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Verstappen brushes off FIA investigation: They can't do anything

Max Verstappen is unconcerned by what the FIA might uncover during the investigation into the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen isn't worried about what might emerge as part of the FIA's report into the events of last season's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Verstappen won the race, and the Drivers' Championship, having snatched the lead away from title rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap. This was after a contentious decision by Race Director Michael Masi to withdraw the Safety Car with one lap remaining. The way the race unfolded resulted in huge controversy, with the FIA promising a root-and-branch review of its own governance and a report into the decisions taken during the Grand Prix – the result of which is due to be made public on 18 March. But one person who is unconcerned by the report is the new World Champion, given that the result of the championship can't change. "Yeah, but they can't do anything," Verstappen told UK newspaper The Guardian , when asked for his thoughts about the investigation. The Dutch driver explained, regardless of what the report reveals, he feels his championship win was fully deserved and isn't overshadowed by the controversy. "Not at all," he commented. "I had a very good season and I think I really deserved it. "I have been really unlucky as well. People always remember the last race but, if you look at the whole season, the championship should have been decided way earlier."

Verstappen doesn't have much sympathy for Hamilton

The events of Abu Dhabi resulted in Hamilton entering a period of winter hibernation as the seven-time champion disappeared from public view. Having not given any interviews after his title loss aside from a cursory pre-podium word for the TV cameras, Hamilton then refrained from posting to his social media channels for almost two months. Hamilton finally re-emerged earlier this week , seemingly fit and ready to tackle the 2022 championship. Verstappen didn't appear to have a whole lot of sympathy for his '21 title rival when asked about how he would have felt if the roles in Abu Dhabi had been reversed. "For me, it's difficult to picture myself in that situation, because I'm not a seven-time World Champion," he mused. "If I was already a seven-time World Champion, it hurts a bit less than when I am fighting for my first, leading all the way, controlling it all the way, and then losing it on the last lap – that would be way more painful than already having seven in the bag. "Just look back on the seven you have. I don't think it's so bad, is it?" Verstappen revealed he and Hamilton haven't spoken since their brief exchange before the podium, where a shell-shocked Hamilton congratulated Verstappen on his title win: "That's quite normal – we live our own lives and see each other quite a lot already [when racing]."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Sprint Shootout