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Horner SLAMS Mercedes decision-making in Abu Dhabi title decider

Horner SLAMS Mercedes decision-making in Abu Dhabi title decider

Horner SLAMS Mercedes decision-making in Abu Dhabi title decider

Horner SLAMS Mercedes decision-making in Abu Dhabi title decider

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that Mercedes 'f***ed up' their strategy at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, leading to Max Verstappen claiming his first world championship title.

Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen went into the season-ending race level on points after an almighty title battle throughout the year.

While Hamilton was leading the race comfortably from the Dutchman, Williams' Nicholas Latifi crashed out, leading to a safety car which dramatically swung the odds into Verstappen's favour.

In a controversial set of events which caused then-race director Michael Masi to be removed from his position, Verstappen ended up directly behind Hamilton on a fresh set of tyres with one lap to go.

Verstappen stormed through to take victory, leaving seven-time world champion Hamilton heartbroken, and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff raging.

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to victory in the 2021 world championship title-decider
Lewis Hamilton had to be consoled after losing the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Max Verstappen is now a three-time world champion

Verstappen didn't intend to overtake Hamilton

Now, Horner has said that he believes that, despite the controversy, it was Mercedes' indecision around the safety car that led to Hamilton's demise.

“I have absolutely no idea," Horner told Sky's A League Of Their Own when asked why the race is so notorious among Formula 1 fans.

“Mercedes f***ed up. They left poor Lewis out there on tyres that had done pretty much most of the race and we’d pitted with Max, so he was on a fresh set of tyres. Max made the move and…”

“The interesting thing is where Max passed him – it caught Lewis completely by surprise," he continued.

“After the race, Max told us he didn’t intend to overtake him there but he got cramp behind the Safety Car and he couldn’t feel his left foot properly, so he thought: ‘Oh, f**k it, I’m going [for it] anyway'.

“And then, when they were going down the straight, he was trying to wake his left foot up to hit the brakes for the next chicane.”

READ MORE All of Verstappen's F1 records and the ones which elude him

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