Hamilton finally reveals full story of Abu Dhabi, confirms retirement feelings

Hamilton talks about his feelings after the Abu Dhabi GP 2021. The seven time champion has revealed his full story about the final lap of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year, the race that saw him miss out on his eighth F1 world championship title. He admits, he was close to retiring.

Max Verstappen won his first world championship after overtaking rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the last Grand Prix of the Formula One season. The Red Bull driver was helped by the intervention of a safety car with five laps to go following the accident of Williams driver Nicholas Latifi. FIA race director Michael Masi only allowed five cars [those between Hamilton and Verstappen] to pass the safety car before restarting the race for a single lap to fulfill the wishes of a prior agreement between teams to make sure the race ended on a green flag.

Lewis Hamilton had not previously spoken publicly about the events in detail, but the man who seemed to have been promised an eighth world title finally did so in the columns of Vanity Fair.



“You see things start to unfold,” he said, recalling the final moments of the race, “and my worst fears came true. I was thinking, there’s no way they’re doing this to me. There’s no way. It’s not going to happen. Definitely not.”

“I don’t know if I can really put into words the feeling I had,” he indicates.



“I just remember sitting there in disbelief. And realising I have to unbuckle my seatbelt, I have to get out of there, I have to get out of the car, I have to find the strength. I had no strength. And that was one of the hardest moments, I would say, that I’ve had in a long, long time.”

“I knew what had happened. I knew what decisions had been made and why. Yes, I knew something was wrong.”


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The seven-time world champion didn’t know it, but his father was present in Abu Dhabi; he explains his reaction at the finish of the race: “He hugged me, and I think he said, ‘I want you to know how proud I am of you.’ To have your father hug you like that is one of the most profound things I’ve ever felt… Especially when it didn’t happen often when you were a kid.”


The story also mentions conversations with Hamilton’s friend, businesswoman Mellody Hobson after the Grand Prix, who had also attended the race: “He was really stunned,” she recalls.

“Dazed. Like a shock. He kept asking the same question: ‘What happened?’

“I grabbed him by both shoulders and said, ‘You did everything right.’ I kept telling him that. I said, ‘It wasn’t you. You did everything right. And he literally said four or five times, ‘What happened?”


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Lewis Hamilton also confided that he found it difficult to talk about the race later: “Look, I was going through all sorts of emotions so nobody could tell me anything,” he recalled. “It didn’t matter who. It didn’t matter what was said. When you feel a certain way, sometimes it’s hard to communicate.”

The British driver remained publicly silent for several weeks after Abu Dhabi, and there was much speculation that he was done with racing – that he would distance himself from the F1 world. “I did of course ask myself if I wanted to continue,” he confirms feelings of retirement.





44 responses to “Hamilton finally reveals full story of Abu Dhabi, confirms retirement feelings

  1. No Hamilton. Verstappen was not helped by the safety car. Your pit crew didn’t get u in to change tyres. Get a life. And stop crying like a baby. If you’re so good how many races have you win this season

    • Not their fault Masi suddenly & unexpectedly decided to make up rules.
      They didn’t pit simply because no one expected him to differ from standard procedures.

      • Do you wana also talk publicly about the race where Bottas took out the 2 Red Bulls in the first turn and handed you the victory while Redbulls scored 0 points for you to even be in the position going into the last race? I am sure if you talk about it publicly it would make you feel alot better and put things into perspective e .

        • People have tunnel vision on this subject. What did the teams want? How do driver prefer to win? Who screwed up the tire strategy? What is the procedure for a crash on track? Now folks add it up! It was a series of errors or misfortune for a driver. Yawn!

      • Thats right Jere. merc never knew that Masi was going to change the rules. But I tell you if Hamilton had pitted masi still would of done it by not letting the lapped cars unlap themselves, hence giving max the race anyway. I tell you, through skullduggery, Hamilton was destined to lose that race.

    • CryBaby H Did not change tyres and then cannot race with worn rubber. His own shortcoming.

      • So refreshing to hear all of these brilliant critique of Sir Lewis, take away those 7 fantastic championship wins of the GREATEST OF ALL TIME, NOT ONE OF THEM WAS SUSPECT, GENTLEMAN TO THE END, ALWAYS RESPECTED HIS OPPONENTS, I AM GLAD THEY NEVER TOOK HIM AT RED BULL, ARROGANCE IS NOT HIS STYLE.

