Mika Hakkinen believes F1 race director Michael Masi was correct with his decisions during the last lap of the Abu Dhabi GP.
A lot of current and former F1 drivers have criticized the way Michael Masi handled the closing stages of the Abu Dhabi GP. His decision to restart the race on the last lap after asking the lapped drivers to pass the safety car has come under massive scrutiny.
2-time F1 Champion Mika Hakkinen on the other hand voiced his support for the Australian race official. Hakkinen said that there was nothing Masi could do to make the situation any better.
“I think that would have been much worse if this World Championship had ended behind a Safety Car. It would have really been a cold shower.” said the former McLaren driver.
“The clerk of the course’s decision, then supported by the four marshals, is based on his understanding of the rules, including his responsibility to decide when the safety car returns to the pit.”
Congratulations @Max33Verstappen for becoming the first Dutch F1 world champion 🇳🇱🥇
— Mika Häkkinen (@F1MikaHakkinen) December 12, 2021
“The balance of decisions between safety and the promotion of the race is the most difficult task of the clerk of the course.” he continued.
“If you look at the result, in terms of safety and promotion of the race, Michael has done his job.”
“If Mercedes decides to challenge the result of the race and the World Drivers’ Championship, the decisions that have been made and how the rules were applied will be examined in detail. I don’t believe the results will change.”
“Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are true ambassadors of F1”
Mika Hakkinen went on to say that the race was one of the most entertaining in recent memory. Both drivers took the battle down to the very last lap, regardless of other circumstances.
“We will talk about it for a long time!” he said.
Both Verstappen and Hamilton were understandably surprised at the end of the race. Their emotions were different, but neither driver expect the season to end in the way it did.
A title battle we will never forget
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 12, 2021
“They both looked totally shocked, although their words after the race were nice to hear. They are perfect ambassadors for F1.” the Finn added.
“It was the tightest fight possible. A season that seemed to go in Red Bull’s direction until Lewis came back strong towards the end”.
“His victories in Brazil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia showed why he was such a star. I really think he carried his team.”