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Coulthard exasperated by "unsavoury" end to Hamilton Verstappen 'impure' F1 fight

Coulthard exasperated by "unsavoury" end to Hamilton Verstappen 'impure' F1 fight

Coulthard exasperated by "unsavoury" end to Hamilton Verstappen 'impure' F1 fight

Coulthard exasperated by "unsavoury" end to Hamilton Verstappen 'impure' F1 fight

David Coulthard believes the incredible season-long battle between world champion Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was given an "unsavoury" ending at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Hamilton looked to be on course for championship number eight as he controlled the race after taking the lead on the opening lap, only for Nicholas Latifi's crash to trigger a safety car period with five laps to go.

The safety car was controversially brought in with just a lap to go after decisions were made and then changed over whether lapped cars would remain in place or not, with Verstappen ultimately making his way through on fresher tyres on the last lap.

Mercedes launched two protests against the result and after seeing those thrown out have lodged an intention to appeal.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Coulthard said: "It was a huge sporting moment between two fantastic drivers and teams and we wanted it, all of us, played out on the race track in a non-controversial way.

"What looked like what was going to be a textbook drive from lights-out to flag from Lewis Hamilton was turned on its head when we had Latifi crash his car seemingly trying to overtake himself.

"It was the silliest little incident that led to the safety car and then a sequence of events none of us has seen before."

On the complexity of the sport and how that played a part in the confusion, the former world championship runner-up added: "You could, argue because of the technology that is involved, it is not a pure sport where it is not just human endeavour in its purest form against each other.\

"You've got the performance of the car before the driver even gets in there.

"There are so many rules that are constantly being clarified throughout the season that for anyone who follows it closely will know there's always little tweaks, wing structures and technicalities of the cars.

"The sporting regulations are hugely complex as well. The sequence of events of only allowing five cars to overtake Lewis before the safety car came in is not something that typically has happened before.

"But the FIA do have another rule that allows the race director to override that and make another decision he feels is correct so it comes down to one individual.

"There needs to be clarity going forward. We can't have debates and stewards, going forward, looking at this several hours after the chequered flag has fallen.

"It is unsavoury overall for everybody after what has been a fantastic racing championship.

"The reality is both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen deserve this title because they have both been exceptional, they have been better than the rest.

"Sadly, someone has to lose out but the manner in which it happened on the very last lap will leave a lot of people disillusioned."

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