The Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi was “perverted” and the rules were rigged against Sir Lewis Hamilton and in favour of Max Verstappen.
That’s according to a Labour peer, who describes himself as a lifelong fan of the sport but believes what went down in Abu Dhabi was unacceptable.
Hamilton overtook pole-sitter Verstappen at the start of the race, and the Brit looked comfortable throughout the grand prix, to the point where even Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted that they needed a “miracle” to beat the Mercedes driver.
A late crash by Nicholas Latifi brought out the Safety Car and allowed Verstappen to pit for fresh rubber, while Hamilton stayed out to maintain track position over the Dutchman.
And, a controversial decision by race director Michael Masi to only allow the five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to un-lap themselves meant that the Red Bull driver was right on the seven-time world champion’s tail for the restart.
With him being on a fresh set of soft tyres, Verstappen was able to overtake Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to win the race and secure his maiden F1 crown.
Some in the paddock were quick to accuse the FIA of manufacturing a dramatic finale, and a Labour peer has now also voiced his opinion on the matter.
Lord Peter Hain said that the end of the season finale was “perverted” and believes that Hamilton is right to feel cheated.
“As a lifelong Formula 1 fan, I thought it was a perverted outcome. The finish was effectively rigged by the stewards in order to produce to a dramatic finale for the theatre rather than a racing outcome,” he said.
Continuing, he suggested that the controversy has left a “sour taste” in everyone’s mouth, with the exception of “diehard Verstappen fans.”
“I think it has left a sour taste unless you are a diehard Verstappen fan, but even many of them have admitted that it has left an unpleasant taste in their mouth.
“Ok, the rules are very complex for the average fan, but at least there is a consistency there. This was clearly contrived and manufactured to allow that kind of finish.”
He also praised Hamilton for behaving with “enormous dignity afterwards, going to the Red Bull pits to congratulate them, but he must feel absolutely gutted and that the rules are rigged against him.”
Mercedes launched a protest immediately after the grand prix, but this was rejected by the FIA.
They then lodged an intention to appeal the race and championship result, but later announced they wouldn’t be going through with this and congratulated Verstappen on his triumph.