FIA have come under the hammer several times this season for their controversial decisions surrounding the epic Max Verstappen-Lewis Hamilton battle. And the championship was decided by a controversy towards the end of the race involving a bold and outrageous call from the stewards.
With just 5 laps remaining in the race, and Lewis Hamilton ahead by almost 11 seconds, he was destined for his eighth world championship title. However, Nicholas Latifi had a crash with Mick Schumacher, and a safety car was deployed.
About 4 laps were done behind the virtual safety car, and FIA had announced that the lapped cars will not be allowed to overtake each other. Max Verstappen, running second, had as many as five cars separating him and Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen had the fresher tyres, Hamilton had the track position. However, in the final lap of the race, the FIA allowed the lapped cars to pass the safety, unleashing Max on Hamilton with the fresher tyres.
Max Verstappen wins the epic championship battle on the final lap after controversial FIA decision
Max Verstappen made the move on Lewis Hamilton at Turn 5 of the final lap, and overtook him. He defended against Hamilton and brought his Red Bull home to claim his first ever championship.
Max Verstappen has thoroughly deserved the championship and there is no denying the fact as to how brilliant he has been during the whole season. However, FIA’s decision surely has to be a very controversial one, as lapped cars were allowed to pass the safety cars before the final lap began.
The fact that Lewis Hamilton dominated the race right from the start makes it tougher to digest for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. Nevertheless, Mercedes have appealed against the FIA on their decision, and an incident involving Max Verstappen.