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It has been over two months since Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen caught up in one of the most controversial Formula 1 races of all time. And just when we thought the heat surrounding the Abu Dhabi GP is finally on the verge of coming to an end, here’s another never-seen-before footage that has managed to revive the strife.

Did Verstappen deserve to win the championship title? Of course, yes! The Dutchman put together an impeccable season comprising wins reaching double figures, a very rare feat in F1.

And on top of that, his consistency was astonishing, as he was amongst the top-2 runners throughout the year albeit with a handful of DNFs in Baku and Monza and the damage-dealt Hungary race. But, let’s now fast-forward to the final race of the season.

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via Reuters

The fans got to hear the conversation between Red Bull sporting director, Jonathan Wheatley and FIA race director, Michael Masi on live TV. However, here’s something interesting! Not all of the conversations made it to the public’s view.

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How the actual Red Bull-FIA conversation unfolded

The video begins with Lewis Hamilton‘s race engineer acknowledging the driver not to worry about Verstappen as he was then stuck behind five back-markers. “There are five back-markers between you and P2,” he said.

But, then arrived Wheatley with a suggestion to Masi. “Obviously, those are lapped cars. You don’t need to let them go… right away and catch up with the back of the pack,” the Briton said.

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Understood,” Masi replied. Before the Australian could acknowledge Wheatley, there was another demand from the Red Bull director – “You need to let them go, and then we got a motor race in our hands.

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Understood. Just give me a minute,” Masi replied before following Wheatley’s idea entirely. Subsequently, Mercedes and Red Bull race engineers had contrasting information for their respective drivers. For Hamilton, the information went by, “So, we believe they may restart the race like this.”

Meanwhile, Verstappen received an entirely contrasting piece of information from his race engineer – “So, I think all the cars ahead of you are going to pass Hamilton and everybody behind you will stay in position.

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Well, that was shocking indeed! It does seem like Red Bull played a crucial role in rerouting the race to their favor. So, let’s hear it from you – Having finally heard the uncut exchange between Wheatley and Masi, do you believe that Red Bull manipulated the Abu Dhabi GP’s end result?

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Written by

Rohit Kumar

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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.
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