Fans convinced F1 is fixed as Max Verstappen wins Italian GP behind safety car months after Lewis Hamilton was 'robbed' | The SunSeptember 11, 2022
FORMULA ONE fans are NOT happy after Max Verstappen won the Italian Grand Prix behind a safety car.
A slow reaction from the FIA race steward meant Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren took an age to be recovered, allowing Verstappen to take the chequered flag at procession speed.
And the crane used to recover it was reversing into oncoming traffic, prompting many to question why a red flag was not deployed.
Nevertheless the race was allowed to continue and finish behind the safety car, eliminating the chance of any late drama.
That is the exact opposite of what happened in the 2021 title decider in Abu Dhabi, where Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton on the final lip to steal the championship.
On that day a late safety car was erroneously called back into the pits before completing an additional lap as required, giving time for Verstappen to pass Hamilton and take the title from his Brit rival.
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And Sunday's controversy has once again stirred up anger from Hamilton fans about last year's dramatic end to the season.
One wrote: "So Fraudstappen can finish the race behind the safety car but you broke the rules so that Lewis couldn’t?"
Another said: "Verstappen leading = Race ending under safety car. Hamilton leading = rules broken to give 1 lap racing."
A third claimed: "They’re gifting Verstappen another win. This sport is a joke, a joke."
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And another sarcastically remarked: "I’m stunned the @fia didn’t break regulations to get the lapped cars by for a one lap shootout, that’s their policy isn’t it?"
The decision by the since axed FIA chief Michael Masi cost Hamilton a record eighth world title.
While Verstappen already has one hand on a second consecutive crown.
His win in Monza was a fifth in a row, and 11th of the season overall.
He now leads Charles Leclerc by 116 points in the standings, and can even wrap up the title in Singapore next time out if he leaves with an unassailable 138 points ahead.
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