Home Sport Lewis Hamilton shares his true feelings about Max Verstappen 'robbery' years later

Lewis Hamilton shares his true feelings about Max Verstappen 'robbery' years later


Lewis Hamilton has admitted he ‘still feels it’ when he sees a clip of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Mercedes star remains adamant that he was ‘robbed’ of that year’s world title, which was won by Max Verstappen on the final lap of the final race at Yas Marina.

Hamilton and Verstappen couldn’t be separated heading into the decider, with both drivers sitting on 369.5 points. The race was therefore a winner-takes-all battle as Hamilton aimed for his eighth world title and Verstappen hunted down his first.

With Hamilton in the lead behind a late safety car, race director Michael Masi applied rules incorrectly by only letting a certain number of lapped drivers unlap themselves, which brought Verstappen right behind the leader on brand new tyres.

The Dutchman tore past once the race resumed, infuriating Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and leaving Hamilton gutted. Masi was subsequently axed by the FIA for mishandling the finale.

Hamilton has not won a Grand Prix since, and the 39-year-old is still feeling the effects of his defeat, telling GQ: “Was I robbed? Obviously. I mean, you know the story. But I think what was really beautiful in that moment, which I take away from it, was my dad was with me.

“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.

“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. If I see a clip of [the race], I still feel it. But I’m at peace with it.”

The sight of Verstappen going on to dominate the last two Drivers’ Championships will only have rubbed salt into Hamilton’s wounds. Verstappen is well on course to notch a fourth consecutive title this year after winning two of the first three Grands Prix.

Hamilton, meanwhile, has made his worst ever start to an F1 season, putting only eight points on the board. The outgoing Silver Arrows veteran is joining Ferrari in 2025, having agreed a multi-year contract with the Scuderia.

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