Carlos Sainz pleads with race control as Lewis Hamilton repeats 2021 tactic

Lewis Hamilton cut across Turn Seven on the opening lap of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton were involved in a dicey opening lap battle at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, one which resulted in somewhat similar circumstances to the same race in 2021.

Hamilton made an excellent start from fifth place and jumped the Spaniard going into Turn One, with the British driver looking incredibly hungry to even get past Charles Leclerc for third.

The Mercedes driver was right in the slipstream of Leclerc on the long run down to the tight Turn Six, where Sainz decided to pounce.

Sainz made a late dive up the inside of the seven-time World Champion, who had left the door open in all fairness to the Ferrari driver.

READ: Ferrari mechanic involved in scary incident with Carlos Sainz

Sainz struggled to stop his car within the circuit’s limits, though, which forced Hamilton off the circuit and over a huge sausage kerb.

Hamilton’s car bounced heavily over the kerb resulting in probable floor damage, something he did complain about during the race.

However, Hamilton then cut across the inside of Turn Seven and re-joined the circuit ahead of Sainz, much to the 28-year-old’s frustration.

Sainz was quick onto the radio demanding that Hamilton had to give up the place, with the Ferrari driver adding that what the Brit did was “exactly” the same as 2021.

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“He did exactly same last year with Verstappen,” Sainz said over the team radio.

In 2021, on the opening lap at the same corner, Hamilton completely cut Turn Seven after it was deemed that Max Verstappen forced him off the circuit, meaning the Mercedes driver didn’t have to give the position back.

The FIA decided differently between Sainz and Hamilton, with the latter having been told by his team to give the Spaniard P4, something he eventually did.

Hamilton’s race went on to be a disappointing one, after retiring late on with a technical issue, marking his first reliability-based retirement of the season.

READ: ‘Let him play’: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen involved in altercation

Sainz claimed P4 by the end of the race, meaning he also claimed fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, matching his result from 2021.

With Sainz claiming fifth in the standings, it means Hamilton dropped to sixth, marking the end to his worst ever season in Formula 1.

Sixth place is officially the lowest the British driver has ever finished in the championship, something he’ll be eager to rectify in 2023.