Mercedes stole the show on Formula 1 Twitter again on Sunday night when they tweeted “you love to see it” after Max Verstappen and then Sergio Perez ended up out of the Bahrain Grand Prix in the closing stages.
It had been a difficult weekend for the Silver Arrows after Sir Lewis Hamilton qualified fifth, four positions clear of team-mate George Russell, as Ferrari and Red Bull locked out the front two rows of the grid.
It was preceded by suggestions by both drivers that AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo had reached their pace, if not superseded it during Friday practice but, after a strong start, they ended up running around for much of the event in Sakhir in fifth and sixth.
But Verstappen began to suffer from a “heavy” steering wheel after the car violently hit the ground following a pit stop, and he would later retire from the race with a reliability issue that team principal Christian Horner suggested was unrelated to the steering problems.
Sergio Perez’s engine then also cut out, leading to a spin at Turn One, putting the Mexican out of the running and handing a podium position to Hamilton.
He was visibly relieved at his presence in the top three after the race, and while Mercedes’ tweet was very likely symbolic of their joy at obtaining a satisfactory result at the end of a tough weekend, some fans understood it as a dig at their rivals from 2021.
“KARMA FOR ALL THE WHINING LAST SEASON, KARMA FOR ABU DHABI,” replied one user, with another saying “you mean this?” posting a picture of Verstappen celebrating the championship at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Others ridiculed the eight-time constructors’ champions’ celebration of a podium handed to them as a result of Red Bull’s misfortune.
“What an 8th world championship for Lewis Hamilton!!!” was the sarcastic reply from a Red Bull fan.
Another user posted a picture of Kevin Magnussen laughing with the caption “imagine loving to see a gifted podium.”
McLaren Shadow ambassador and YouTuber Benjamin Daly was particularly amused by the tweet, saying “wow” with a cry laughing emoji.
One thing is for sure: Mercedes caused quite the stir on Twitter for the second evening running after blocking various fans for jumping ship following their underwhelming qualifying display.