“Didn’t Seem Fair But…” – Former NASCAR Driver Danica Patrick Chimes in on Controversial F1 Finish in Abu Dhabi

Published 12/13/2021, 12:56 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 14: Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)


The 2021 Formula 1 season wrapped up and Max Verstappen took home the world championship. Admittedly, the race finish is still being hotly debated among fans, former drivers, and the media, but that’s another story. Of course, many sportspersons, celebrities, and other personalities reacted to the F1 race. One notable spectator was former NASCAR and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick.

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Like a few other NASCAR drivers, she did not appreciate the stewards’ actions. Admittedly, both drivers literally got their elbows out because this was their last chance and there were no holds barred. In the end, the stewards came out as the big villains as some controversial decisions resulted in Verstappen winning amidst an uproar.

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The general consensus was that the race was exciting all around. Without a doubt, Kyle Larson picked one heck of a race to watch live for the first time in his life. The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion got front row seats to the action and drama that unfolded.

What caused the controversy in the F1 season finale at Abu Dhabi?

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The whole drama kicked off when Nicholas Latifi crashed out and brought out the Safety car. Unfortunately, it looked like the race would end behind the Safety Car, which would be anticlimactic. However, the stewards underestimated the marshals, who cleared Latifi’s Williams quickly. Then, there was a spot of confusion when the stewards decided that the lapped cars could not overtake.

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

Not even a minute later, they reversed that decision, and Verstappen ended up right on Hamilton’s tail. Since the Red Bull driver had pitted earlier and had a fresh set of soft tires, Hamilton was vulnerable on the restart. Of course, he put up a valiant fight to preserve his lead. Sadly, tires with 40+ laps of wear and tear could only put up so much resistance.

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Obviously, this race finish did not thrill some sections of the fans, who felt that the stewards robbed Hamilton of his potential eighth title. Mercedes promptly lodged a protest, but it was later dismissed. Unperturbed, they elected to appeal that decision and tried to demand justice. For the moment, the result of that is still pending.

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Dhruv George

12559 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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