Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing
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The 2021 Formula One championship finale in Abu Dhabi was incredibly controversial. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen secured a maiden world title in dramatic and controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after he and title rival Lewis Hamilton went into the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit tied on points.
The Dutchman passed the seven-time world champion – who had dominated for much of the race – on the final lap of the season as a late safety car and tyre change swung momentum in his favour.
Mercedes’ fury was largely aimed at FIA race director Michael Masi after he decided to not allow cars to unlap themselves, as is tradition, only to change his mind to set up the final lap showdown between Hamilton and Verstappen.
Mercedes withdrew their appeal against the result when the FIA pledged an investigation into the events surrounding the Safety Car procedures.
However, reports from the BBC claimed that the Silver Arrows had only dropped their appeal due after securing a quid pro quo deal with the FIA.
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The deal reportedly said both Masi and FIA head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis would be removed from their posts ahead of the 2022 season.
Wolff said last month that Mercedes would ‘hold the FIA to account’.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton may not be on the grid in 2022 as he is reportedly ‘disillusioned’ with the sport.
Hamilton and Mercedes team members are yet to conduct any other media interviews after the season finale.
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Just days after his defeat to Verstappen, Hamilton was awarded his knighthood at Windsor Castle.
He also attended Mercedes’ celebrations at their headquarters following their record-extending eighth successive constructors’ title.
But he has been quiet on social media since Abu Dhabi.
The FIA has launched an inquiry into the events that took place last month at Yas Marina and is aware of the 37-year-old’s unhappiness.
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New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, who succeeded Jean Todt in December, dismissed suggestions Hamilton would retire ahead of next season.
The 60-year-old also has teased changes to F1’s regulations in order to avoid a repeat to the conclusion in Abu Dhabi.
But should Masi lose his job as part of those tweaks? That’s the big question at the moment.
Have your say on how the future of both Lewis Hamilton and Michael Masi will unfold below in Express Sport’s latest F1 poll.
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