Lewis Hamilton’s dad had every right to be seething after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he proved he was all class with a touching gesture.
Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony was not bitter in defeat as he graciously congratulated Max Verstappen for beating his son to the F1 world title.
Anthony was seen sharing a handshake with Verstappen and a hug with his father Jos after a dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, reports The Sun.
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Verstappen took the chequered flag after it looked for much of the race that Hamilton was cruising to a record eighth world title.
The Dutchman landed the world title after the most unimaginable drama unfolded. Verstappen took the lead on the last lap after a controversial call from race control put him in the perfect position to overtake Hamilton.
Anthony though made sure to congratulate the Verstappen family in the immediate aftermath of the season finale, remaining truly gracious in defeat.
That was before news broke that Mercedes were protesting the race result on two counts.
A late safety car as a result Nicholas Latifi’s smash five laps from the end was the catalyst for an incredible sequence of events. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff fumed at race director Michael Masi who initially said any cars who had been lapped in the race could not overtake while the safety car was out.
But on the penultimate lap, Masi changed his mind and allowed five cars between Verstappen and Hamilton to unlap themselves.
That put the Dutchman right behind the Brit, and with one lap left to race he used fresher tyres to his advantage to take the lead.
Wolff’s appeal was rejected though, as was his protest that Verstappen overtook Hamilton before the safety car had left the track.
It meant Verstappen and Red Bull could finally celebrate a four-hour battle to have the result changed – although the drama is still far from over.
Mercedes are set to appeal against F1 bosses’ decision to reject their protests, with the saga set to rumble on.
Touching moment between father and son after pure heartbreak
Hamilton was comforted by Anthony as his record eighth world title was taken from his back pocket.
The veteran almost pulled off the unthinkable of overturning a 32-point deficit that existed between himself and Verstappen after the Austrian GP.
He’d wiped out a further 19 points in the three races coming into the Abu Dhabi GP. A fourth consecutive win would have been the icing on the cake in a season that, despite not winning the title, was arguably one of his best.
To his credit, given the fury erupting around him in his Mercedes team, Hamilton was gracious in defeat.
He said: “Firstly, a big congratulations to Max and to his team. I think we did an amazing job this year, with my team.
“We gave it everything this last part of the season, we gave it absolutely everything and we never gave up. And that’s the most important thing.
“I’ve been feeling good … great in the car this past couple of months, particularly at the end.
“If I’m honest, you know, we’re still in the pandemic and I just really wish everyone to stay safe and have a good Christmas with all their families and then we’ll see about next year.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.