Nico Rosberg Calls for F1 to ‘Tighten Up’ After Verstappen-Hamilton Controversies

Published 12/25/2021, 7:33 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after the start of the race REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

The entire Mercedes garage, and we’d reckon, pretty much half of the F1 fandom, blew up when the stewards made the bizarre decision of letting lapped cars between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton unlap themselves on the penultimate lap of the title-deciding Abu Dhabi GP.


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Many alleged biased ruling, which eventually led Hamilton to lose his title fight against Verstappen. Hence, such allegations made the Dutchman’s championship victory look unfair.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton looks dejected after finishing second in the race and the world championship REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

But, the former rival of Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, pointed out that the Briton had already escaped a penalty early on in the race. On the very first lap, Verstappen ran Hamilton off the track while the former managed to keep his car within the track limits.


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Hamilton, meanwhile, cut the entire chicane and regained the lead, and also extended his gap to the Dutchman. So, what did the stewards do? They let Hamilton keep the position amidst Red Bull’s plea and Sky experts’ counter opinion.

What did Nico Rosberg say?

As reported by Motorsport Week, Rosberg admitted that F1 is in desperate need of progress after the poor show at Yas Marina, earlier in December.

Big respect to Jean for his career, of course. But now with a new person, there’s an opportunity. The sport needs to make progress,” he told Sky Sports.

21 July 2018, Germany, Hockenheim: Motorsports: Formula-One-Championships, Grand Prix in Germany. Formerly a Formula One driver himself, Nico Rosberg is now an commentator on Sky Sports. Photo: Uli Deck/dpa (Photo by Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images)

It starts even with all the overtaking, the wheel-to-wheel action. Let’s not forget that in the race, Max Verstappen passed Lewis and kind of pushed him off a little bit. Lewis stayed flat out, cut the corner, and came out in front again. Even that, all of us experts said Lewis should let Max by here, but they didn’t ask him to.

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FIA needs to tighten all that up: Rosberg


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Rosberg opined that the stewards left one too many loose calls, which often led to controversies. Hence, with the new FIA president in place, the 2016 world champion is hoping that F1 will become more stringent, come 2022.

Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 5, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

The FIA needs to tighten all that up so that we don’t have all these discussions. It would be better for the sport if it was much easier to understand. Also in wheel-to-wheel racing; who is now right and wrong, what needs to be done. A quick decision is made, and we go on,” Rosberg concluded.


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While many are alleging biased decision-making on the final lap, were the stewards contrastingly too lenient with Hamilton on the opening lap of the Abu Dhabi GP?


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Rohit Kumar

1644 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.