Sir Jackie Stewart sides with Michael Masi over the Abu Dhabi GP decision, saying that there was no foul play involved.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were pawns on the chessboard of the FIA, having taken their title battle to the last lap of the last race. The second half of the season had seen some shambolic moments of officiating from the FIA, but nobody predicted what happened at Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton was cruising to an eighth world title, but some bizarre Safety Car rules meant that Verstappen on new tyres was right behind him. The inevitable took place and a new champion was crowned, leaving fans utterly confused.
Many fans accused Race Control and the Race Director of breaking the rules. However, Stewart sided with Masi over the Abu Dhabi GP decision, and insisted that it was fair from a racing point of view.
“I think it was handled in the right way. It was done correctly, there was no film business in this,” he told Motorsport.com.
“This was not Hollywood, this was pure and the public enjoy that authenticity. Never in the history of the sport has there been such a lock.”
When asked if the race should have ended with a red flag, Stewart replied, “No, because there was actually no reason for a red flag.”
Nothing like it
When asked if he had ever seen any other comparable season in his lifetime, the driving great replied, “No, absolutely never in my life.
“Never in the history of Formula 1 has there been such a denouement as this year. This was extraordinarily special. It has been a great year anyway with two teams pushing each other to the limit.
“This year has been a great success and Max Verstappen has also performed exceptionally as an individual. Lewis Hamilton will be extremely disappointed, but he shouldn’t be at all. He too has completed a great season.”