Lewis Hamilton’s loss unfair: Karthikeyan
The controversial end to an epic title fight in the 2021 season has not gone down well with India’s first Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan.
“How the entire situation unfolded, it seemed like they wanted Max to win. It was a great battle for the championship but what happened yesterday (Sunday) wasn’t sport. You need close battles in Formula 1 but it has to be fair at the same time,” Karthikeyan said.
Hamilton was cruising to victory when Nicholas Latifi’s crash on lap 53 of the 58-lap race brought the safety car on to the track. In a last throw of dice, Red Bull pitted Verstappen for soft tyres after the safety car was deployed while Hamilton stayed out on his worn out hard tyres.
Race director Michael Masi allowed five backmarkers to unlap themselves on the penultimate lap, making it much easier for Verstappen to make the move on Hamilton.
Karthikeyan feels Mercedes were right to not let Hamilton pit following the crash.
“What Mercedes would have done, Red Bull would have done the opposite and stayed out to take track opposition so it was too risky. Lewis had so much pace and hard tyres had life of 50 laps so why should you give that up?
“Before the safety car the gap was still more than 11 seconds between Hamilton and Verstappen. What happened was not fair and Lewis would have been the deserving eight time champion.”