HomeSportsFormula 1‘Pretty f***** up’: Daniel Ricciardo explains view of controversial F1 finale

‘Pretty f***** up’: Daniel Ricciardo explains view of controversial F1 finale

The manner in which Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the Formula One world championship on the last lap of the season was “pretty ***** up”, Daniel Ricciardo said.

Verstappen was crowned champion after he passed Hamilton in a hugely controversial final-lap shootout at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Red Bull driver benefitted from a late safety car and was allowed by race director Michael Masi to line up behind Hamilton after pitting for a fresh set of soft tyres, which gave him the advantage as he executed the crucial overtake.

Mercedes launched a protest of the race result with team boss Toto Wolff arguing that Masi had been wrong to allow the five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves under the safety car.

The team’s appeals were dismissed by stewards, confirming Verstappen as champion, while radio footage from Hamilton’s car later showed the seven-time champion suggesting that the result of the race had been “manipulated”.

Ricciardo, who finished 12th in Abu Dhabi, was crucially one of the cars who were not told to pass the safety car, so the McLaren driver had the perfect view to watch the sprint between Hamilton and Verstappen unfold.

And shortly after following the championship contenders in crossing the line, Ricciardo said: “I’m glad I’m not part of that, whatever just happened. Seemed, uh, pretty f***** up.”

In later explaining his view of why he wasn’t told to unlap himself under the safety car, Ricciardo added: “I was confused because I got that message that they won’t overtake.

“I thought, ‘That seems okay,’ like I guess, fair, because Lewis had such a lead and Max has newer tyres, in this way he has to cut through a few cars if they’re going to restart the race.

“Then I saw some cars overtake so I asked, ‘What do I do, do I pass?’ and then I think Tom [Stallard] said, ‘No, you have to stay here.’

“So I’ve literally got front row seats for the last lap. I’m honestly a bit speechless, I don’t know what to make of that. I really don’t. I need to see how it all came about.”

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