61% of F1 fans want Hamilton to retire after Abu Dhabi heartbreak

Sir Lewis Hamilton is rumoured to be considering retirement after the controversial end to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Over half of Formula 1 fans believe that Sir Lewis Hamilton should retire from the sport, following the heartbreak he suffered at the season-ending 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

That’s according to a recent poll by Formula1News.co.uk, which over 1,600 fans participated in.

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61 percent of readers voted in favour of Hamilton retiring from the sport, with just 39 percent calling on him to continue racing in 2022.

Follow-up replies sent via our contact page suggested that some of the votes for Hamilton to retire were from fans of his who wanted him to walk away from Formula 1 in protest of what they perceive to be an injustice.

READ: ‘History books will always show’ Verstappen as 2021 champion

However, it should be noted that some of the votes in favour of Hamilton retiring appeared to be from fans of Max Verstappen.

What happened in Abu Dhabi?

The Mercedes driver was in a great position to win his eighth F1 crown, after he overtook pole-sitter and championship rival Verstappen on the opening lap of the season finale.

But, the was race was turned on its head as a late Safety Car was brought out following Nicholas Latifi putting his car in the wall.

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Verstappen came into the pits for fresh rubber, while Mercedes ordered Hamilton to stay out to ensure he kept track position over the Dutchman.

The controversy arose when race director Michael Masi only allowed the five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to overtake the Safety Car, thereby giving the Red Bull driver a clear shot at passing the seven-time world champion on the final lap of the 2021 season.

Verstappen managed to overtake Hamilton when the race got restarted to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and claim his maiden Formula 1 title.

Following Masi’s controversial decision, the Mercedes driver got on the radio to claim that the race was being “manipulated” and his team later protested the race result.

This protest was rejected by the FIA, which prompted Mercedes to lodge their intention to appeal the race and championship result at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Toto Wolff doesn't want Michael Masi to be fired after Abu Dhabi GP controversy.v1

However, the Silver Arrows later said they wouldn’t be going ahead with their appeal, and they publicly congratulated Verstappen on his victory.

In a statement circulated on 16 December, the Mercedes F1 Team said: “We left Abu Dhabi in disbelief of what we had just witnessed. Of course, it’s part of the game to lose a race, but it’s something different when you lose faith in racing.
“Together with Lewis, we have deliberated carefully over how to respond to the events at the Formula 1 season finale.

“We have always been guided by our love of this sport and we believe that every competition should be won on merit. In the race on Sunday many felt, us included, that the way things unfolded was not right.
“The reason we protested the race result on Sunday was because the Safety Car regulations were applied in a new way that affected the race result, after Lewis had been in a commanding lead and on course to win the World Championship.”

Continuing, Mercedes emphasised that they “appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced.

“Thus, we welcome the decision by the FIA to install a commission to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of rules, governance and decision making in Formula 1.

“We also welcome that they have invited the teams and drivers to take part.
“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team will actively work with this commission to build a better Formula 1 – for every team and every fan who loves this sport as much as we do.

“We will hold the FIA accountable for this process and we hereby withdraw our appeal.

“To Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing: we would like to express our sincere respect for your achievements this season,” they added.

“You made this Formula 1 championship title fight truly epic. Max, we congratulate you and your entire team. We look forward to taking the fight to you on the track next season.”

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