‘This has been manipulated, man’: Hamilton’s words on team radio

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The appeal likely stems from the way Masi applied safety car rules at the end of the race following the crash of Williams driver Nicholas Latifi.

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team is expected to appeal after stewards rejected two protests against Max Verstappen and Red Bull at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Controversial decision

The man in sight of Mercedes is Race Director Michael Masi and his controversial decision to recall the safety car for the last lap.

The appeal likely stems from the way Masi applied safety car rules at the end of the race following the crash of Williams driver Nicholas Latifi.

The safety car’s involvement set the stage for the final lap in which Verstappen overtook race leader Hamilton to win the race and title, dashing the Briton’s hopes for a record eighth world crown.

Mercedes argued that Masi misapplied the rules by resuming the race on the last lap.

Masi clarified his opinion to excited Mercedes team leader Toto Wolf. “This is what we call a race,” said the 42-year-old Australian who took over the role when Charlie Whiting passed away early in the 2019 season.

Although Hamilton gracefully lost when he got out of the car, his command radio message on Monday made it clear what he was thinking after being overtaken. “It was manipulated, man.”

Four-time champion Alain Prost said he understands Mercedes’ frustration.

Additional contradictions

“The protest over driving a safety car is an additional controversy that is unnecessary because the mistake was committed by the authorities,” the Frenchman said.



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