Full disclosure: I do not know Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen personally. I have no personal agenda either way even though I am a Hamilton fan. As such I still admire and respect Max Verstappen and many other drivers on the circuit.
I loved the close racing this year and expected to see a tight battle in the last race to determine the champion. And it was. However, I did not expect any driver to be “given” the championship.
Michael Masi, what you did at the final race of the season was embarrassing, atrocious, sinister, selfish, inconsiderate, biased, despicable, preferential, prejudiced, bigoted, undeserving and just plain wrong. You made the singular decision to circumvent the rules to “appease the fans”? What? You say the fans deserved to see a good race? How about the drivers? Did they deserve a fair fight ON THE TRACK?
In the name of close racing for the fans Michael Masi deliberately set up Lewis Hamilton for an unfair fight. If he wanted the racing to be fair why did he not stop the race, let all of the drivers get fresh tires and then have a one lap shoot out? You know why? He did not want a fair race. He wanted to deny Lewis his 8th title. Didn’t want Mercedes to “win again”.
So Max Verstappen gets the participation trophy. He had his chance to win outright, but circumstances had him behind Lewis. F1 gave him the advantage to win. Just see for yourself.
If Max Verstappen, Christian Horner, Red Bull or Honda had any decency or were REAL competitors they would at the very least admit this fact. But no. Each of them basked in the glory of winning with benefit of an unfair disregard for the rules. Honda, with their well-earned reputation for automotive excellence, should never settle for being handed a championship. But settle they will. Red Bull touts it’s energy drink as a product that gives you a boost, wings as they say. Guesss Max doesn’t actually drink Red Bull…..As it turns out the company revealed itself as weak, not strong enough to accept or admit the real results of competition. Remember that the next time you see their commercials. Christian Horner accused Mercedes of cheating all season long and then accepted the championship trophy via benefit of the same double standard that he claimed to be a victim of. Shameful, sad and telling. And then there is Max himself. Instigating track incidents, running Lewis wide at any chance and not ever accepting any responsibility. Given minimal penalties each time and even still needed help from Michael Masi to win the title. Can you say “false entitlement”? I hope Max relishes his “participation trophy”.
Ah yes the participation trophy generation. Who knew it would reach the highest level of automobile racing. I can hear it now. Max deserves the trophy. Lewis already has 7. Max was leading the series until Lewis and Mercedes won three races in a row and poor Max needs help. It’s not fair that he has to compete for the WHOLE season. We should just give it to him……
Forget the fact that Lewis earned his places this season. He earned the right to finish the race under the rules. Mercedes and Red Bull raced under the same rules and guidelines supposedly. Why adjust the rules on the last lap of the season…….?
Even though I know that this decision was based more on money than skin color, I CANNOT help but to tell Michael Masi how this looks to people of color who follow F1. Michael Masi I don’t know if you are familiar with the terms “white privilege” or “double standard” or “prejudice”. When people of color have to live by different rules and then speak out about it they are almost always criticized. Black people have delt with this unfortunate situation in all aspects of life for far too long and I know that you are aware of this. Yet, you still decided to change the course of F1 history by denying Lewis Hamilton his rightful place as the only 8-time champion. Shameful. Racist? I don’t know but the optics are not good.
Question: in a game of football would the refs allow a team extra penalty kicks so the fans could get their moneys worth? In golf would the 18th hole be relocated at the end of a live match to close the gap to the leaders? None of these would ever be allowed by legitimate officials of these esteemed sports. Why would Michael Masi do this at the highest level of racing in the world? Why? I really would like to know.
You know karma is funny. Sometimes what is good to you is not necessarily good for you. Max has his title but he did not earn it. That’s a fact. His hollow victory on display for the whole world to see will forever label him a predetermined champion. He will carry this burden his entire career. Other racers will resent him for it. He will spend the rest of his career trying to disprove it, but to no avail. Nothing will save him from it. He has Christian Horner, Red Bull, Honda and Michael Masi to blame.
Max I hope you enjoy your “Participation Trophy”. You all earned it.