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Guenther Steiner Has No Regrets Over His Role in AD21 That Cost Lewis Hamilton 8th World Championship

Veerendra Vikram Singh

Guenther Steiner Has No Regrets Over His Role in AD21 That Cost Lewis Hamilton 8th World Championship

Whenever Nicholas Latifi’s name comes up, it’s likely that one would think back to Abu Dhabi 2021. The Canadian driver faced a lot of criticism for his crash which eventually changed the outcome of the race and the world championship for Lewis Hamilton, who was chasing a record eighth title. But, there’s more to the story as Haas had a part in that crash too.

On that crucial lap, Latifi was racing against Mick Schumacher. It was Mick who pushed Latifi wide in the last part of the lap, just before the tricky double left turns, 13 and 14. Because Latifi went off the track, he picked up dirt on his tires, lost control coming out of turn 14, and crashed into the outside wall.

Guenther Steiner, who was Haas’s team principal in 2021, was recently asked about this on ‘The Red Flags’ podcast. The host asked if he felt responsible for what happened in Abu Dhabi. He said, “People talk about Latifi… I mean he was racing Mick Schumacher… Your team was directly responsible for the Abu Dhabi 2021 debacle. I mean, do you kind of feel like an a**hole a little bit, like ‘Oh my God! We’re racing in the back and we’re like fu**ing up this entire race.'”

Steiner’s response was blunt. He said, “No, you just feel like an a**hole because you’re in the back not because you’re fu**ing up the race you know. You don’t really care about the other ones.”

Regardless of how Steiner feels, Abu Dhabi 2021 will always be remembered as one of the darkest moments in F1 history.

Should Mercedes have fought harder for Lewis Hamilton’s 8th title?

Lewis Hamilton was leading and looked set to win his eighth world title. But then, Michael Masi mishandled the safety car situation after Latifi’s crash. This allowed Max Verstappen to pass lapped cars and get right behind Hamilton.

This decision changed everything. Verstappen, who had switched to fresh soft tires during the safety car period, had the perfect opportunity to attack Hamilton. He did and passed the Briton, taking the win and the championship.

After the race, the FIA admitted that there was “human error” in how the lapped cars were handled. They said that Michael Masi acted “in good faith”. But, the error cost Lewis Hamilton the most. Mercedes, Hamilton’s team, did not challenge the result as aggressively as expected. They filed a quick appeal, but after it was dismissed, they didn’t push further.

Mercedes’ casual approach to such a big moment in Lewis Hamilton’s career is considered to be one of the biggest reasons for the growing distance between Hamilton and Mercedes which eventually led to his departure from the team in favor of Ferrari.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Veerendra Vikram Singh

Veerendra Vikram Singh


Veerendra Singh is a senior Formula 1 journalist at TheSportsRush, with a passion for the sport that goes back to 2008. His extensive coverage and deep understanding of the sport are evident in the more than 900 articles he has written so far on the sport and its famous personalities like Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Charles Leclerc and more... When he's not at his work desk, Veerendra likes to spend time with his two feline friends and watch races from the Formula 1 and MotoGP archive. He is always up for a conversation about motorsport so you can hit him up anytime on his social media handles for a quick word.

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