We have seen his completely breaking apart and the rebuke by Masi. Embarrasing.
    Only much later he send a txt message tot max. I guess this very unprofessional behavior does not looks good for the main sponsors.

    1. Also unprofessional and pure amateurism from Max for not staying on the podium at Jeddah but you no doubt have an acceptable reason to mitigate that?

      1. Interesting you keep on spamming this even after you stated:

        rhetorical question. I don’t really care.

        But i guess all those races are a bit to much for you and hard to seperate.

        1. All of those which races please?

  12. In reality, Max should have wrapped the championship up before the last race, and I hope he learns from that.

    Just so sad that the end was such a farce. Both drivers deserve congratulations for their efforts, but I can’t say Max deserved the title any more than Lewis did.

    History will show he’s the 2021 WDC. Let’s hope 2020 gives us a similar competition with at least 2 drivers, preferably mor in the mix.

    1. 2022 not 2020 …. grr stupid fingers.

    2. And he would have done just that without Azerbaijan. Similarly, if Hamilton had performed the way he did in the second half of the season from the start, he too would have been able to wrap the battle up before the last race. I suppose those scenarios exist for all close fought F1 championships.

      1. Absolutely, hamilton could’ve had 25 or at least 18 more points in baku (with verstappen’s tyre blowout still happening) that he lost through his fault, no need to mention more, this is enough to say he lost the title himself.

        On other hand, verstappen could’ve not been taken out in hungary and got 2nd, getting 18 more points (this is bad luck) and wouldn’t have needed this SC to win title.

    3. Do you remember Hungary maybe?

  13. The amount of times I’ve seen a driver ‘robbed’ of a race win by a badly timed safety car or ‘gifted one’ by it is rather countless in this sport. I’ve seen Hamilton benefit from that himself. I’ve seen drivers dominate emphatically only to lose it at the last second through no fault of their own – through a quirk or misinterpretation of the rules or an accident elsewhere or random chance. This happens in F1 quite a lot and honestly reading the amount of people raging about a guy ‘robbed’ after dominating and then losing at the end… you lot must be very new to this sport or very unaccustomed to having this affect a driver you like negatively. The only difference here is it was for world title instead of a race win, and unusually it bit Hamilton instead of someone else.

    1. Can you give us / me an example of where a particular rule was “misinterpreted” by the race director that affected how a race concluded?

      1. Google is free.

        1. So you got nothing!

      2. He isn’t talking specifically about this rule being misinterpreted, might be an unique case, but about SC deciding races it’s very true, imola 2020 towards hamilton, australia 2018 towards vettel with hamilton losing out for example.

  14. Ahh the banquet continues! Still feasting on the tears of the hambrigade.

  15. Martin Brundle:
    “Max lead in almost every category, but I like Lewis so I think it’s fair to split the championship”

  16. Massive Red Bull fan. Screamed and shouted and punched the air when Vettel won his titles. But this doesn’t feel right and will forever carry a distinctly unpleasant odour… an empty hollow and callously manipulated “victory”. If the situation was reversed Red Bull would rightly never stand for it. I wonder if there is any credence to the increasing romours that some in the stewarts office are not happy at the decisions made. Looking over the race ending footage, even some of the Red Bull staff had forced smiles indicating their unease.

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