Lewis Hamilton could have been 2021 champion but Mercedes 'missed a trick' in Abu Dhabi GP, reveals Bernie Ecclestone | The Sun

Lewis Hamilton could have been 2021 champion but Mercedes 'missed a trick' in Abu Dhabi GP, reveals Bernie Ecclestone | The Sun

November 18, 2022

FORMER F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton would have won an eighth world title if Mercedes had deployed a smarter strategy.

Hamilton was pipped to the championship by Max Verstappen on the final lap of the last race at a dramatic Abu Dhabi GP last season.



But Mercedes could have possibly made sure the Safety Car stayed on the track until the end of the race after it was called out with five laps left to go.

That would have meant the leading driver at the time, Hamilton, would have won the race and also the 2021 title.

Ecclestone was asked by Swiss outlet Blick whether Mercedes could have "radioed to [Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri] Bottas to let the car coast because they want to preserve the engine."

Had they done so, in all likelihood the Safety Car would have stayed out and Hamilton would have won the race.

read more lewis hamilton news

Hamilton returns to Abu Dhabi a year on from title chaos in amazing purple outfit

World Cup: Get £30 in FREE BETS when you stake £10 with Sky Bet -18+ T&Cs apply

And Ecclestone responded: "Pretty clever. I thought of that too, and it would have been ideal to make sure the Safety Car stayed out and the race wouldn’t have been restarted.

"Many people would have been upset, but there wouldn’t have been any changes to the final result."

He was then asked if they failure to make the call to Bottas had been costly in handing the championship over to Verstappen.

Most read in SPORT

ROO HITS BACK

Rooney breaks silence after Ronaldo brands ex-Man Utd team-mate a 'rat'

HOSPITAL DASH

7ft boxer Nikolai Valuev rushed to hospital after being drafted by Putin

COMING HO-HO-HOME

Watch Xmas revamp of Three Lions ahead of England's Qatar World Cup bid

FOOTIE TRAGEDY

Tributes as ex-Austrian international, 57, dies after being hit by train

JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)

Ecclestone replied: "Right, and I don’t know if Toto Wolff, with a third of the team shares, is still in the same strong position as before.

"But we will find out at some point."

Source: Read Full Article