By now, much has been written and many comments have been made on yesterday’s final F1 race in Abu Dhabi. But I figured I’d throw in my two cents anyway.
The end was certainly interesting, perhaps the most exciting race all season. So that was nice. And Nico’s pass on Verstappen was ballsy as hell, considering what he had to lose if there was contact. But of course, it was Lewis backing Nico down that made for all the excitement. But was Lewis wrong in doing it? I’m not so sure.
On the face of it, it was kind of a dick move. Some have termed it “dirty tricks.” But isn’t winning the raison d’être of a race driver? The only way that Lewis could have won the championship was to have Nico finish off the podium. Helping Nico pull away from Max and Seb only helps Nico and hurts Lewis’ only shot at the title. So, why would Lewis want to help Nico?
Which brings us to the very clear instructions from Paddy Lowe for Lewis to speed up, which Lewis (rather petulantly) refused to obey. But, as I see it, team orders are for the team. If the constructor’s championship were still being contested, and Merc needed both cars to maintain 1-2, then sure, speed up, let Nico through, whatever. But yesterday’s race was all about the individual driver’s championship. Not the team.
Anyway, I’m not here to make a case for Lewis. Though he’s an extremely talented driver, he can act like a spoiled brat at times, as many drivers at that level tend to do (so many divas). Congrats to Nico. Maybe he’ll whine a little bit less now that he’s won (probably not). It was nice to see a close race for once, even if it was down to Hammy’s slow pace and Nico’s reluctance to force the issue. As a Ferrari fan, I enjoyed seeing Seb on the podium (Arrivabene out for next season? Something’s got to give). Bummer that JB had to drop out in his last race, and I’ll miss Massa. The sport is losing two very classy drivers. Next season will be, if anything, interesting.
(Pictured borrowed from Formula1.com. I’m sure Bernie won’t mind.)