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Lewis Hamilton reacts after learning of findings into Max Verstappen’s Abu Dhabi title win

On Saturday, the FIA finally released the findings of their investigation into the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the race in which Lewis Hamilton was denied the world title

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Miracle of Yas Marina for Max Verstappen as he prevails in world title shoot-out

Lewis Hamilton said the FIA report into the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix represented a “positive step forward” after the findings were released.

The race at the Yas Marina will go down in folklore, but not entirely for the right reasons after Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap to be crowned world champion. However, just minutes earlier the Mercedes man had been cruising towards the chequered flag, before a Williams driver Nicholas Latifi crashed.

That prompted the now infamous safety car procedure, with race director Michael Masi originally ordering, correctly it seemed, that cars could not unlap themselves until the FIA vehicle left the track. However, he then performed a dramatic u-turn.

The Australian only allowed the cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves, and then ordered the safety car off the track in a bid to ensure one final lap of racing. With the Dutchman on fresher tyres, he performed the overtake he needed to win his maiden title in wild fashion.

Mercedes then launched two failed protests into the procedure, before agreeing to drop any further course of action in exchange for a thorough FIA investigation. As a result, Masi, who took over the role in 2019, was removed from his position.

And then on Saturday, some 97 days after the event, the FIA report was released. Despite confirming the result was valid, they did admit to “human error in the officiating decisions that opened the door for Verstappen.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the podium at Abu Dhabi


AFP via Getty Images)

There was no official apology to Hamilton, 37, who was denied a record-breaking eighth title crown by the drama. However, he told Sky Sports he hadn’t expected one either.

“Look, I wasn’t expecting an apology and it is not something I have focused on,” he said. “We know that is the way it is, and that was probably not going to happen.

“But at least there is that transparency, and it has been called a human error and that is a positive step.” The F1 icon also insisted he was now only looking forward with the 2022 campaign underway.

“We cannot go back unfortunately and change the past so I just look at what I can do now,” he added. Indeed, Hamilton’s primary focus will now lie with getting the current campaign on track after a difficult pre-season for the Silver Arrows.

Mercedes struggled for pace in the two rounds of testing, and then Hamilton and George Russell could only qualify in fifth and ninth respectively for the opening race in Bahrain. Both drivers however, did benefit from some fortune late in the race.

Both Verstappen and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who were in second and fourth respectively, retired late in the race which allowed Hamilton to finish third behind Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Russell was fourth.

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