Lewis Hamilton fumed that the race had been “manipulated” as he lost the F1 world title to Max Verstappen in astonishing circumstances in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, a newly-released radio message has shown.
Mercedes star Hamilton missed out on a record eighth world championship as Red Bull rival Max Verstappen overtook him on the last lap of a remarkable race at the Yas Marina circuit.
Hamilton had appeared on course for victory before the deployment of the safety car with five laps to go, which allowed Verstappen to get back within range.
Red Bull used the opportunity to bring the Dutchman in for a fresh set of tires while Hamilton remained out so that he would not lose track position.
There was then confusion – followed by fury from Mercedes – as race officials said that lapped cars which had been between Hamilton and Verstappen could ‘unlap’ themselves, meaning the Dutchman had a free run at his rival.
A new clip of radio exchange between Hamilton and his team has now emerged showing the Brit’s frustrations as the race reached a climax.
“This has been manipulated, man,” an angry Hamilton is heard saying on the last lap.
Hamilton' final lap radio.
“This is getting manipulated man”
— F1 News.Live (@f1newslive_) December 13, 2021
Mercedes filed two protests with FIA bosses following the race, one of which accused officials of not following proper protocols during the deployment of the safety car.
However, both were dismissed as Verstappen, 24, was confirmed champion – making him the first man from the Netherlands ever to win the F1 title.
Mercedes later announced they intended to lodge an appeal in an effort to get the race result overturned and have Hamilton declared the winner.