          • Duckey really! Drivers all of them are relevant. Who sorts out set-up problems. Who puts the car on the pole. Who has the experience to get on the podium? They may be over paid! So I guess your not a Lewis fan?

          • And…..Max’s Car…and Max .Mr Hater!!…So if max wins the next 3 races, which I hope he does but not before lewis gets an 8th title. will you say it was the car or max …I know…say both it sounds better. You know dam well that no matter how good a driver one is, that if the car don’t run good, the possibility of winning a race is very low, if not at all. Just try to be constructive in your critique of drivers. If lewis’s car was up to scratch, do you think that max would have it all his own way? Lewis’s and George’s cars have just picked up, while Charles makes more mistake than the reliability of carlos’s car and I big up Max for his tenacity in his driving. I Iove F1, but I don’t like haters and cheaters!!

    • Nanda Stop hating. The Ham was stitched up and everybody knows it, including you, but the only ones that know but dont give a dam are you and the rest of the haters. Even die hard max fans, who were happy that max won still lowered their heads in shame. If Hamilton was in max’s position, go on tell me that dick head Massi would still of let those lapped cars unlap themselves. The general feeling is no. Everybody knew the race should of finished under a red flag. Massi’s decision left lewis as a sitting duck. He broke the rules. No one has taken anything away from max. He did what does best, but anyone would be stupid to deny that he got a leg up. One thing though, Max didn’t, as far as I know conceed the fact that he was given the race from the stewards room as that would taint the title even more in his eyes. Just as well, as if he wins the next one, he can shrug off the debacle of last season. Masi’s stupid little head should not have been the only one to role. Many consider that he was just thrown under the bus afterwards.

    • You Dont get it do you. If Hamilton had pitted he would of lost track position to Max. Now read carefully……..Big head Masi would have left the lapped cars between Max and Lewis and in doing so would still of handed max the race. You must be mates with Horner, who by the way claimed that red bull and max would need a miracle to win that race….. Masi and Latifie’s radio channels must of been open, as no sooner had Horner spoke it was done with that latifi putting his offside rear whilst slowing down and maybe deliberately going wide, conveniently into the wall……Plan set….Lets go boys…..Just saying!! A good reason for not letting Lewis purpass micheal in world titles!!

  2. Stop being so rude and negative. Someone cheated that’s why Masi was sacked. Grow up. If you can’t say something intelligent shut up 🤣🤣

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  4. LH is a master of timing. He likes to keep it on the boil all the time. That explains why he has brought ithis up now, knowing fully well that the media will lap it up and it will be repeated again and again.
    Why is he not accepting that Toto and he played dirty in the last few races with an engine that will never be termed illegal by the friendly, compliant FIA?
    He is a natural when it comes to hamming. Perfectly named by his parents.

    • I feel for Lewis in abudabi. He should’ve won last year given him his 8th win. It was so unfair for lewis

  5. Yes they cheated. Red bull instigated the sacking of mass. What they did is appalling and will forever tarnish the 2021 f1 season. Vercrashem is no champion. Never will be after that, he is just a dangerous boy racer in a rocket ship car. Lewis has earned the right to feel cheated and disappointed after a farcical end to a fought out season, when he was the clear leader at Abu Dhabi. Anybody who says otherwise is deluded and bitter about his success.

    • Nice uneducated comments! Its neither drivers fault. No one cheated! Break the chain of events down. Tire Strategy by MB, Masi in a no win position and a safety flag/

    • If you were In Masi’s shoes. You call the race under yellow, and be called every name in the book because you didn’t let them race to the checkered flag. If you flagged race under green you would be called every name in the book. You were placed in a no win situation because of a crash. Again, MB “Tire Strategy” a Ferrari blunder. Just because the fan base (British Lewis fans) didn’t win they are upset. Bottom line its entertainment and its racing. The real looser in all of this is Masi’s,he was just trying to do his job and now he has “Death Threats” this includes his family. How childish can the fans be? My take, Masi should be giving the F1 fans the International finger.

