Gary Lineker hits out at FIA over Lewis Hamilton decision in Abu Dhabi

The Sports Personality of the Year host made the comments during the evening’s award ceremony

Sports Staff
Monday 20 December 2021 11:19
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Lewis Hamilton was denied a record-breaking eighth Formula One world title because of an unfair final lap of the season, Gary Lineker has claimed.

Hamilton was beaten to the title by Max Verstappen in a dramatic but controversial final race of the season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes launched an initial protest of the race result but subsequently decided to withdraw their appeal of Verstappen’s championship win.

The Red Bull driver had benefited from a late safety car and a fresh set of soft tyres to overtake Hamilton at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the way in which the race was allowed to unfold by FIA head steward Michael Masi was “unacceptable”.

Lineker’s comments came as the former England international hosted the 2021 Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday night.

Hamilton, a two-time winner of the award, was omitted from the six-person shortlist after finishing runner-up to Verstappen in the title race.

But the seven-time champion’s stellar season was still recognised during a video montage of the Formula One season.

“That was the most incredible end to a season that had absolutely everything, possibly apart from a fair final lap,” Lineker said.

The presenter added of Hamilton: “He’s a class act, and now a knight of the realm. Arise Sir Lewis because you deserve all the accolades. You are one of the greatest sport stars Britain has ever produced.”

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