Lewis Hamiltons dad makes classy gesture to Max Verstappen after Red Bulls title success

Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out

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Lewis Hamilton wasn’t the only one behaving with great dignity in the aftermath of Max Verstappen’s dramatic F1 world title win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Despite the controversy that plagued the finish of the race, Hamilton, 36, won widespread praise afterwards for the manner in which he conducted himself, congratulating his title rival before opting to use his media interview to thank the fans and his Mercedes team.

That was despite an emotionally charged finale at the Yas Marina circuit, with Hamilton seemingly in control in the latter stages as he led Verstappen by 11 seconds before Williams driver Nicholas Latifi careered off the track, prompting a safety car.

With nothing to lose, Verstappen opted to pit and despite drivers originally being told that lapped cars could not overtake the safety vehicle, race director Michael Masi then altered his instructions, allowing the five cars between Hamilton and the Dutchman to pass and unlap themselves.

That came just in time for racing to be resumed on the final lap, meaning Verstappen began it right on the tail of the Mercedes man, and his fresher tyres inevitably resulted in an overtake and a sensational title win.

Toto Wolff was livid with how things panned out, and the ‘Silver Arrows’ duly launched two protests, both of which were dismissed by race stewards.

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Shortly after those decisions were confirmed, Hamilton was seen leaving the track, and the seven-time world champion has since declined to publicly weigh in on any controversy as the fall-out continues.

However, he wasn’t the only one to behave with humility in the aftermath – with his father Anthony also graceful in a huge show of respect for Red Bull driver Verstappen.

The official F1 Twitter account posted a short clip of him approaching the 24-year-old, before seemingly offering his congratulations and a warm handshake.

He then proceeded to warmly embrace Verstappen’s father, former racing driver Jos.

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The clip was accompanied by the words “Pure class Anthony Hamilton,” although it only served to further rile F1 fans, angry at what’s been described as a ‘manufactured’ outcome.

@Pogbasbaee replied with “Sorry from now on I will not be watching this rigged sport. I thought it would get better but the FIA keep robbing Hamilton time and time again and I can’t take this anymore.”

@LionHedera added “I’m not a fan of Verstappen but Max is not at fault here, at all. He did exactly and everything he needed to do for his team, drove excellently and be at the right place to take the victory, contentious or not. Fia and Masi on the other hand…”

@MG_Steve echoed similar sentiments by posting “To be fair, Verstappen didn’t rob Hamilton, the FIA / F1 did that. You can’t blame Max for overtaking Lewis in that situation. The problem is that Masi ignored the rule book and precedence and made up new rules to suit his agenda. Masi robbed Lewis, not Max.”

It now remains to be seen if Mercedes will activate their intent to appeal, which they served notice of immediately after their two protests were rejected.

Technically, they have until Thursday to make the decision, after which any further action would have to go through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

However, reports on Monday suggest that Wolff, the Team Principal and CEO, was set to reluctantly decline to appeal. 

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