‘Was I robbed?’ – Lewis Hamilton shares latest feelings on losing 2021 title in Abu Dhabi

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton has now said he is “at peace” with the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, even if he will “still feel it” whenever he sees a clip of the race.

Hamilton was overtaken on the last lap of the season in 2021 by Max Verstappen in an outcome he described over team radio at the time as “manipulated”.

Lewis Hamilton asked if he was ‘robbed’ of eighth F1 title

Hamilton had led the vast majority of the race and, after a crash for Nicholas Latifi brought out the Safety Car, Verstappen pitted for soft tyres and only the lapped cars separating the two leading drivers were allowed to overtake the Safety Car, in an apparent breach of FIA regulations.

Rather than an extra lap being run per the usual procedure, which would have seen the race end under Safety Car conditions, the Safety Car was pulled in for the final lap, leaving Hamilton on used hard tyres and Verstappen on preferable soft rubber.

He used this to his advantage, overtaking at the Turn 5 hairpin and crossing the line to win his first World Championship in both dramatic and controversial fashion.

Time has now passed since that night in Abu Dhabi, and the Mercedes driver has been able to reflect on how he responded – and he explained that having his father Anthony in the pit lane was a moment of great comfort.

“Was I robbed? Obviously. I mean, you know the story,” Hamilton told GQ Magazine when asked if he felt he was ‘robbed’ of an eighth title.

“But I think what was really beautiful in that moment, which I take away from it, was my dad was with me. And we’d gone through this huge roller coaster of life together, ups and downs.

“And the day that it hurt the most, he was there, and the way he raised me was to always stand up, keep your head high.

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“And I obviously went to congratulate Max, and not realising the impact that that would have, but also I was really conscious of, like, there’s a mini-me watching.

“This is the defining moment of my life. And I think it really was. I felt it. I didn’t know how it was going to be perceived.

“I hadn’t, like, visualised it. But I was definitely conscious of: these next 50 metres that I walk is where I fall to the ground and die – or I rise up.”

When asked if he still ‘fixates’ on the outcome of that night at Yas Marina, the seven-time World Champion now takes a pragmatic view on things.

He responded: “If I see a clip of it, I still feel it, but I’m at peace with it.”

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