Lewis Hamilton has said he is “at peace” with the controversial outcome of his 2021 championship fight with Max Verstappen even though he felt “robbed” of a record eighth F1 title.

At that year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, FIA race director Michael Masi incorrectly applied F1’s rulebook to force a restart on the final lap.

Verstappen dramatically passed Hamilton on that lap to win the race and his first championship.

Hamilton, who has rarely spoken candid about that race, has opened up about it in an interview with GQ Magazine.

“Was I robbed? Obviously,” Hamilton said. “I mean, you know the story.”

An enduring image of the event was the moment Hamilton shook hands with Verstappen after the race, despite his feelings on how it had ended — in the heat of the moment the Brit famously told Mercedes over the radio the outcome had been “manipulated.”

The broadcast also showed him in a long embrace with his father, Anthony.

Hamilton said he is proud of how he dealt with the result.

“But I think what was really beautiful in that moment, which I take away from it, was my dad was with me. And we’d gone through this huge roller coaster of life together, ups and downs.

“And the day that it hurt the most, he was there, and the way he raised me was to always stand up, keep your head high. And I obviously went to congratulate Max, and not realising the impact that that would have, but also I was really conscious of, like, there’s a mini-me watching.

“This is the defining moment of my life. And I think it really was. I felt it. I didn’t know how it was going to be perceived.

“I hadn’t, like, visualised it. But I was definitely conscious of: these next 50 metres that I walk is where I fall to the ground and die — or I rise up.”

Asked if he still thinks about the race, he added: “If I see a clip of it, I still feel it, but I’m at peace with it.”

Had the outcome been different, Hamilton would have moved clear of the record of seven world championships he shares with Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton has not won an F1 race since the event before that Abu Dhabi finale, the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.