Why Max Verstappen’s final round win over Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is ​​so controversial

As is the case with the 2021 Formula 1 season, the race to decide the championship is dramatic.

During the closing laps of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Williams’ driver Nicholas Latifi slipped off the track and hit a wall, leading to a safety car. That safety car turned out to be the fateful event as it closed the gap between race leader Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, with Verstappen eventually leading in the final lap of the final race of the season.

But the decision to restart the race while some cars are not allowed to explode on their own has been met with criticism and questions.

Here’s what happened:

THAN: Timeline of Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen

What happened in the last round?

FIA rules dictate that any and all covered cars lined up behind safety cars are allowed to overtake and steer themselves while the safety car is on the track. That did not happen on Sunday.

Of the drivers who missed in the race, only five were allowed to pass Lewis Hamilton under the safety car: Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. There are three more cars that have yet to unfold themselves (Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, Mick Schumacher), but likely should have been given the opportunity to do so, according to the rules.

Only when all the cars self-extract can the safety car end up in the following lap. Instead, the safety car exited the lap with more cars not yet exiting on its own. If the cars were allowed to inflate on their own, it would have to go one more lap and the race would end under the yellow flag, with Hamilton winning.

Instead, the race restarted after the cars separating Hamilton and Verstappen overtook Hamilton, leading to a controversial race ending.

So, in the words of the people: If all cars are allowed to pass and the rules of safe cars are followed strictly according to the rules of the law, the race will end under a safe car. , Hamilton will win the eighth world championship and finish. with Verstappen has certainly been against the climate.

It looks like race managers would prefer the championship to be decided on a final lap instead of under the yellow flag. While that makes for good entertainment and cooler talk, it’s not in the spirit of the rules.

Race director Michael Masi made that clear with his unequivocal message over the team radio.

“Toto? It’s called a motor race, OK?” Masi said of Mercedes captain Toto Wolff. “We went to a car race.”

For those wondering why there are no red flags: According to the Sky Sports broadcast, before kick-off, the managers decided the race would not be red flaged because an accident happened at the location that Latifi crashed into, so that’s not not an option.

Mercedes has decided to file two official objections to what appears to be a violation of the rules after the race: One for cars that are overtaking, and one for Verstappen’s ability to pass while the vehicle is safe. There was more ambiguity in the second demonstration than in the first.

With Mercedes and Red Bull’s meeting with FIA officials after the race linked to the protests, the FIA ​​has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Sky Sports reports that Mercedes brought a lawyer to their meeting with the race managers, so apparently, they are taking the matter very seriously, hoping to get a favorable decision.

Riders, analysts and fans are all confused with how the race is starting again:

If the managers decide that Verstappen did in fact get ahead in the safety of the car – which is highly doubtful – it would be a five-second penalty and the championship could be overturned in Hamilton’s favor.

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