Johnny Herbert says Abu Dhabi GP ending was “wrong and unfair”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Former F1 driver Johnny Herbert says the ending of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was “wrong and unfair” towards Lewis Hamilton who “did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever”.

Johnny Herbert had some strong opinions on the controversial decisions made by race director Michael Masi at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which practically handed Max Verstappen the world title.

“For me, it got it wrong, and it’s very simple,” Herbert told The Times.

“In the past, when the safety car is going to come in, all the lapped cars have been allowed to pass, not just a couple.

“I suppose it was all a rush to try and make this a one lap race. But it was wrong and unfair because Lewis did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever.

“Red Bull had to try and play, going in to the pits for fresh tyres. But for the FIA, and especially Michael [Masi], to muck it up so badly, just put a bad taste in your mouth once the chequered flag had gone.”

Herbert reiterated this point in his article for Motor Sport Magazine.

“This one leaves a bitter taste,” the Briton wrote.

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“Lewis had done absolutely nothing wrong, Red Bull had made the right calls on the strategy. Then it just seemed unfair that Lewis lost it when he had no chance of a fight.

“So what should have happened? The track was clear, but there wasn’t time to let the unlapped cars past.

“They should have been released to race with the five unlapped cars remaining in between Hamilton and Verstappen.

“That way it could have been a two-lap shootout, with Max having to pass those cars before he got to Lewis. That’s more racy than giving Max such an advantage.

“What we’ve had this year has been very positive for F1 because it has got people talking about it again, which hasn’t been the case for a long time.

“We didn’t need the last lap to make it exciting,” Herbert concluded.

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