The fallout from the dramatic season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix continues, after Max Verstappen took the Formula One world title from Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton was seemingly heading towards a record eighth victory, and now Susie Wolff – who is CEO of Venturi racing and wife of Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff – has hit out at the way he was denied a historic win.
“Going in to this final race weekend, I believed both teams and both drivers deserved to win. It was going to be a spectacle, an historic race that we all hoped would end without controversy. That wasn’t to be," she said in a post on Twitter.
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"What happened is still hard to comprehend, and leaves me with a sick feeling. Not the losing – and not Max or Red Bull – they are deserving winners and we always knew it was a strong possibility we may not win.
The way in which Lewis was robbed has left me in utter disbelief.
The title-deciding race entered chaos after a crash five laps from the end meant a safety car entered the track.
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Then, the controversy began as race control initially said lapped cars would not be allowed to overtake with the safety car in position, before changing their decision and announcing the lapped cars between Verstappen and Hamilton would be allowed to overtake.
“The decision of one person within the governing body, who applied a rule in a way which has never been done before in F1, single-handedly decided the F1 Driver World Championship," she said.
"Rules are rules, they can’t be changed on a whim by one individual at the end of a race."
Hamilton congratulated Verstappen on his win, before his Mercedes team lodged two appeals against the result, which were thrown out.
Wolff thinks the British driver’s show of sportsmanship was admirable, saying he has “incredible integrity and dignity in the face of injustice".
"You are the greatest there has ever been," she said. "The outcome of the last laps on Sunday? Those who know, they know, even those who can’t quite bring themselves to admit it."
The scathing verdict from Wolff finished with a swipe at those in charge of the sport, with her saying, “I hope by March of next year there is a governing body with sporting integrity and fairness at its core so I can fall back in love with F1.”
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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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