Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen warned of ‘inevitable’ lapse as 2022 prediction made

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been warned that they will not dominate the 2022 Formula One season following their gripping battle last year. Hamilton was controversially denied the world championship in the final Grand Prix of 2021 as Max Verstappen earned his first title. 

The Brit had fought back to level Verstappen’s 369.5 points in the penultimate event at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.  

He then led for the majority of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before a contentious finish saw Verstappen win.  

Verstappen’s victory saw him win the F1 Drivers’ World Championship on 395.5 points.  

Hamilton – denied a record eighth championship and fifth in a row – finished on 387.5 points. 

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In third was Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and in fourth was Verstappen’s Red Bull colleague Sergio Perez.  

Nobody outside of those two teams earned above 164.5 points. However, McLaren CEO Zak Brown has insisted that the 2022 season will not be dominated by any team.  

“I would be very surprised if we see a boring season next year with the new cars,” Brown told Motorsport Total.  

“You’ll see some winners, some losers and some surprises [but] I’d be surprised if there was dominance.”

He added: “I hope next year we go to Abu Dhabi and there are still three or four cars fighting for the World Championship  

“That’s the ultimate goal. I think last year was spectacular at the front and back of the grid.  

“And I hope what we are seeing now, with the new car designs and the new aerodynamics package, is just a taste of things to come.” 

Mercedes twice protested the finish to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The FIA overturned their own decision and allowed five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to overtake a safety car.  

Hamilton had gained a lead on Verstappen but the Dutchman overtook on the final lap. The world champion conceded that he felt sympathy for his rival. 

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“It could have gone either way. Lewis and I, we had an amazing season, both pushing each other to the limit.” 

Pushed on whether he had any sympathy for Hamilton, Verstappen added: “I mean, one side was incredibly happy, and one side was disappointed. 

“Of course, I felt for Lewis, he did everything right throughout the whole race, but F1 can be very unpredictable. It can go either way. 

“It could have been the other way around as well, where I would be controlling the race and then I would lose it in the last lap.”
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