Bernie Ecclestone insists that Lewis Hamilton was not robbed of the title and that Mercedes will look like sore losers if they appeal.
Lewis Hamilton suffered a heartbreaking end to last Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen passed the Briton on the final lap to win the race and his first Championship.
However, the circumstances leading up to that final overtake from Verstappen has come under scrutiny following the Grand Prix. Race director Michael Masi is under fire for asking the lapped drivers to pass the Safety Car just before the last lap.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 12, 2021
In the immediate aftermath of the race, Mercedes decided to protest against the result. Team Principal Toto Wolff was heard asking Michael Masi to reinstate the last lap but he shut the Austrian down by reminding him that they were in a ‘motor race’.
The Silver Arrows lodged two separate protests but had them both dismissed by the stewards. Toto Wolff was not happy with the verdict and the Brackley based team soon announced their ‘intention to appeal‘.
Former F1 CEO, Bernie Ecclestone feels that Mercedes will look like sore losers if they go ahead with their appeal.
Michael Masi has done the right thing, says Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone defended Masi’s decision to allow the lapped cars to pass. The former F1 boss sees nothing wrong with the decision made by the Australian race official and shared his thoughts about whether he felt Hamilton had his title stolen from him.
“About being robbed it’s complete and utter nonsense.” the 91 year old said.
“These things happen all the time in sports. We shouldn’t blame the race director, he did exactly what was the right thing to do. I think an appeal would be the worst thing they could do. It would look like they are bad losers.”
“Max won fair and square.”
Bernie Ecclestone says F1 fans are “just as happy to see a new face” win a title, adding he was “personally happy” that Sir Lewis Hamilton did not win an eighth as he ‘wouldn’t like to see Schumacher’s record broken’.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 13, 2021
Ecclestone went on to say that he is glad about Verstappen winning the title. The 24 year old joins a list of elite drivers who have won the most coveted prize in motorsports. The ex supremo is just happy that the sport has a ‘new face’.
“Max won it fair and square which is a good thing to do. People are just as happy to see a new face win it.”
“I personally was happy that Lewis didn’t win an eighth championship because of Michael Schumacher. I wouldn’t like to see that broken.”