Nico Rosberg opens up on his ‘unbelievable pain’ after ‘strange’ Lewis Hamilton decision

Lewis Hamilton was denied a record eighth F1 title earlier this month as he was controversially defeated by Max Verstappen at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Mercedes ace saw his hopes of landing another championship go up in smoke in the final stages of the epic encounter.

Hamilton looked destined for glory as he led the race almost from the start – but the outcome of the desert Grand Prix changed when Williams’ Nicholas Latifi crashed into a wall late on.

A safety car was deployed, with Verstappen deciding to pit for fresh tyres, while Hamilton was forced to stay on the track to keep his position at the front.

Race director Michael Masi initially told lapped drivers they would not be able to overtake but, as the race was about to resume, he gave permission for five cars between the title protagonists to move out of the way and allowed Verstappen to pull level with Hamilton.

That set-up a one-lap shootout, with Verstappen taking full advantage of his new tyres to storm to victory and land his maiden title.

The fallout from the title decider has been immense and former Silver Arrows driver Nico Rosberg has now claimed he felt ‘unbelievable pain’ after the events at the race.

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“Verstappen will be champion many times – the two of them meeting in every race was phenomenal.

“Of course, Formula 1 is in a difficult situation because they fight and do everything on the limit and the FIA also now has to calibrate and adjust.

“They have to do a good job in the winter to improve and make everything more square because we have to avoid situations with doubts.”

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