Lewis Hamilton was adamant he doesn’t waste time thinking about the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he arrives back at the Yas Marina Circuit following the agonising and contentious title decider last year against Max Verstappen.
Then-Race Director Michael Masi lost his job in the fallout of the hugely divisive affair after he was found to have made a ‘human error’ in ignoring safety car restart rules in order to have the race finish under green flag, which effectively handed Verstappen the title.
Hamilton has said it felt ‘manipulated’, but 12 months on that fire seems to have subsided to ambivalence.
“I don’t really think a load about it,” Hamilton told the media. “So I don’t really have any thoughts on the last race here.
“I’ve had many great experiences here in the previous years, even from the first race I had here in 2009 which I was leading and had the brake failure and I remember the feeling of having to retire in that race so I’ve had lots of ups and downs at this race.
“I’m not really necessarily focussed on stuff that was behind me, more so trying to, not control but trying to be the best I can moving forwards in the days ahead.”
Pressed further on whether he’d rewatched the last lap, where he was defending on used hard tyres against Verstappen on fresh softs, to see if he could’ve done anything differently, his answer was similarly curt.
Hamilton said: “I don’t live in the past and try and think of what I could’ve done better necessarily, in that respect no.”
Hamilton frank on chances in Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is Hamilton‘s last chance to score a win in the 2022 season, after his teammate George Russell won the Brazilian Grand Prix with Hamilton second.
He’s won a race in every year of his F1 career but it’s looking unlikely that will survive past 2022, as the track plays more to Red Bull’s strength given its massive straights.
Ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix he also said he wasn’t expecting them to be the fastest and added the car’s consistently surprised the team, but even then he expected Interlagos to suit the W13 better than Abu Dhabi.
“Who knows, we’re still improving the car,” Hamilton added on Mercedes‘ chances. “We don’t believe that this track will necessarily be our strongest, we think it may suit the others a little bit better but I won’t know until we get out there to be honest.”