Today’s social media explosion was filled with memes alleging that Lewis Hamilton was “robbed” of the Formula 1 World Championship after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The British driver missed out on his eighth title after a decision by race director Michael Masi to allow some of the lapped cars to overtake a safety car and set up a one-lap drag race between him and his arch rival Max Verstappen.

Hamilton lost to Verstappen, who won the World Championship.

Many Formula 1 enthusiasts were furious at the news and took to social media to complain that Lewis Hamilton had been ‘robbed of’ the title. 

One replied, “The FIA just committed armed robbery upon Hamilton. This was unacceptable. It was not even allowed for all lapped Cars in the fleet to unlap. They only allowed the lapped Cars between Hamilton and Verstappen.

A second tweeted: ‘I’ve never been more disappointed with the F1 – the best driver won…. No they didn’t…. The winner was the one who had a lucky incident. It was a joke F1, it was a joke. #FormulaOne #F1Finale #F1’

Another stated that F1 was popular because of ‘Drive to Survive’. Therefore, the governing body decided to end the race solely for entertainment. Blatant cheating can defeat the most successful driver in F1’s history.

Another said, “I have never seen sport so corrupt.” A complete sham,’ another added: ‘FIA was a total joke throughout the season. Michael Masi should be removed immediately.

They weren’t the only ones protesting Verstappen’s title-winning victory. Hamilton’s team launched a pair of protests against Verstappen’s title-winning victory amid the highly contested decision, but they were quickly dismissed and Verstappen was confirmed as the world champion in the second defeat of the night for Mercedes.

Mercedes confirmed that they had filed an appeal. One insider indicated that there was no other legal recourse.

Mercedes will now have 96 hour to respond.

Lewis Hamilton (left) congratulates Max Verstappen (right) following a thrilling final race of the season in which Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap of the race amid major controversy

After a dramatic final race in the season, Lewis Hamilton (left), congratulates Max Verstappen.

Hamilton led the whole race. After taking over the Red Bull driver at first corner, Hamilton held complete control. But, in the final moments of the race Hamilton received a safety car that allowed him to take the title.

Hamilton seemed to be enjoying a comfortable eighth championship cruise, until Williams driver Nicholas Latifi collided with Mick Schumacher in an altercation just five laps before the Grand Prix ended.

Initially, the virtual safety car was created. Red Bull and Verstappen took advantage of this to pit and install soft tyres. Hamilton however had to maintain track position and not tread on his hard-wearing tyres.

Race Control called a safety car, which gathered the rest of the field, and almost ended Hamilton’s lead.

It looked for a while like the race would finish behind Verstappen and Hamilton, separated by five back markers. But, on the penultimate lap, race control permitted the lapped cars pass the safety vehicle.

Verstappen was positioned right behind Hamilton heading into the final lap. The Dutchman could make the most of his soft tires and racing knowledge, making a stunning pass to win his first World Championship. 

Within seconds of the end, George Russell from Britain, who was joining Hamilton next season at Mercedes, led the backlash against the circumstances that enabled Verstappen’s dramatic win.

Russell said, “THIS ISN’T ACCEPTABLE!”!

How DID Max Verstappen overtake Hamilton on final lap – and was Hamilton robbed? 

Nicholas Latifi, who crashed the Williams car in lap 53 of the race, brought out a safety vehicle. Red Bull brought Verstappen back for newer, better tyres. Mercedes, however, kept Hamilton off the track on their older tyres in order to retain their position at front.

Initial announcement by the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), was that Verstappen’s and Hamilton’s cars would be unable to unlap, as is standard practice in Formula One.

It is also known as unlapping, which refers to driving fast in order to catch up with a car that has passed them by one lap earlier. Drivers who are able to pass another car will unlap themselves

Red Bull opposed this highly controversial decision.

Michael Masi (race director) changed his mind and Verstappen was placed right after Hamilton in the final-lap shootout. While they were waiting, the race director Michael Masi told Verstappen and five other cars to pass the safety car.

It is stated in the sport regulations that a driver cannot overtake another vehicle on the track (including the safety car) until it passes the Line (see Article 5.3) for the first time, after which the safety car returns to the pits.

Also, Article 48.12 states that cars lapped by leaders will have to pass cars in the lead laps and safety cars. 

“Max is an amazing driver, who’s had an unbelievable season. I have great respect for him and his abilities. But what happened was absolutely unacceptable. What we just witnessed is beyond comprehension.

Mercedes simply tweeted: “There are no words.”

Piers Morgan stated, “I don’t know what I’ve just seen but it can’t be right.” Hamilton was robbed. #F1′

Jermaine Jenas was formerly a footballer. It was an utter robbery of @LewisHamilton.

