Lewis Hamilton says that he hasn’t re-watched the final race of the 2021 season, where he missed out on a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 title in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton was overtaken by rival Max Verstappen on the final lap of the race, following a controversial Safety Car restart.
After taking part in the post-race celebrations, Hamilton disappeared from social media throughout the winter break, leaving some to wonder if he would return to drive in 2022.
Speaking to media after the launch of Mercedes’ 2022 W13 car earlier this week, Hamilton says the incident played on his mind in the weeks that followed the race – however he wasn’t tempted to re-watch the final laps.
“I absolutely didn’t re-watch the race,” Hamilton said. “It was something that I was very clear in my mind, the experience, and it replayed in my mind quite a lot in the coming weeks after the race.
“I don’t remember what I said to Max, it’s all a bit of a blur. I’ve not revisited it. I don’t particularly want to look backwards, I want to look forwards.”
Race Director Michael Masi came under scrutiny for how he handled the Safety Car restart, allowing only the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to unlap themselves.
The FIA initiated an investigation in the days following the race, and announced earlier this week that it would implement a new structure this year, in which Masi would no longer hold the role of Race Director.
Hamilton says that he supports the changes and is encouraged that the FIA is taking action.
“What I will say from [the FIA’s restructure], whilst we can’t change the past, and nothing will ever really be able to change the way and how I felt at the time and how I feel about the situation, it’s good to see the FIA are taking steps to make improvements,” Hamilton said.
“I think accountability is key and we have to use this moment to make sure this never happens to anyone else in this sport ever again.
“We need to, even everything said by the FIA, I welcome that, but we have to make sure we keep a close eye and make sure we are seeing those changes and rules are applied fairly and accurately, consistently.”