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Hamilton has no Abu Dhabi 2021 regrets upon return

Lewis Hamilton returns to Abu Dhabi this weekend, nearly a year on from the controversial circumstances in which he lost the 2021 title.

Lewis Hamilton says he has no regrets about the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he returns nearly one year later for the Formula 1 season-finale. Hamilton was locked level on points with title rival Max Verstappen heading into the final race last season, on the cusp of winning a record-breaking eighth World Championship. He was seemingly all set to do that, holding an 11-second lead over Verstappen with a handful of laps to run, until Nicholas Latifi's crash brought out the Safety Car. Race Director Michael Masi allowed some, but not all cars to overtake, clearing those between the two rivals for a one lap shootout many felt should not have counted as the Safety Car should have stayed out an extra lap. In any case, Verstappen overtook Hamilton on much fresher tyres to snatch the title on the final lap. One year later, Hamilton says he has no qualms about returning to Yas Marina.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi has many ups and downs for me

"I don't look in the past and try and think of what I could have done better necessarily in that respect," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com , when asked if he'd do anything differently when defending against Verstappen. "I don't really think a lot about it, so I don't really have thoughts on the last race here. "I've had many great experiences here in the previous years, even from the first race that we had here in 2009, I was leading and had the brake failure and I remember the feeling of having to retire in that race. "So [I've had] lots of ups and downs in this race, and I'm not really necessarily focused on stuff that's behind me. "I'm trying to, not control, but be the best I can moving forwards."

Faith not shaken

In the aftermath of the race in December 2021, Hamilton maintained a radio silence across social media, leading some to speculate that he could quit rather than return for 2022. When asked if his faith in F1 was shaken by the episode, Hamilton said "a little" but remains as committed as ever. "I think at the beginning maybe, but I think my love for the sport is still the same," he explained. "I think my commitment and time here hopefully is showing that. "It's just been a much, much different year, and just one that naturally none of us in the team expected. "It's taught us lessons we hadn't realised, we didn't have or hadn't experienced in the past. "It's just made us stronger and been a really positive year in that respect."