Lewis Hamilton called ‘eight-time World Champion’ by Mercedes sponsor

Lewis Hamilton lost the 2021 title following a 'human error' by former race director Michael Masi.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has not for the first time been called an ‘eight-time World Champion’, whilst making an appearance at the Petronas University of Technology.

Hamilton was attending an event put on by the team’s title sponsor, where he was introduced as an eight-time World Champion by the host.

“Please bring your hands together for 8 time world champion Lewis Hamilton,” said the host, as shared by a Hamilton fan page.

Hamilton has been referred to as an eight-time World Champion at sponsor events before, with it simply being a question of whether it’s being done on purpose or by accident?

READ: Max Verstappen will continue to ignore team orders

The British driver would’ve been an eight-time World Champion had it not been for the controversial conclusion of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Hamilton was overtaken by Max Verstappen on the final lap of the championship.

The Mercedes driver was looking set to claim an unprecedented eighth world title at the Yas Marina Circuit, with Hamilton having led virtually the entire race.

He boasted a comfortable lead until a Safety Car was required in the closing laps, after Nicholas Latifi crashed in the final sector.

The Safety Car, of course, bunched up the entire field; however, the ending of the Safety Car was dealt with incorrectly by Masi.

Article continues below

Masi failed to follow the rulebook and effectively allowed Verstappen to get right onto the back of Hamilton, something which led to calls that the race had been “manipulated”.

Masi bizarrely only allowed the five-lapped drivers between Hamilton and Verstappen to un-lap themselves, whilst other lapped drivers in the field had to stay where they were.

This in itself was already a breach of the rules, before a further rule was breached by Masi.

READ: David Croft makes big prediction about Oscar Piastri despite woeful start

When lapped drivers are allowed to un-lap themselves, the Safety Car is supposed to complete one more lap; however, Masi immediately called it into the pits.

Masi called it into the pits as the race and the season would’ve ended behind the Safety Car, given that the race was restarted on the final lap.

Verstappen went on to overtake Hamilton at Turn Five, to claim the win and his maiden world title.