Hamilton's brother calls the FIA a 'disgrace' after Verstappen's win

‘THE TRUE CHAMPION’: Lewis Hamilton’s younger brother Nicolas calls the FIA a ‘DISGRACE’ after Max Verstappen’s title win and says that the Mercedes driver has ‘been let down by the sport’ in Abu Dhabi

  • Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton on the last lap to be crowned champion
  • Mercedes have taken issue with the application of the safety car procedure
  • They had a protest rejected but have lodged a further intention to appeal
  • Hamilton’s brother Nicolas has described Lewis as the ‘true champion’
  • He also congratulated Verstappen after his first championship victory 

Lewis Hamilton has ‘been let down by the sport he has given so much to’ according to his younger brother Nicolas, following Max Verstappen’s controversial title win in Abu Dhabi. 

The Mercedes driver was cruising towards a record-breaking eighth championship before a late safety car changed the complexion of the race.

Lapped cars were able to unlap themselves, which allowed the Red Bull driver to pass Hamilton on the last lap on much fresher tyres and take his first F1 drivers’ championship.

Lewis Hamilton has been described as ‘the true champion’ following his Abu Dhabi F1 title loss

Mercedes immediately launched two appeals against the result, one against Verstappen for allegedly overtaking under a safety car and a second claiming a breach of rules regarding race restarts following a safety car period.

Both were dismissed after the two teams spent hours in the stewards’ office, though Mercedes have opted to lodge an intention to appeal against the call. 

Hamilton’s younger brother Nicolas has labelled his brother as ‘THE TRUE CHAMPION’ in a heartfelt post on Instagram.


A post shared by Nicolas Hamilton (@nicolashamilton)

Nicolas Hamilton (left) feels Lewis has ‘been let down by the sport he has given so much to’

Hamilton’s father Anthony congratulated both Max and his dad Jos Verstappen after the race

He added: ‘The FIA broke their own rules, which is a disgrace to our whole sport.

‘Nevertheless, regardless of being mistreated today, the Hamilton’s were humble in defeat.

‘My father (Anthony), the guy who raised us, congratulating Max & his father Jos. People can say what they like, but my father’s gesture proves all of the doubters & haters wrong & shows who we are as ‘The Hamilton’s’. 

‘Proving people wrong is in our DNA, which Lewis does on a daily basis. 

‘With utter professionalism & decency in defeat, even though we all know, that he was let down by the sport that he has given so much to.

‘Congratulations to Max for such a fantastic season from him.’

Just a few minutes after Hamilton had been on the receiving end of a crushing twist of fate, the Brit gave a classy response when speaking after the race.

‘Firstly, big congratulations to Max and to his team,’ the Mercedes driver said.

‘But I’m so proud of my own team and we gave it absolutely everything. I’ve felt great in the car the last couple of months. We’ll see what happens next year.’

Despite the disappointment of defeat Hamilton congratulated Verstappen following the race

It was a race in which Hamilton dominated from the start taking the lead on the opening lap, despite some controversy over the Brit not having to give his position back to Verstappen after running wide when the Dutchman attempted to re-take the lead.

Red Bull looked like they didn’t have the pace of Mercedes and Hamilton was well on his way to his record-breaking eighth championship.

But the Williams of Nicholas Latifi provided the Dutchman some luck as he crashed out of the race which brought out the safety car.

Verstappen pitted for soft tyres and it looked like he would need to un-lap five cars before he could make a move on Hamilton on fresh rubber.

However, the decision was made for the five cars between the two rivals to unlap themselves giving Verstappen one lap to get the move done – which he did with a brave lunge down the inside of Turn 5.

Hamilton was gracious after the race despite his misfortune, but Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and higher-ups were not pleased and launched two protests against Red Bull.  

Mercedes claimed the safety car decision was a breach of the FIA’s sporting regulations and requested the results be put back to the end of the penultimate lap, but the stewards dismissed the protest. 

Mercedes have lodged an intention to appeal the title-deciding result at Abu Dhabi

The stewards’ bulletin explained that Mercedes argued there had been a breach of Article 48.12 of the regulations which state that ‘any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car’ and ‘once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.’

The stewards said that although that article may not have been “applied fully” as the safety car came in at the end of the same lap, “Article 48.13 overrides that and once the message ‘Safety Car in this lap’ has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap.”

Masi was also present for the hearing, and said that it had been “long been agreed by all the teams that where possible it was highly desirable for the race to end in a ‘green’ condition” and not behind the safety car.

But Mercedes have not given up on their fight to get the result amended, after announcing they will appeal one of the rejected protests regarding the safety car.

‘We have lodged our intention to appeal Document 58 / the decision of the stewards to dismiss the team’s protest,’ said a Mercedes spokesperson after the race on Sunday.

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