F1 2022: Safety car conspiracy theory, Red Bull, Mercedes, Abu Dhabi, Italian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen

The Italian Grand Prix ended in less than spectacular fashion after the field crossed the finish line behind the safety car.

Fans in the crowd reigned down a chorus of boos as the chequered flag was waved with Max Verstappen claiming his first ever win at Monza.

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But shortly after the race came to an end those watching on were quick to call out the FIA and point the finger at the end to the 2021 season.

The controversial finish to the 2021 season saw Max Verstappen pip Lewis Hamilton for his first championship after late safety car drama.

On lap 53 of the 58 lap race, a safety car was deployed with Hamilton leading Verstappen who dove into the pits for a new set of soft tyres.

It looked as though Verstappen would have five lapped drivers in between him and Hamilton as the race wound down, making it nearly impossible to overtake.

That was until a call came through from officials that the lapped drivers, only the ones in between the two men, could overtake the safety car, allowing Verstappen to sidle up next to Hamilton for the final lap once debris and marshals were cleared from the track.

While Hamilton fought hard to defend his position, Verstappen’s fresher tyres proved the difference and he overtook the Brit on the dramatic final lap to claim his first world championship.

The decision rocked the F1 world with Mercedes lodging formal appeals against the FIA’s decision and setting off a string of conspiracy theories among the Formula 1 community.

Fans are now pointing the finger firmly at the FIA once again after the Italian Grand Prix finished behind the safety car.

Verstappen, although he had built a definitive lead over his rivals, was able to saunter across the line and claim his fifth straight win.

After the race the safety car drama was thrust back into the spotlight with Hamilton saying the finish brought back memories of Abu Dhabi, but said this years race is how it should have been.

“It always brings memories back,” Hamilton said to Sky Sports. “That is the rules how it should be, right?

“There’s only one time in the history of the sport where they haven’t done the rules like that today and that’s the one where it changed the result of the championship. But it is what it is.”

Australian Michael Masi was the man who made the decision last year during the controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but has since left the FIA. His replacement, Niels Wittich, was in charge on Sunday and decided the race wouldn’t restart.

“I think this time they followed the rules,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports. “Maybe they could have done it a lap sooner, and they accepted the race ends under the Safety Car.

“This is how it should be.”

Fans were quick to call out Formula 1 for being fixed and adapting the rules to suit a better narrative. A narrative which robbed Hamilton of a record eighth championship in favour of handing Verstappen his first championship.

One wrote: “So Fraudstappen can finish the race behind the safety car but you broke the rules so that Lewis couldn’t?”

Another said: “Verstappen leading = Race ending under safety car. Hamilton leading = rules broken to give 1 lap racing.”

A third claimed: “They’re gifting Verstappen another win. This sport is a joke, a joke.”

And another sarcastically remarked: “I’m stunned the @fia didn’t break regulations to get the lapped cars by for a one lap shootout, that’s their policy isn’t it?”

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