Lewis Hamilton was ‘really struggling’ to deal with F1 title climax, Carlos Sainz reveals

Sainz finished third in Abu Dhabi and says he ‘felt bad’ for Hamilton

<p>Carlos Sainz, background, was on the podium in Abu Dhabi</p>

Carlos Sainz, background, was on the podium in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton was "really struggling" on the podium at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the controversial final lap which saw Max Verstappen snatch the world title away, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has revealed.

Hamilton was on course for a record eighth F1 championship before a safety car deployment saw his huge race lead cut. FIA race director Michael Masi then applied a controversial interpretation of the rules to create a final-lap showdown, which Verstappen won on fresher tyres.

"Losing the title on the last lap like that, it's just hard to accept," Sainz, who finished third, told Corriere Della Sera. "I respect [Hamilton] more than before for the way he managed to do it. We had a few words on the podium, he was really struggling."

Sainz said he "felt bad" for Hamilton and called on the sport's authorities to do more to ensure such contentious situations didn't cloud results in the future.

"We must not repeat the same mistake," Sainz 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.”

The way the race unfolded in currently being investigated by F1’s authorities in a bid to learn lessons for the future.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in