errari driver Carlos Sainz revealed the respect he had for Lewis Hamilton after the shambles of an Abu Dhabi GP incident.

The FIA and Race Director Michael Masi made a contentious decision at the title-deciding illegal call that snatched an eighth world title from Hamilton. It ended up crowning a new champion at his expense, and was a farce all around.

Hamilton hasn’t been seen since that controversial race, and rumours continue to fly regarding his retirement from the sport. Although he ended up breaking his silence, it was still a shameful incident. 

Sainz revealed the respect he had for Hamilton after the Abu Dhabi incident, saying he could never understand how the Mercedes driver kept his composure. 

As quoted by GP Fans, when asked about Hamilton’s state on the podium, he said, “Very bad, and I was surprised at how he avoided making a mess at the end of the race.

“Losing the title on the last lap like that, it’s just hard to accept.

“I respect him more than before for the way he managed to do it. We had a few words on the podium, he was really struggling (to comprehend the situation).”

Hamilton 'really struggled' on Abu Dhabi podium after controversy - Sainz
Sainz (right) felt sorry for Hamilton (left) after Abu Dhabi. Source: gpfans.com

Never again

“We must not repeat the same mistake,” the Smooth Operator added.

“Every football match generates controversy. We need to prevent F1 from approaching that kind of tension. But I don’t think the situation is disastrous, I’m convinced that it is improving.”

Sainz also called for a look into the rules, saying after Abu Dhabi, they needed to be concrete. 

“For Hamilton it would have been fairer to have a red flag, maybe it would have been fairer to have a red flag at the end of the race with both of them at the same time, but the regulations don’t require it in that context if there is not too much dirt on the track, etc.,” he said. 

“That’s why we have to analyse what happened, because I think it was a bit unfortunate to be in that position.

“Sometimes the consistency in the application of the rules has been controversial and needs to be reviewed even though not everyone is going to be happy, but I think some of them need to be clarified and make the sport more understandable and consistent.”

Read more: Prost spills details about Alpine exit – “I was made to say things I didn’t want to”

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