      • Really Duece….Yeah, what ever Masi done the book would of been thrown at him. But isn’t it better for that to happen for doing the right and honest thing …..like not breaking the frikking RULES!!! If your going to get thrown under the bus, at least do it with pride. In Masi’s case he had to swallow. He’s lucky he never choked!!

        • Yeah really Geoffrey! Lets forget about who likes which driver and look at the situation and chain of events. I don’t have a favorite per say driver. Lewis is very talented and has done it all. Max is young, aggressive and wants to win at all cost. Each driver is on the opposite end of the racing spectrum. Lewis for the first time in two years has had a driver with car that can challenge him. This makes for great racing! Boring racing is watching MSC and Ferrari win everything just like Lewis and MB has for 7 years. I don’t blame or dislike Lewis for having the best of the rest. If you want to blame Masi/FIA then you can blame FIA again for the rules changing this year and for MB having a bouncing race car.

    • Get a life man! Its a freaking race, this is not a do or die situation. You think Lewis came back from the Middle East and lost out on a Bronze Star. The guy YOU are whining about is a 7 time World Champion. Shall we name how many 7 time champs have been in F1?

  6. Neither team wanted to end the race under the safety car, they had said that. Massi obliged. Had Mercedes not decided to cling to track position and instead brought Hamilton in for fresh tyres, things could have been very different. Hamilton has gained advantages from the safety car deployment on MANY occasions … just stop whinging and believing that every move that does not give you the advantage is made because you are black – that’s TOTAL rubbish. For both Hamilton and Woolf to boycott the awards dinner was utterly childish and beyond words. Massi paid with his job – he was bullied out of his post: THAT should never have happened

    • Things would not have been the same, as if lewis lost track position by pitting and I say this because F1 is a lie and most of the time, farsical, Masi would not have let the lapped cars unlap them selves, leaving lewis little time to challenge. I dont care how anyone wants to cut this. They cheated Lewis out of an 8th title. So lewis pitting would not have made any difference once he was destined to lose the race on who evers frikking orders.

  7. True you are correct MB made a “Ferrari Blunder” on tires. Just because MB lost we all are suppose kiss their butts. Now because of a poor design caused them to have a bouncing car which could be a SAFETY issue we need the rules changed says Whiney Woolf. I lost respect for MB not so much for Lewis. Safety issue Whiney Woolf? then your car should be Black Flagged from racing!

  8. Lets look at this front another angle on why Lewis is quiet. If he acted like Charles and called out his team in front of the Media would that be a smart idea? He knew MB made a Ferrari Tire strategy mistake. It happens if you are an avid fan of car racing. Lewis took the high road like a classy intelligent person he is. Yes, Lewis probably had much to say behind close doors. That decision lost him the Title. The news media and fans choose to look at it differently.

    • The high road?? Hiding for months, sulking like a child. And then blaming Masi and FIA? Playing the racism card? Wanting to quit a race because the car is no longer the best of the field?
      Yeah. High class….

      • Lewis was smart enough to not react negatively to the situation immediately unlike (Junior) Charles. If you listen to drivers after a race when they or car and team perform poorly. They dodge and speak in a positive. They may blame them self or not make a deal out of the issue. Which is taught when dealing with controversial issues in public. Did Lewis and Toto think up this blame? I think Toto masterminded it. Lewis is just going along because its MB, an Icon and his paycheck/future. I think Lewis regardless of his race is a intelligent seasoned driver. I’m not a fan of Lewis but lets give the guy credit he can drive. I think Toto is slippery as a snake and will do anything to protect MB.

      • Every comment from you is about hating on the Ham. WTF how old are you man…or is it boy. Just S.T.F. U if you have nothing constructive to say.

  9. I dont like the way Mclaren have treated Riccardo. F1 is so fikkle with their drivers. Has nando, bless him even won a race yet….no, apart from a couple of podiums and a possible winning chance, which through lack of experience and his pit walls bad strategy by not asking but by the boss ordering him to come into the pits. I cant see him making his mark until next year, providing the car holds up.. Riccardo on the other hand seems to be having car set up issues all season which finds him not at one with the car. A driver just cannot race under these conditions. I dont know what is going on at Mclaren. Riccardo has gone. Has he got another seat yet? I’ve not been up to date. Will find out soon enough

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