Jeremy Clarkson couldn’t hide his delight after Lewis Hamilton was pipped to the F1 title by Max Verstappen in a stunning but controversial conclusion to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Jeremy Clarkson appeared to revel in Lewis Hamilton ‘s heartbreak after sharing his delight over Max Verstappen ‘s shocking Formula One title win following Sunday’s pulsating Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton had looked nailed on to clinch a record-breaking eighth world title after overtaking Verstappen in a dream start to the title-deciding race.
But he was denied in the most unexpected, and controversial, manner.
The late introduction of a safety car and a controversial call from race director Michael Masi presented Verstappen with the opportunity to pip Hamilton to the crown following a dramatic one-lap shootout.
And Clarkson couldn’t hide his delight at the result – despite taking a swipe at the FIA for the controversial conclusion to Sunday’s seismic clash.
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He tweeted: “Delighted with the result but the stewards need to be banned. We’ve had enough of them.”
The decision to backtrack on an earlier call from race director Michael Masi left a sour taste after Verstappen’s historic win.
Masi eventually allowed the five lapped cars separating the two title contenders to overtake the safety car – leaving Hamilton and Verstappen neck and neck, with the latter’s fresh tyres making all the difference as he clinched his maiden world title.
Mercedes were so incensed by the ludicrous finale that they lodged two official protests within minutes of the race’s conclusion.
But they were both thrown out on Sunday night – leaving Verstappen free to finally celebrate his stunning triumph.
The FIA has since come in for heavy criticism from a host of people following the dramatic events in the desert.
Former F1 champion Damon Hill pointed the finger directly at Masi after his remarkable U-turn.
“A lot of not very happy people. And a lot of very happy people,” Hill tweeted. “This is a new way of running the sport where the Race Director can make these ad hoc decisions. Its been a bit too ‘guess what I’m going to do now’ I think.”
Despite his gut-wrenching late loss, Hamilton was hailed for his classy reaction after the race.
The Brit was dignified in defeat and was one of the first people to congratulate an emotional Verstappen just moments after the frantic finale.
And Hamilton praised his title rival in his brief comments after the race.
“Firstly, congratulations to Max and to his team,” said the Mercedes ace.
“I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, have worked so hard this whole year, it’s been the most difficult of seasons. I’m so proud of them and I’m so grateful to be a part of the journey with them.
“This last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and never gave up.”