In the last F1 race of 2021, Lewis Hamilton lost out to Max Verstappen on the final lap after a questionable decision by the race director. As a spectator, Daniel Ricciardo had a thought for the helpless British driver.
In 2021, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen had an intense rivalry for the World Championship title. The two drivers have held the lead at every race, to the point where everything came down to the last Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.
While Lewis Hamilton seemed to be on his way to an eighth world title, Nicholas Latifi’s accident and a decision by race director Michael Masi completely reshuffled the cards. In the end, Max Verstappen was able to close the gap and finally win on the final lap to become world champion for the first time in his career, much to the dismay of Lewis Hamilton. Daniel Ricciardo, watching from the sidelines, said he felt for the British driver at the time.
“I knew that Lewis couldn’t do anything. At that moment, I had a lot of compassion for him.”
“All I knew at the time was that Lewis had a relatively large lead. It looked like it was going to be wrapped up in his favour, then with one lap to go there was a restart and I knew Max had put on fresher tyres.
“I knew Lewis couldn’t do anything. At that point I had a lot of sympathy for Lewis. He was a few laps away from winning the title and after that decision he couldn’t do anything.
“It’s not often that you put yourself in another driver’s shoes, but for some reason I was putting myself in his shoes that night, probably because I could see everything unfolding in front of me,” the McLaren driver said.