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HomeSportsFormula 1‘This has been manipulated’: Lewis Hamilton’s reaction to Abu Dhabi drama revealed

‘This has been manipulated’: Lewis Hamilton’s reaction to Abu Dhabi drama revealed

MercedesLewis Hamilton said on his team radio “this has been manipulated” after the Briton was passed by Max Verstappen on the final lap of Sunday’s controversial season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The message was not broadcast on the world TV feed but was audible on seven-times champion Hamilton’s onboard channel on F1TV, multiple media outlets reported.

Comment from Mercedes and the governing FIA has been requested.

Red Bull’s Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the last lap to win the Abu Dhabi GP and claim his first championship after race director Michael Masi altered the safety car procedure to allow five cars between the title rivals to get out of the way.

The decision gave Verstappen a clear run on Hamilton in what amounted to a last-lap sprint finish, with the Dutch driver on fresher tyres.

Hamilton was gracious in defeat, congratulating Verstappen and Red Bull for their victory and admitting he had given everything possible to win his eighth world title.

He told Sky Sports: “Congratulations to Max and his team. I think we did an amazing job this year.

“Everyone back at the factory and here worked so hard in this most difficult of seasons. I’m so proud of them and so grateful to be part of the journey with them.

“We gave it everything this last part of the season, we never gave up.”

Verstappen paid his own tribute to Hamilton after his last-lap success in Abu Dhabi.

The Dutchman said: “Lewis is an amazing driver and an amazing competitor. They really made it hard for us and everyone loved to see the two teams running against each other.

“We had some tough times but that’s all part of the sport and its emotion. Everyone wants to win and it could have gone either way.

“I tried to keep on pushing and sometimes miracles happen. Next year we’ll come back and try all over again.”

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