Jonathan Liew said, “This happens when a sport turns itself into scripted entertainment. Rules cease to be rules. “The only guide principle is that which sells the product,” said Ed Aarons, a journalist. Talk about manufacturing drama…’

Presenter Dan Walker added: ‘Whoever you wanted to win… that is an absolute farce of a finish #F1Finale’.

Micky Hazard was a Tottenham former midfielder. The organisers must be embarrassed for changing the rules that made the F1 season more disgusting. A user commented: ‘Congratulations Michael Masi, who has decided the F1 world championship title’

It was a drama-filled race that began with the first lap where title rivals almost collided. 

Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the first corner. Hamilton was forced to abandon the track and take evasive measures to avoid collision.

However, the Brit maintained his momentum and drove directly across the runoff area to retake lead with what seemed to be a slight time advantage. 

The Stewards didn’t tell Hamilton to recover the advantage and instead ruled that no investigation was necessary. This shocked Christian Horner, Red Bull boss and Dutchman.

Verstappen declared on team radio, “That is amazing.” They are doing what?

Hamilton continued his relentless pursuit of the eighth title, and his lead grew as Hamilton drew closer to it.

Verstappen was briefly hopeful 22 laps after the final lap when Antonio Giovinazzi broke his Alfa Romeo, causing a short Virtual Safety Car phase. 

Red Bull used this opportunity to pit Verstappen, and to fit new tyres for Hamilton to chase him down. Hamilton did not stay out. The final roll of the dice was made. 

With 22 laps to go, there was an 18 second gap when racing resumed. 

Hamilton looked worried over the team radio. However, Hamilton did incredible laps to ensure Verstappen wouldn’t be able to catch him. 

In a stunning moment that was in line with the rest this amazing season, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi collided into the wall five laps left. This triggered a late safety car. 

Verstappen made another stop and fitted soft tyres to maximize attack. However, time was running out. Was the safety vehicle going to be available?

It worked. It did. Verstappen finished Turn 5 and Hamilton tried valiantly to follow his foe down each straight, but Hamilton was unable to do so on the old rubber. The young Dutchman crossed the line first time and won his first World Championship.  

Max Verstappen will be STRIPPED from his first World Championship title. 

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the first F1 Driver’s World Championship. The party will go on until the early hours of the morning. Mercedes has filed an appeal against these official results. 

Toto Wolff, the team’s principal, has yet to respond to the drama. However, Mercedes appears to be strongly against the FIA at the time this article was written. 

Mercedes looks to challenge a race director Michael Masi decision that allowed five cars to pass Hamilton and Verstappen on the penultimate lap. Verstappen could also be argued to have briefly passed Hamilton behind the safety-car.

In the rulebook, Article 48.8 says ‘no driver may overtake another car on the track, including the safety car, until he passes the Line (see Article 5.3) for the first time after the safety car has returned to the pits.’

Additionally, Article 48.12 provides that any cars being lapped by the leader are required to pass those on the lead lap or the safety car.

Referring to the first point: Verstappen pulled alongside Hamilton on Turn 12 at lap 57 before the race restarted on lap58.

Race Control then told Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso, Esteban Okcon, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Charles Leclerc, and Charles Leclerc about the second argument by Mercedes.

The instruction was not sent to Lance Stroll, Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo. 

Article 48.12 says that the safety cars will be returned to the pits after the lap is complete unless the Clerk of the Course considers them still required.

Mercedes' case looks to question a decision made by race director Michael Masi (pictured at Yas Marina circuit yesterday), who allowed five cars in between Hamilton and Verstappen to overtake the safety car on the penultimate lap of the race - and may also argue that Verstappen briefly overtook Hamilton behind the safety car.

Mercedes may challenge a decision by Michael Masi, race director (photo taken at Yas Marina Circuit yesterday), which allowed five cars to pass Hamilton and Verstappen on the penultimate lap. Verstappen could also be argued to have briefly passed Hamilton behind the safety-car.

Although it is not clear what actions could be taken to address the situation, an investigation has already begun. 

If any penalties are imposed, it will change the overall complexion of title fights and possibly strip Verstappen off the trophy.

Hamilton could win an eighth award if the results of any races are altered. This is despite the fact that Hamilton was in the last race of the season.

The sport will find it embarrassing if the results are reversed.

It may be even more harmful for them to allow the results to stand with rules that were seemingly created on the final lap of the season in order to make a soap opera. 

Red Bull will be speaking to the stewards tonight, but there’s still plenty of controversy.