Formula 1 racing news for the last one month has been dominated by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s fight. For those who may not be privy to this news, the sentiments made by Mark Webber, the former F1 driver may give a clue on what transpired. Mark Webber says Lewis Hamilton was forced to fight Verstappen with one hand behind his back. The two had fought a long and ferocious battle for the crown which was to be decided by the last race. Race has since been termed controversial and has been the subject of debate since then. It is getting ugly and may take down some prominent names. The controversial application of safety procedure is said to have denied Hamilton the most awaited win. He was about to make history but as has been indicated by various entities, this chance was denied.
Aladar Kollar of Mightytips while reacting to the controversy said it was hard to predict the race given that the two teams were going into the final race on equal points. Mightytips is one of the leading online sports prediction portals. Aladar had this to say regarding the predictions of the final race at Abu Dhabi „Az utolsó futam előtt Hamiltonnak volt nagyobb esélye a 2021-es szezon megnyerésére. De a Mightytips F1 fogadás elemzése alapján ez nem volt ennyire egyértelmű. A két pilóta egyenlő pontszámmal állt, és ez volt az első ilyen eset az F1 történetében. Ilyen helyzetben nem könnyű megjósolni a győztest. Bár a legtöbb tippelő Hamilton győzelmét jósolta, néhány Forma-1-es fogadási szakértő szerint a győztes szorzói félrevezetőek voltak, az utolsó futamra vonatkozó statisztikai adatok vagy a történelmi előzmények hiányát felhozva érvként.”
Some observed that any mistakes on part of the two drivers would cost them big. For Hamilton, failure to clinch the top position would deny him a chance to make history and become the first driver to have eight championships. For Max Verstappen, the Abu Dhabi win would give him the first F1 championship win and therefore the final race meant a lot for him. Hamilton had been given a 65 % chance of winning the 2021 season but this was not to happen as what his team refers to as manipulation denied him the opportunity.
Motorsport.com has captured the Hamilton frustrations clearly. The site quotes him saying that the race has been manipulated in favor of his rival. The Motorsport article by Adam Cooper clearly described what transpired; he refers to F1 qualifying free live stream as an indication that there might have been some series fault leading to the outcome. When he was just cornered to the flag and upon realizing that he would not re-pass Verstappen, Hamilton is quoted shouting “This has been manipulated.”
According to the seven times world champion, his attempt to win the eight championships was thwarted by what he claims were manipulations. The comment as Cooper says was not aired on the world feed but can clearly be head-on on F1 TV. Hamilton had been leading for almost all laps but was overtaken on the final lap denying him a chance to claim the title once more, a win that would have put him ahead of Michael Schumacher.
The following day, papers all over the United Kingdom and other parts of the world labeled Verstappen’s win as controversial with some claiming it has tainted F1. For Verstappen, this was his first win ever. He felt that there was nothing wrong and the outcome had been decided early in the race.
It is about to get uglier, Mercedes had launched appeals over the breach of sports rules but they have all been rejected by race stewards. They are now headed to the International Court of Appeal, a move that Verstappen has described as unbelievable and crazy. It’s not only the Hamilton Team that want action taken against what they term as manipulation, F1 engineers have also joined the foray, they want Verstappen to be stripped of the 2021 title.
And they are not stopping at that, they also want the F1 boss Michael Masi to be fired. They claim that F1 2021 car design changes put in place by Michael Masi may have played a role in determining the winner but also insist that last time manipulation favored Verstappen. When F1 engineers make such claims it is serious since they have some information that most commentators may not be privy to, this includes even knowing who was fastest in F1 practice today. Therefore it will be interesting to follow these developments as they will determine how F1 turns out to be in the future.
There are fears that this may shake the sporting organization, however, there are those who believe that this is just a storm over the cup and everything will go on smoothly. Verstappen says he is already training hard for the 2022 season and he is only aiming for another win and nothing short of this.
It will be interesting following the events; especially knowing what will be the outcome in the court and how this will shape the F1 2022 season. As we move on we will need answers to these questions:
- Will Michael Masi bow to pressure and resign or will he cling to the position and fight from within?
- What effects will the claims of manipulation have on future competitions?
- Should sports outcomes be subject to a court ruling or should we leave the matters to sports organizations.