Former Mercedes engineer Paddy Lowe has backed up Michael Masi and Max Verstappen over last season’s Abu Dhabi finale. Lewis Hamilton was leading the race comfortably and en route to his eighth world title before a late-race safety car allowed Verstappen to close up on fresh softs.
The race was restarted before all the lapped cars could overtake the safety car, allowing Verstappen to slip past on the final lap. Hamilton claimed the race had been “manipulated” after the race and still maintains he was wronged.
Masi was replaced after the FIA admitted human error was mostly to blame for the confusion. However, Lowe blasted Masi’s dismissal as F1’s race director as “unfair” as there should have been “no right answer”.
He told PlanetF1: “I did feel sorry for the race director [Masi] actually, I think he got the wrong end of that really unfairly to me.
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Lowe explained: “Good to see Max secure a championship without any argument. I was quite happy that he won it last year, actually – which is probably controversial, but Formula One is a sport of jeopardy. It always has been. Nothing’s fair in Formula One. I’ve been on the wrong side of fairness many, many times and then [on] the right side of good luck as well.
“That’s the nature, that’s the interest, that’s the excitement of the sport, actually. It’s not a sport where everything should go to plan and always the best person by some analysis should win. That’s why we watch and love the sport and there’s never a right answer anyway to anything.”