Lewis Hamilton insists 2021 loss in Abu Dhabi was 'MANIPULATED'

Lewis Hamilton insists 2021 loss in Abu Dhabi was ‘MANIPULATED’ after controversial ‘decision’ allowed Max Verstappen his first championship when comparing it to maiden title win in Brazil 2008 that saw Felipe Massa lose by one point

  • Lewis Hamilton claimed that the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was ‘manipulated’
  • He missed out on a record eighth championship to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen 
  • The Mercedes driver won his first title in 2008 at the expense of Felipe Massa 

Lewis Hamilton has reiterated his belief that his heartbreaking Formula One championship loss in 2021 at Abu Dhabi was ‘manipulated’.

The British driver was asked to compare it to Felipe Massa’s agonising defeat in 2008, but claimed there was a notable difference in that the controversial outcome of the race in December 2021 was entirely influenced by a ‘decision’

Hamilton and Max Verstappen went into the final race level on points, however with the seven-time champion leading the race late on behind a safety car, he was ultimately beaten to the line on the final lap after Michael Masi allowed only lapped cars between the two to un-lap themselves.  

Lewis Hamilton (R) again insisted that his 2021 title loss in Abu Dhabi was ‘manipulated’

The 37-year-old Mercedes driver was asked by Timo Glock – who Hamilton passed late on in Brazil 2008 to rescue his title bid at the expense of home favourite Massa – if there were any similarities between the two thrilling conclusions. 

‘No, it was different, it was different because this one wasn’t manipulated by anybody,’ Hamilton responded. ‘Someone made a decision for that result to be the way it was basically.

‘There are similarities in kind of the pain of losing in 2007. For the last 17 seconds losing that championship or the last three laps, I’d lost it basically. 

Hamilton won his first title in 2008 at the expense of Felipe Massa (pictured) at the Brazil GP

‘And then coming across the line for another 17 seconds or whatever it was beyond, still having lost the championship.

‘Similar kind of horrible feeling in your heart and in your spirit. I’m so so grateful for it because it was a real proof that for anybody out there when you are facing adversity, just to never give up, keep pushing, keep chasing, keep going.

Massa won the race but finished just a point behind Hamilton in the championship

‘Miracles do happen. And that was really a miracle moment for me.’ 


The 2008 race in Brazil – where Hamilton is now an honorary citizen – saw the Brit come back into contention after late rain, and his overtake of Glock in the closing stages snatched the tile from Massa in what was the best opportunity of his career. 

The Brazilian ended his career without a championship win, and despite going on to win the race in his home country 14 years ago, he would never win a F1 race in the subsequent nine years of his career before retiring.

‘That was such an amazing year for Felipe, and for me, the most impressive part of the whole year was the end, how he stood on the podium with pride and dignity,’ added the British driver. 

‘And he’s a champion in my eyes you know, it’s for something much bigger than just winning the championship.’

Although it has been more than 11 months since the controversial race in the United Arab Emirates that saw the Mercedes man perhaps cruelly miss out, the fallout from the seismic conclusion to the 2021 season is still being felt. 

Now two-time champion Verstappen and Red Bull boycotted Sky Sports after pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz claimed that Hamilton was ‘robbed’ of an eighth title, before ending the silence at last weekend’s Brazilian GP.

Verstappen and Red Bull previously boycotted Sky after Ted Kravitz claimed Hamilton was ‘robbed’ in Abu Dhabi

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