Lewis Hamilton has been handed more “proof” that he was “robbed” of his eighth world title back in 2021, according to F1 expert Peter Windsor. Hamilton lost the championship in controversial circumstances after a last lap restart allowed Verstappen to pass on fresher tyres.
However, race director Michael Masi didn’t allow all lapped cars to pass the leader before the race was restarted. If the rules were applied correctly, the race may have ended with the leaders simply completing the final laps behind the safety car.
This was how the race ended in Australia after a series of crashes on the final restart with Windsor pointing out the key differences. He told his YouTube channel: “That’s the finish we should have got in Abu Dhabi in 2021.
“I didn’t see any Australian fans – and they’re pretty vociferous at the best of times – complaining or booing saying, ‘no, we want this race to finish as a proper one-lap race, this is terrible.’
“They were all cheering and clapping – exactly as I said they would have in Abu Dhabi ’21 if they’d finished it behind the Safety Car, as they should have done, and Lewis had been cruising round to win his eighth World title. That, to me, was absolute proof – again – of what went wrong in Abu Dhabi and I still feel very hot under the collar about that as well.
“I still think it’s rotten that they completely blew that and Lewis Hamilton was robbed of that eighth title in that one incident. Of course, you don’t win or lose a Championship in one race. What I’m talking about is the decision that was taken.
“And nobody cared at all [in Melbourne]. The Australians just loved that Safety Car, they were all cheering.” Hamilton has previously claimed the race was “manipulated” as he pointed the blame solely at Masi’s door.
When asked if losing crowns in 2007 and 2021 were similar experiences, Hamilton said: “No, it was different, it was different because this one wasn’t manipulated by anybody. Someone made a decision for that result to be the way it was basically.”
The ex-race director was spotted in the paddock at the Australian Grand Prix as a part of the Supercars team. However, Hamilton refused to meet up with him for talks almost a year and a half after the incident.