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F1 "tarnished" by 'rigged for theatre' Abu Dhabi title showdown

F1 "tarnished" by 'rigged for theatre' Abu Dhabi title showdown

F1 "tarnished" by 'rigged for theatre' Abu Dhabi title showdown

F1 "tarnished" by 'rigged for theatre' Abu Dhabi title showdown
GPFans Staff

Last year's F1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand has been declared to have been "effectively rigged by the stewards" by Labour peer Lord Peter Hain.

The season-long battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen reached a controversial conclusion at the Yas Marina Circuit when FIA race director Michael Masi allowed selected cars to unlap themselves before allowing racing to resume for a single-lap shootout.

Mercedes had two protests dismissed by the stewards after the race and although confident it could have succeeded with subsequent appeals "in a regular court", the Silver Arrows elected not to continue with the process.

Speaking to The Express, Labour peer and Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Formula 1, Hain said the events were "not good for the sport".

"It may be exciting and it may be dramatic, it may gain the audiences that Formula 1 craves, but you have to think of the credibility and the integrity of the sport in the longer term," he explained.

"The FIA needs to look itself in the heart. The FIA is the regulatory body, it can't afford to have Formula 1 tarnished in this way.

"The FIA needs to have a heart to heart about all this and make sure it isn't repeated."

Recently elected FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has stated since his appointment that the governing body will "analyse" the events of the December race and that "rules should always be improved".

The fallout from the race will be closely followed by Mercedes with team principal Toto Wolff vowing to hold the FIA Formula 1 Commission "accountable" after "meaningful feedback and conclusions" were promised "before the beginning of the 2022 season".

"As a lifelong Formula 1 fan, I thought it was a perverted outcome," added Hain.

“The finish was effectively rigged by the stewards in order to produce a dramatic finale for the theatre rather than a racing outcome.

"I think it has left a sour taste unless you are a die-hard Verstappen fan, but even many of them have admitted that it has left an unpleasant taste in their mouth."

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