FIA president reveals if he thinks Hamilton will retire after ‘rigged’ Abu Dhabi GP

Sir Lewis Hamilton was beaten to the 2021 F1 Drivers’ Championship by Max Verstappen at the highly controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Newly elected FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem has shared his opinion on whether Sir Lewis Hamilton will retire from Formula 1 following the contentious ending to the 2021 season.

With the exception of the post-race interviews in Abu Dhabi, the seven-time world champion is yet to speak to the media since the controversial season finale, nor has he posted anything on social media.

Hamilton was on course to win the race and claim his eighth F1 crown, but a late Safety Car turned the race on its head.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen used the Safety Car as an opportunity to pit for fresh rubber, while Mercedes ordered Hamilton to stay out to guarantee he kept track position over his championship rival.

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The Brit still appeared to be in a strong position to take victory in Abu Dhabi, until race director Michael Masi allowed the five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to un-lap themselves.

Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton has lost faith in Formula 1 after Abu Dhabi scandal.v1

This put the Dutchman directly behind Hamilton, and paved the way for him to overtake the Mercedes driver on the very last lap of the grand prix to win his maiden Formula 1 crown.

Hamilton still ‘not 100%’

As a result of Hamilton’s silence in recent weeks, it has been rumoured the Briton is considering walking away from Formula 1.

Ben Sulayem has said that while Hamilton is still “not 100 percent”, he does not believe he will retire from Formula 1 as a result of what happened in Abu Dhabi.

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“I sent him messages, yes. I think he is not 100 percent ready yet and I understand his position, but there are also rules that must be accepted by all drivers,” ben Sulayem said in an interview with Marca.

“For me there is no particular team or driver, out of respect for the integrity of the FIA.

“But I cannot judge until I have all the data and the first thing on my agenda is to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi.

“In the end we are all human and the stress and pressure were there, so I think it will all work out.

“You have to look more to the future than to the past.”

Asked if he reckons Hamilton will retire, ben Sulayem replied: “No, I don’t think so,” but noted that there are circulating rumours.

Abu Dhabi GP was ‘rigged’

Although Mercedes have said they won’t take any further action to have the result of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix amended, many Hamilton fans nevertheless still feel aggrieved by the season finale.

Some even believe that the race was “rigged” against Hamilton in a bid to create late drama and entertainment.

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For example, Lord Peter Hain has described the ending of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as “rigged” and “perverted.”

“As a lifelong Formula 1 fan, I thought it was a perverted outcome. The finish was effectively rigged by the stewards in order to produce to a dramatic finale for the theatre rather than a racing outcome,” the Labour peer said.

Max Verstappen after winning in Abu Dhabi.v1

“I think it has left a sour taste unless you are a diehard Verstappen fan, but even many of them have admitted that it has left an unpleasant taste in their mouth.

“Ok, the rules are very complex for the average fan, but at least there is a consistency there. This was clearly contrived and manufactured to allow that kind of finish,” he claimed.

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