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Hamilton on Abu Dhabi 2021: The day that it hurt the most

Hamilton on Abu Dhabi 2021: "The day that it hurt the most"

2 April - 07:30

At Abu Dhabi in 2021, Lewis Hamilton lost the championship to Max Verstappen on the last lap. This still hurts the Briton tremendously. In an interview with GQsports, he looks back at what followed after the race.

The 2021 season was a crazy one, with a thrilling title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. In the end, they started the final Grand Prix of the season on the same number of points. For a long time, it seemed to be Hamilton's race, until a crash by Nicholas Latifi led to a safety car. Race control then opted to restart the race on the last lap, and Verstappen easily overtook Hamilton on fresh tyres.

This was a defining moment for Lewis Hamilton

The controversial choices made by race control at the time still feels sour to Hamilton. He feels robbed of his eighth-world title. "Was I robbed? Obviously. I mean, you know the story. But I think what was really beautiful in that moment, was my dad was with me. And we’d gone through this huge roller coaster of life together, ups and downs. And the day that it hurt the most, he was there."

The way Hamilton dealt with his loss at that moment has been decisive for a lot of things, he tells himself. "The way he raised me was to always stand up, keep your head high. And I obviously went to congratulate Max, and not realizing the impact that that would have, but also I was really conscious of, like, there’s a mini-me watching. This is the defining moment of my life. And I think it really was. I felt it. I didn’t know how it was going to be perceived. I hadn’t, like, visualized it. But I was definitely conscious of: These next 50 meters that I walk is where I fall to the ground and die—or I rise up."