LEWIS HAMILTON has reportedly been heard labelling Max Verstappen’s dramatic Saudi Arabian GP win as ‘manipulated’ in a largely unaired radio message.
Hamilton lost to Verstappen in heartbreaking fashion, seeing the Dutchman controversially pull in front of him with just one lap left to race.
And the Telegraph report that the Brit said down the radio to his Mercedes team with four corners left to race: “This has been manipulated, man.”
Although there are now suggestions that Mercedes will decide not to appeal against the outcome of yesterday’s race, with two protests already being rejected.
Hamilton’s comments were heard through his onboard channel on F1 TV, but not relayed onto the world feed.
His words seem to prove his true feelings towards the events that unfolded at Yas Marina.
Fellow Brit Lando Norris also felt that there were other motivating factors behind the result.
He said: “It was obviously made to be a fight, it was for the TV of course, it was for the result. Whether or not it was fair is not up to me to decide.”
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In the immediate aftermath of the race Hamilton was seen graciously congratulating Verstappen for his last-gasp victory.
Just moments after being beaten, Hamilton said: “Firstly, congratulations to Max and to his team.
“I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, have worked so hard this whole year, it’s been the most difficult of seasons.
“I’m so proud of them and I’m so grateful to be a part of the journey with them. This last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and never gave up.”
Lewis Hamilton’s father, Anthony, was also praised for the way he congratulated Verstappen and his dad, Jos, after the race.
Hamilton seemed to be cruising towards victory until the safety car was called onto the track with five laps left to race after Nicholas Latifi’s crash.
That cued the barely believable action to unfold, as race stewards allowed five cars in between Hamilton and Verstappen to pass the Brit and unlap themselves.
Verstappen then used his fresher tyres to edge ahead, although replays looked like he had done so before the safety car had left the track.