Serena Williams has made a controversial claim regarding the number of Formula 1 Championship titles held by Lewis Hamilton.
Former tennis star Serena Williams sparked controversy on social media after claiming that Lewis Hamilton ought to have nine Formula 1 championships instead of seven.
Williams’ comments came after Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff’s admission that the British driver’s quest for an eighth World Championship was driven by “personal anger.”
This comes as two years have passed since the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in which Red Bull driver Max Verstappen beat Hamilton to win the race and secure his maiden title denying the Mercedes driver a record eighth World Championship under extremely dubious circumstances.
Hamilton was exposed on worn tires after leading the better part of the race when the race director disregarded the Safety Car protocol, resulting in a one-lap shootout between Verstappen and Hamilton, with the former on new tires.
After overcoming his rival to win the championship, Verstappen has gone on to win 33 of the last 43 grand prix since the 2022 season began. Meanwhile, Hamilton has not won in any races since the incident.
Now, Serena Williams has posted a comment on a post on Instagram that featured quotes from Wolff. The 23-time Grand Slam champion claimed Hamilton ought to have his ninth title by now as he shares the record with Michael Schumacher at seven.
“He should have had 9 already. But… lemme [sic] be quiet,” Williams wrote.
Williams’ comment has received over 1,500 likes, and several fans have responded to the tennis legend. One person advised Williams to ‘say it louder for people in the back’ while another said ‘better if you stick to tennis.’
Although Williams is obviously referring to Abu Dhabi 2021, she claims another title is missing. This is the 2007 championship claimed by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen after he defeated both Hamilton and his McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso by a single point.
Hamilton had one of the most remarkable debut seasons in Formula One history in 2007, finishing on the podium in his first nine races of the season, including two victories in Montreal and Indianapolis.
During the season which was highly politicized, Formula 1 was thrown into chaos by the controversial Ferrari and McLaren crashgate scandal, which resulted in the latter being fined a record $100 million.
Hamilton had a chance to win the championship with two races left, but an enigmatic string of mistakes by McLaren dashed his hopes. His car ended up trapped in the gravel at the pit entry during Chinese Grand Prix race that was ravaged by rain after his team chose to pit him after the asphalt had begun drying out.
Two weeks later, at the Brazilian Grand Prix that would decide the championship, Hamilton was sidelined for the first part of the race by an unexpected gearbox issue.
This was followed by a three-stop strategy that limited his chances for a win, leaving him seventh at the finish as Raikkonen clinched the title.