By Carol M. Creasey
Bearing in mind that after leading the entire race, with Verstappen having no answer for him that day, Lewis had to adjust his mindset from believing he was about to become an eight-time world champion, to accepting that he had been robbed because race director Michael Masi broke the rules regarding the Safety Car procedure.
This all happened on the last lap of the race, and having spent almost two hours driving his heart out, to be denied a very worthy win at such a late stage in the race must have been heartbreaking. To go from huge elation to total dejection that all his efforts had been wasted, through no fault of his own, would have caused a lesser man to crumble.
But Lewis is no ordinary man. An ordinary man would not be consistent enough to win seven world championships, nor would he be able to pick himself up after earning a pole position, then being relegated to the back of the grid, as he was in Brazil, and still be able to win the race. This was the part of the year where he shone the most, he peaked, and Verstappen had no answer for him. The Dutchman’s 21-point lead gradually evaporated and the two were level on points ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi.
After Lewis congratulated Verstappen, he even shook hands with Horner, the man who slated him so badly after Silverstone, and he bore him no malice. But whilst he was doing this, inside he must have felt incredible pain at the injustice that had just happened.
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Since then he has kept off social media, and not given interviews, but this has not stopped people from reviling him, and hurling accusations at him. I think his silence is golden, and his attitude in the face of such heartbreak after giving his all, is an inspiration.
Verstappen, however, did not stay silent. At one point while talking about the possibility of winning more titles in the future, he said “you need a bit of luck to fight for seven or eight titles”, an obvious dig at Lewis, which is kind of funny considering his one championship has been won under dubious circumstances.
Most recently, during a sim race that he participated in, he mocked the whole Abu Dhabi situation and poked fun at Toto Wolff and Michael Masi. Here are some words of advice for Max, maybe he should take a leaf out of Lewis’s book and say nothing. It’s not a joke, it’s the subject of an FIA investigation, so his lack of respect has been greeted with contempt by many.
Also, he recently told the press he didn’t need a knighthood, after seeing Sir Lewis get officially knighted, which caused many to laugh and ask why he thinks he would ever get one. As a newly crowned world champion, Verstappen should act the part and try to conduct himself with more class. And he should realise that sometimes silence is golden.
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