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Lewis Hamilton ‘mistake’ helped Max Verstappen win; Masi not to blame, says Andretti

Mario Andretti, a former Formula 1 and IndyCar champion, has not only backed Michael Masi but also suggested that Lewis Hamilton was at fault for allowing Max Verstappen to win the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The American feels the Mercedes driver should not complain, as everything went as it should have on the final lap.

Hamilton screamed that the race result had been manipulated when he crossed the chequered flag behind Verstappen and saw his chance of a record breaking eighth world title evaporate. Mercedes accused Masi of tailoring the rules to suit Red Bull Racing, which helped Verstappen win the race ahead of the Briton.

Andretti feels Masi made the right decision to restart the race after Nicolas Latifi had crashed. Mercedes wanted the race to end behind the safety car, while Red Bull called for the race to get underway even if it was for one lap and asked for the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves.

Moreover, the American former F1 champion feels that Hamilton was at fault for allowing Verstappen to overtake at Turn 5. The Mercedes driver did not expect the Dutch racer to make the lunge and left the door open for a move, which Andretti feels leaves no room for Hamilton to complain.

“You can never predict what will happen during a race. Nobody knew Latifi was going to crash, it’s that simple and so you have to be ready for those eventualities and sometimes you act properly, sometimes you wish you had done things differently,” Andretti told Planet F1.

“It’s fair, Max Verstappen earned what he got!” Andretti continued. “Where Max did the overtake on the last lap, Lewis left the door right open. I think he could have protected that, but he underestimated how close Max was, quite honestly, in his mirrors, so Lewis can’t complain and everything happened the right way, in my opinion, considering the circumstances.”


Max Verstappen won an epic season-long battle with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP
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