Lando Norris gives verdict on Max Verstappen’s contentious title win over Lewis Hamilton
Lando Norris has questioned Max Verstappen’s controversial title triumph over Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull driver snatched the title from Hamilton on the final lap in enthralling scenes in Abu Dhabi.
Verstappen, who was on fresher tyres, was given the chance to go wheel to wheel with Hamilton for the title on the final lap after the FIA made a controversial decision.
A safety car was brought out at the backend of the race, which had been led by Hamilton for its entirety, after Nicholas Latifi crashed.
Initially, lapped cars weren’t allowed to overtake but that decision was reversed on the penultimate lap, giving Verstappen the chance to move just behind Hamilton.
The Red Bull driver went on the offensive as Hamilton desperately tried to keep him at bay, and made his move on Turn 5, overtaking his rival right at the death.
Verstappen held out for the chequered flag, leaving Hamilton and Mercedes heartbroken.
McLaren driver Norris, who finished back in seventh, admitted he was uncertain if the correct decision had been made.
Asked about the late drama, Norris said: “I’m not too sure what was said from the FIA.
“At first we weren’t allowed to overtake, as the backmarkers, so if that influenced decisions to Mercedes and to Lewis and that’s the reason they didn’t do their pit-stop…
“But then the FIA suddenly changed their minds and they were allowed to let us past. That’s where I’m not so sure.
“For it to end like that, I’m not so sure.”
Mercedes felt aggrieved by the decision and lodged two official appeals to the FIA after the race.
Team Principal Toto Wolff retreated to his office after the race, having been left furious by the outcome.
It has since been confirmed that Mercedes have made protests in a bid to steal the world title from Verstappen.
The first protest read:”Protest by Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team against Car 33, alleged breach of Article 48.8 of the 2021 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”
The second read: “Protest by Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team against the classification established at the end of the Competition, alleged breach of Article 48.12 of the 2021 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”
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