‘Rotten’: Ex-Ferrari boss slams Michael Masi for ‘robbing’ Lewis Hamilton in fresh rant

Only 12 drivers finished the Australian Grand Prix, following several retirements on the penultimate lap of the race.

Former Ferrari and Williams team manager Peter Windsor believes the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi should’ve ended the same way as the recent Australian Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen claimed victory behind the Safety Car.

The final lap of the Australian GP saw the 12 remaining drivers circulate the Albert Park Circuit behind the Safety Car, with all the fans having stood and cheered on those that survived the carnage.

According to the rulebook, this is how the 2021 season finale should’ve ended, which would’ve resulted in Lewis Hamilton claiming victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and an unprecedented eighth World Championship.

Of course, that didn’t happen, with former race director Michael Masi having broken the rules, which resulted in the final lap of the 2021 season being run under green flag conditions.

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Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap at the Yas Marina Circuit to claim the win and the title; albeit, a controversial one.

With the Australian GP having finished behind the Safety Car, the 2021 finale has again been brought up, with Windsor in particular noting that the recent round was “absolute proof” that the 2021 season should’ve ended behind the Safety Car.

“They finished the race [in Melbourne] behind the Safety Car. Ring any bells?” Windsor said on his YouTube channel.

“That’s the finish we should have got in Abu Dhabi in 2021.

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“I didn’t see any Australian fans – and they’re pretty vociferous at the best of times – complaining or booing saying, ‘no, we want this race to finish as a proper one-lap race, this is terrible.’

“They were all cheering and clapping – exactly as I said they would have in Abu Dhabi ’21 if they’d finished it behind the Safety Car, as they should have done, and Lewis had been cruising round to win his eighth World title.

“That, to me, was absolute proof – again – of what went wrong in Abu Dhabi and I still feel very hot under the collar about that as well.

“I still think it’s rotten that they completely blew that and Lewis Hamilton was robbed of that eighth title in that one incident.

“Of course, you don’t win or lose a Championship in one race. What I’m talking about is the decision that was taken.

“And nobody cared at all [in Melbourne]. The Australians just loved that Safety Car, they were all cheering.

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“I thought actually a couple of the drivers might wave to the crowd, because it wasn’t as if you could overtake, but they didn’t.

“But nonetheless, it was nice.

“They came round slowly and everybody stood and cheered and clapped and it was a great moment – just as it would have been in Abu Dhabi in ’21.”