LEWIS HAMILTON’S brother Nicolas has labelled his brother as the ‘true champion’ and slammed the FIA as a ‘disgrace to the sport’ in a heartfelt Instagram post.
Hamilton was pipped to the F1 title with one lap to go in hugely controversial circumstances by Max Verstappen.
Taking to Instagram after the Saudi Arabia GP, Nicholas posted a picture of his brother with the words ‘An unforgettable season’ underneath.
He also praised the actions of his father for congratulating Verstappen, despite the heartbreak for the Hamilton family.
Nicolas captioned the post: “THE TRUE CHAMPION!
“The FIA broke their own rules, which is a disgrace to our whole sport. Nevertheless, regardless of being mistreated today, the Hamilton’s were humble in defeat.
“My farther, the guy who raised us, congratulating Max & his father Jos.
“People can say what they like, but my Father’s gesture proves all of the doubters & haters wrong & shows who we are as ‘The Hamilton’s’.
“Proving people wrong is in our DNA, which Lewis does on a daily basis. With utter professionalism & decency in defeat, even though we all know, that he was let down by the sport that he has given so much to.
“Congratulations to Max for such a fantastic season from him.”
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With a late safety car called onto the track race stewards reversed their decision not to let lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen pass the Brit.
Initially, race director Michael Masi said that ‘any lapped cars will not be allowed to overtake’ – which meant Verstappen would be trapped behind five backmarkers before he could get a run on Hamilton.
However, on the penultimate lap, Masi CHANGED his mind allowing just the five cars to unlap themselves to put Verstappen right behind Hamilton.
And Verstappen grabbed his opportunity by the scruff of the neck, swooping past Hamilton to claim a maiden title.
Mercedes appealed against the decision, but lost their claim after four-and-a-half hour battle to have the decision overturned.
Team principal Toto Wolff also appealed after Verstappen seemed to overtaken Hamilton BEFORE the safety car had left the track.
Those cries were also rejected by the FIA.
It meant Verstappen and Red Bull could finally celebrate – although the drama is still far from over.
Mercedes are set to appeal against F1 bosses’ decision to reject their protests, with the saga set to rumble on.