F1 fans point out rule which could still strip Max Verstappen of world title

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The drab finish to Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix has reignited the debate over the controversial conclusion to last year’s F1 title battle in Abu Dhabi.

The safety car was brought out at Monza after Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren broke down in an awkward position on track, with marshals having a tricky time removing it. There was then confusion when the safety car came out and picked George Russell’s third-place Mercedes rather than leader Max Verstappen, and time ran out for racing to resume.

The situation bore a resemblance to the final laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December. Except on that occasion, racing was allowed to resume sooner than the rules stipulated while cars between Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen had been allowed to un-lap themselves. That saw one final racing lap which allowed Verstappen to overtake Hamilton and clinch the world title in highly contentious fashion.

READ MORE: Toto Wolff praises F1 stewards for following rules 'this time' but Ferrari boss unhappy

As a result of that fiasco, race director Michael Masi lost his job and subsequently left FIA, the sport’s governing body.

After the finale to the Italian Grand Prix was handled very differently, #VoidLap58 began trending on social media, in reference to calls for the final lap in Abu Dhabi to be voided and the result of the 2021 championship overturned.

One Mercedes fan tweeted: “Not surprised #VoidLap58 is trending in light of further proof Abu Dhabi 21 was a robbery. The FIA still have time to do it btw, their own window is 5 years to change any of the results.”

Do you think the result of last year's championship should be overturned? Tell us in the comments section below.

Another F1 fan concurred, tweeting: “Honestly just do it. Verstappen will win this year, and deservedly so, but for serious illness or injury – so he’ll keep his number 1 and all of that stuff, Lewis gets his 8th and parity is somewhat restored. #VoidLap58 ”

A third added: “Imagine a race ending correctly…. #VoidLap58 #F1xed.”

The situation at Monza certainly brought back memories for Hamilton, who said after the race: "It always brings memories bac, that is the rule that it should be, right," said the seven-time world champion. "So only one time, in the history of the sport, that they haven’t done the rule."

He added: "The race director’s corner has been under critics but this time they followed the rules. Maybe they could've done it a lap earlier or let George [Russell] through – but they followed the rules and accepted the race ends under safety car. This is how it should be."


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