Formula One’s governing body the FIA have stated that Sunday’s world championship showdown in Abu-Dhabi between defending champion Lewis Hamilton and current leader Max Verstappen, will be decided using e-scooters.
Paddy Power News understands that the decision has been taken on safety grounds, because they expect Verstappen to deliberately crash into Hamilton at some point, forcing both men to retire and thus giving the Dutchman the title due to the fact that he has had more wins during the season.
“It’s true” said a spokesman for the circuit, “The rest of the drivers will compete in the race as normal before vacating the track and leaving Lewis and Max to fight it out.”
Verstappen’s Red Bull team are also understood to be unhappy that the teams will not be allowed to use their own equipment.
“It’s total bo****ks – they won’t allow us or Mercedes to work on our own scooters that we have in the paddock and have told us we’ve got to download this app to enable us to unlock the bloody things from the pick-up point,” a team spokesman said.
And if this isn’t enough to get Red Bull boss Christian Horner hot under the collar, we were told that setting up the app has proven to be problematic
“It’s a f**king joke” explained Horner’s PA, “We’ve had to stump up 10 quid for a month’s membership when we know for a fact that Mercedes were offered a 30-day free trial. We feel we’re really up against it this weekend.”
Mercedes head honcho Toto Wolff refused to be dragged into any confrontation, but he did put down his bratwurst long enough to declare:
“That lot are always moaning – I’ve offered Horner the tenner but he refused to take it!”
“We’ve had problems too with the circuit wi-fi and we’re concerned Lewis won’t be able to get a signal to unlock the scooter at the start of the race, which could ultimately cost him the title.”
One thing that has caused concern for race organisers is the speed that these two rivals will be going at on Sunday. Work has been done on the circuit to reduce speeds from 20MPH to 10 MPH in certain sections.
“We’re concerned that the two championship contenders will leave everything out on the track, giving little concern to their safety” a source told us. “With this in mind, we’ve decided to reduce the amount of bends in the circuit and made it a two-lap race as opposed to 50.
“I can’t tell you how fast 20mph feels when you activate DRS on a long straight section. Driver safety is always paramount in any form of motorsport.”
Paddy Power News tried to get a word from both protagonists as they prepared to head off for first practice, but neither were prepared to comment. Hamilton, we were told, was too busy having his hair braided, whilst Verstappen was in conference with his pit crew to decide whether to use hard or soft compound tyres.
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