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.
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!”!
“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.