F1 drivers spill on 'weird' race that was 'for the TV'

2 years ago 400

A big of Formula 1 drivers progressive successful the drama-packed Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that resulted successful Max Verstappen being crowned satellite champion person weighed successful connected the controversy, labelling the decorativeness "weird" and saying "it was for the TV".

The contention centred connected the mode successful which a information car was utilized pursuing a Nicholas Latifi clang arsenic Verstappen and rubric rival Lewis Hamilton navigated thigh 53.

While contention manager Michael Masi revealed connected thigh 56 that drivers positioned betwixt the first-placed Hamilton and second-placed Verstappen were not permitted to overtake the information car, the Australian authoritative overturned his determination connected the pursuing lap.

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Masi ushered done Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, clearing the Yas Marina circuit for Verstappen to conscionable astir gully level with Hamilton for a final-lap showdown. An 11-second shortage had disappeared successful an instant.

Max Verstappen won the Formula 1 satellite title successful arguable fashion. (Getty)

The 3 lapped cars not positioned betwixt Hamilton and Verstappen – those of Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Mick Schumacher – were not allowed to overtake the information car.

Waiting for Ricciardo, Stroll and Schumacher to besides walk the information car would person resulted successful a Hamilton-Verstappen dash to the decorativeness of a shorter magnitude or, of course, nary sprint astatine all.

Masi intelligibly wanted to wide retired the 5 cars positioned betwixt Hamilton and Verstappen to make a thrilling battle.

While the last-lap duel was undoubtedly pulsating, it was besides contentious, fixed the information that lone immoderate lapped drivers were allowed to walk the information car.

Hamilton, who had been connected hard tyres since thigh 14, realistically had nary accidental of staving disconnected Verstappen, who had pitted for brushed tyres nether the yellowish flags arsenic the seven-time satellite champion crawled down the information car.

"I didn't really cognize it was lone similar the archetypal 3 oregon 4 (actually five) up to Max," Norris said.

Max Verstappen surged past Lewis Hamilton connected the last thigh of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to snatch the satellite title title. (Getty)

"So it was evidently made to beryllium a fight, it was for the TV of course, it was for the result. Whether oregon not it was just is not up to maine to decide.

"Sometimes they fto you go, sometimes they don't. It's conscionable 50-50 fractional the time. But they said that they're not gonna fto america pass. So I'm guessing that was a connection to accidental they were conscionable not going to fto america walk astatine all. But past to abruptly bash it conscionable for the last lap, and for a one-lap shootout – past I'm a spot surprised."

Leclerc has besides struggled to marque consciousness of the finish.

"For maine it was a spot weird due to the fact that I was a spot successful the mediate of nowhere," Lerclerc said.

"We could overtake the leaders, I think, for conscionable similar a thigh earlier restarting, and we were successful the mediate of nowhere.

"I was conscionable warring for the ninth spot with Esteban, I think, conscionable successful front.

"But archetypal I was told I would not beryllium capable to unlap myself. (Then) astatine the end, astatine the past moment, we really had the accidental to unlap ourselves.

"So, yeah, it was a spot of a unusual one."

Lando Norris believes the decorativeness to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was manipulated for TV entertainment. (Getty)

The contention made for a whirlwind decorativeness to Ricciardo's archetypal play with McLaren.

"I was confused due to the fact that I got that connection that they won't overtake," Ricciardo said.

"Through my caput I thought, 'that seems OK, similar I guess, fair, due to the fact that Lewis had specified a pb and Max has newer tyres. In this mode helium has to chopped done a fewer cars if they're going to restart the race'.

"Then I saw immoderate cars overtake truthful I asked, 'what bash I do? Do I pass?', and past I deliberation (McLaren engineer) Tom (Stallard) said, 'no, you person to enactment here'.

"So I've virtually got front-row seats for the past lap. And I'm besides connected a caller soft, oregon a newer soft, truthful I was like, 'do I walk some of them?'.

"Nah, conscionable kidding. I'm honestly a spot speechless, I don't cognize what to marque of that. I truly don't. I request to spot however it each came about."

Alonso has raced successful Formula 1 since 2001 and lone Kimi Raikkonen has had much starts, but the contention adjacent confused the seasoned Spaniard.

F1 rubric decided by melodramatic final-lap shootout

"When the information car was retired I thought we were capable to overtake quickly, due to the fact that usually it is what happens," Alonso said.

"You spot the greenish airy of the information car, and past you are unlapping yourself until they region the car.

"But we didn't person that greenish signal, and past 2 laps aft the technologist told maine that you volition not beryllium capable to unlap yourself, and the positions would enactment similar this.

"One country aboriginal the greenish airy came connected and I said, 'but we person a greenish light'. And they said, 'yeah, yeah, you tin bash it now. Follow Norris'. And I followed Norris.

"So it was a small spot confusing."

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