Gareth Bale reveals hatred for F1 after ‘what they did to Lewis Hamilton’

Mark Scott
Gareth Bale not happy with Lewis Hamilton F1 treatment. June 2023

Retired football star Gareth Bale not happy with Lewis Hamilton F1 treatment. June 2023

Retired football star Gareth Bale has revealed he is no longer a fan of F1 after the way Lewis Hamilton lost his chance to win an eighth World Championship title at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

F1 2021 will always be in the conversation for one of the most iconic, fiercest title fights the sport has ever seen after Hamilton and Max Verstappen (plus Mercedes and Red Bull) slugged it out all season long down to the very last lap at the season finale.

And it is that last lap which is still being talked about to this very day and will be probably be discussed forever more due to controversial series of events that led to the Drivers’ World Championship title going to Verstappen instead of Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver had dominated a large part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and was within touching distance of a historic eighth title, but a late crash from Williams driver Nicholas Latifi triggered a Safety Car period that would change the course of F1 history.

In his role as F1 race director, Michael Masi interpreted the rules to allow only some of the lapped cars to unlap themselves rather than all, only the ones between Hamilton and Verstappenwhich in turn led to the creation of a final one-lap showdown between both drivers.

Lewis Hamilton remained out during the Safety Car period and kept hold of track position whilst Verstappen came in for fresh tyres, allowing the Dutchman to sail past with ease and take the chequered flag, claiming his first World title in the process, when the race was resumed.

Gareth Bale unhappy with Lewis Hamilton treatment

This controversial finish is the reason why five-time Champions League winner and Wales legend Bale is no longer a fan of the sport, losing interest after watching Hamilton lose in the manner he did.

Asked in an interview with Random Golf Club whether he liked F1, he replied: “Do you know what? I don’t after what happened to Hamilton.

“It wasn’t fair. The fact [Hamilton] had to go through all the traffic and he couldn’t pit stop. It was never a race.”

Bale won’t be the only one to have lost interest in the sport as a result of the Abu Dhabi 2021 controversy, but Hamilton himself has been able to move past that hugely debatable event despite the fact that a “scar” does remain.

“Ultimately that feeling never really truly leaves you,” Hamilton told ESPN.

“It’s like when you think about your first love, it will always be that first love and first heartbreak.

“Abu Dhabi, the scar is there and there will always be that memory. Even though I reprogrammed my mind, I think it still took me the whole year to really push through it because we were straight back into work.

“It wasn’t a quick thing.”

Hamilton still has a strong desire to remain in F1 even if the all-conquering eighth title continues to elude him and is widely expected to sign a new Mercedes contract soon, taking him into the F1 2024 season and potentially beyond.

PlanetF1.com recommended reading

Ted Kravitz questions why Michael Masi returned to F1 paddock in Australia