On the one hand, Stoffel Vandoorne believes that Lewis Hamilton has been robbed of his eighth world title. At the same time, however, the Formula E driver must also admit that Mercedes lost the world title itself when they lacked speed earlier in the season.
There has been a lot of talk recently about how the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ended. The controversial decisions of the race management have caused quite a bit. One thinks Max Verstappen is the rightful world champion, while the other thinks Lewis Hamilton has been robbed of his record-breaking eighth world title. One thing many people do agree on is the fact that the FIA needs to investigate the situation. “The way the title was decided is not correct,” Vandoorne told RTBF.
“There are clear regulations for the Safety Car procedure and they were not followed,” continues the Belgian. “Everything went perfectly and then that decision was made.” The fact that this has decided the race and the championship is difficult to handle, according to Vandoorne. Especially since everything seemed to be against Hamilton. “He had old tyres, Verstappen had new tyres. Lewis didn’t stand a chance and if you ask me you couldn’t call that a race at the end.”
Yet Vandoorne does not feel that the stewards have deliberately manipulated the match. “I think race management just didn’t want the race and the championship to end under a Safety Car,” he explains. “But hey, there are rules you have to follow.” According to Vandoorne, the race management should have chosen to let all the drivers behind pass and thus end the race behind the Safety Car.
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“If you look at this scenario, they robbed Lewis,” he added. “But they [Mercedes] did not lose the title on the last lap of the last race. We must not forget that Mercedes did not perform well enough at the start of the season and lacked speed compared to Red Bull, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands and managed to widen the gap,” said Vandoorne.