Retired football star and ex-Spurs player Gareth Bale has disclosed that he is no longer a fan of Formula 1 due to Lewis Hamilton’s missed opportunity to win an eighth World Championship title at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The intense battle between Hamilton and Max Verstappen throughout the season made F1 2021 one of the sport’s most iconic and fiercely contested title fights.
However, it was the events of the final lap at the season finale in Abu Dhabi that continue to be discussed and will likely be debated for years to come.
A late crash by Williams driver Nicholas Latifi triggered a Safety Car period that altered the course of F1 history.
As F1 race director, Michael Masi made a controversial ruling, allowing only some of the lapped cars to unlap themselves, specifically those between Hamilton and Verstappen.
This decision set the stage for a one-lap showdown between the two drivers.
During the Safety Car period, Hamilton remained on the track while Verstappen made a pit stop for fresh tires.
This move allowed the Dutchman to easily overtake Hamilton and claim the chequered flag, securing his first World title.
The contentious finish left a lasting impact on the outcome of the race and the opinions of fans, including retired footballer Gareth Bale.
In an interview with Random Golf Club, when asked about his opinion on F1, Bale expressed his disillusionment, stating: “Do you know what? I don’t after what happened to Hamilton. It wasn’t fair.
“The fact that [Hamilton] had to go through all the traffic and he couldn’t pit. It was never a race.”
Bale’s sentiment reflects the disappointment and frustration felt by many fans who were disheartened by the controversial events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
While Hamilton has been able to move past the incident, he acknowledged the presence of a “scar,” the memory of the race’s outcome remains with him.
“Ultimately that feeling never really truly leaves you,” Hamilton told ESPN.
“It’s like when you think about your first love; it will always be that first love and first heartbreak.
“Abu Dhabi, the scar is there, and there will always be that memory.
“Even though I reprogrammed my mind, I think it still took me the whole year to really push through it because we were straight back into work. It wasn’t a quick thing.”