RED BULL team boss Christian Horner has admitted Lewis Hamilton and his fans can feel aggrieved over his title loss at Abu Dhabi last year.
The seven-time World Champion missed out on an eighth F1 crown after the extremely controversial ending to the 2021 season.
Team boss Christian Horner saw Red Bull win their first Driver’s Championship since 2013 last year
Hamilton went quiet for several weeks after last year’s Abu Dhabi GP finale
Hamilton and his title rival Max Verstappen went into the final race of last season level on points.
After leading the entire race, the Mercedes driver was overtaken by his Dutch challenger on the final lap after race director Michael Masi applied the safety car rules incorrectly.
The Australian has since left the FIA, and said he has faced death threats over the ending to the race.
Audio also emerged after where Hamilton revealed he believed the result had been “manipulated”.
Despite the extraordinary ending at the Abu Dhabi GP, Horner insists Verstappen is the rightful champion – but admits he understands the ill-feeling from Mercedes.
He told Sky Sports: “I always tend to look forwards so Abu Dhabi already seems a long time ago. The page always turns.
“I can understand that if you were a Lewis fan or a Mercedes fan, that you’ll feel pretty aggrieved by the events of Abu Dhabi.
“If you’re a Max fan, you’ll feel it was redemption for earlier in the year.
“That’s where sport is always going to be polarising. Last year wasn’t just about Abu Dhabi, last year was about 22 races.
“Do I think Max deserved that championship? Absolutely. I’m not ever going to get too hung up on it.”
After last year’s tense title tussle which saw momentum swing from Verstappen to Hamilton every other race, this season has proven to be more straightforward for the Red Bull driver.
Verstappen is currently running away with the title and opened up an 80-point lead over his closest competitors going into the mid-season break.
Arguably his most accomplished moment so far was starting from 10th on the grid to win the Hungarian Grand Prix.
It’s not just the 24-year-old’s brilliant driving which has led to his domination over the rest of the grid.
He has been helped by a series of high-profile errors at Ferrari which has left fans scratching their heads.