Daniel Ricciardo: "Max Verstappen absolutely deservedly won the title"
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Daniel Ricciardo believes that Max Verstappen's title should not be diminished despite the controversial way he came to victory and ultimately the title in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi. The FIA ââis expected to announce the results of its Abu Dhabi GP investigation in the coming days, and Michael Masi and the race management are especially under a magnifying glass because of the way they changed the race.
Verstappen overtook Hamilton in the final lap of the race after the restart and came away with the title. Hamilton was chasing his eighth title, and when asked if he had sympathy for Hamilton's situation, Ricciardo said: "In a way, not because he already has seven titles." Ricciardo said, however, that he sympathized with Hamilton's reaction to the events at the Abu Dhabi GP, and there were numerous speculations that the British driver would withdraw from F1.
"Of course, you don't want the greatest driver of all time to say goodbye in that way. But you also have to understand that it affected him differently than any of us could have imagined." "He 'fell silent' for a while. He probably felt the need to get away from it all and get away.
" "As his opponent, but also as a sports fan, I want him on the grid. I want him to fight again, if that heart wants him. I wouldn’t want him to leave anymore because of some emotional reaction, not because that’s what his heart wants.
Everything is going to start the season in Mercedes and I hope that is the case. "
Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen before
Ricciardo was Verstappen’s teammate at Red Bull from 2016 to 2018. He says he is not surprised by his successes and points out that the events in Abu Dhabi should not diminish his successes.
"We pushed each other to very high levels. While we were teammates, we were not champions, but as we drove in those years, at least one of us deserved the title. " "This does not surprise me. It’s nice to know that we were very evenly matched in those years when we were teammates, but I didn’t need his title as proof of that.
I've known for a while that it's only a matter of time before he wins the title. " Since the fight for the title in 2021 was very intense and ‘fierce’, Ricciardo says the last race always had a ‘bitter’ end for one of them.
"He will always be a winner and a loser, no matter how the last race ended. Even if it was a boring procession from the race. They both deserved the title. They had phenomenal races, they were both coming back. But someone will always lose.
" "There's a side that feels sorry for Lewis, but there shouldn't be a side that says Max doesn't deserve the title because he absolutely deserved it," Ricciardo added.