British F1 Legend Dismisses ‘Hollywood’ Perception of the Verstappen-Hamilton Outcome in Abu Dhabi

Published 12/31/2021, 8:26 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship with the Netherlands flag on the podium as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton looks dejected after finishing second REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


The outcome of the 2021 F1 finale in Abu Dhabi was one of the most polarizing incidents in recent times. While many believe that race director Masi could have handled the lap 54 events in a better way, others want to cut him some slack. F1 community has scrutinized Masi, sometimes quite harshly for his decisions under the Safety Car.

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In a recent development, three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart joined this conversation as well. The British F1 legend believes that the sport has never seen any scenario like the last moments in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, he marked a point that the F1 race is not a Hollywood movie and also lauded the decision made by Masi amidst a high-pressure situation.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after finishing second in the race and world championship with race and world championship winner Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and third placed in the race Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Stewart had an exceptional F1 career spanning over 8 seasons with different outfits. Notably, he won the drivers’ championship in 1969, 1971, and 1973.

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Hamilton-Verstappen F1 rivalry is not a Hollywood movie: Stewart

Amidst a high-pressure season finale, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi found barriers on Turn 14 and it changed the course of the championship. Mercedes lost out on the drivers’ championship and a row of criticism followed, targeting the FIA. Many, including the former F1 boss Ecclestone, said Masi should have red-flagged the race.

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However, in a recent interview with Marca.com, Sir Jackie extended his support to the FIA race director. “I think it was handled in the right way. It was done correctly.” 

“No, because there was really no reason for a red flag. Latifi’s car could be removed quickly and there were no damaged barriers to be repaired. There was no reason for another re-exit,” said the former F1 driver.

More importantly, he says the sport has not witnessed an ending situation like this one before.

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“There was no film business. That wasn’t Hollywood, it was pure, and the audience enjoyed that authenticity. Never in the history of this sport has there been such an outcome,” he added

In the end, the Flying Scot showered his praises for both the frontrunners this season for an exceptional battle. “This year has been a great success and Max Verstappen has also performed exceptionally individually. Lewis will be very disappointed, but he shouldn’t be at all. He has also completed a great season,” concluded Sir Jackie.

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However, now the dust seems to have settled between that two teams, only to invigorate again next season. With a new set of regulations in place, it will surely be a cracker of a season.

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Rituraj Tripathi

264 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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