Lewis Hamilton missed out on his eighth world crown last season in heartbreaking and controversial circumstances.
The Brit had seemingly done enough to win the final race after heading into it tied on points with Max Verstappen. He took the lead early on and looked relatively comfortable to take the win, with Verstappen answerless.
However, Nicholas Latifi crashed late on, bringing out a safety car which allowed Verstappen to pit for fresh tyres. It looked like the race would end behind the safety car so Hamilton stayed out rather than losing track position.
With a lap to go, now-former Race Director Michael Masi seemingly interpreted the rules contentiously to allow some cars to overtake, giving us one lap of racing but effectively handing the title to Verstappen.
CEO of Formula E team Venturi Racing Susie Wolff released a statement on the end of the season, claiming Hamilton had been ‘robbed.’ Many people shared her view, feeling a season that delivered us so much ended under a cloud.
Regardless of your opinions on what unfolded in Abu Dhabi, it certainly tarnished one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen in Formula One.
As you’d expect from Hamilton, he was classy after the race and on the podium, but he did take time away from social media in the off-season, sparking rumours about him walking away from the sport.
Thankfully, the seven-time world champion returned this year and, although it hasn’t gone to plan so far, he’s shown us his grit and determination that has made him the greatest driver statistically in the history of the sport.
Talking to Channel 4 before the British Grand Prix, Hamilton opened up on the incident, saying: “I think when anyone experiences trauma, because you know it can be, it’s a traumatic experience when you lose something that you worked hard for. I think that will always be a part of me, but I would like to think that I’ve gained strength from it.”
Even looking back to the controversy now, Hamilton talks with plenty of grace and dignity, he doesn’t let that trauma define him, instead he looks forward and tries to become even better both on and off the track. He really is a role model to all people. He’s come back this season with the same desire and hunger as ever, trying his hardest to pull his struggling W13 to the front of the grid. The team and Hamilton are getting better as each race goes on, he clearly isn’t letting last season get him down this time round.