Pep Guardiola uses Formula 1 analogy to describe Raheem Sterling’s return to form

In an interesting analogy, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has compared Raheem Sterling to Formula 1 drivers Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen and Hamilton battled it out to win the F1 world championship at the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi. Verstappen emerged victorious after passing Hamilton on the last lap. However, there was plenty of controversy about the way the race finished.

The spectacle did attract the attention of many familiar sporting faces from around the world.

It seems like Guardiola was another who paid close attention to the race – or at least kept an eye out for the result.

Guardiola on Sterling and Formula 1

Speaking before Manchester City’s Premier League fixture against Leeds United on Tuesday evening, Guardiola used a Formula 1 analogy to describe the attitude and performances of Raheem Sterling.

The winger struggled for game time at the beginning of the season. However, he has started seven of City’s last eight games in all competitions. The 27-year-old has scored four goals in that time.

And Guardiola compared Sterling’s mentality to get back into the side and stay there to how Verstappen and Hamilton fought for the F1 title, and how success sometimes depends on other factors than simply your performance. He also cited it as an example to everyone else in his squad.

He explained (quotes via Manchester Evening News): “In this competition, you saw in the Formula 1, you can do everything. Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were incredible champions, but sometimes the success doesn’t depend on you. Something decides if there is a winner and you don’t win but both are champions.”

“The players have to fight like Verstappen has done and Lewis Hamilton has done until the end. But sometimes, even with doing that perfectly, doing incredibly well, there is something you cannot control that decides you are the winner and you are not the winner.”

“This is an example I took from Sunday – always to fight and how nice it was. In the end, a law, or a VAR, a bad decision and many things can happen and you don’t win.”

“What you have to do is like Raheem has done in the last few games or these incredible two athletes from Formula 1 have done. This is the lesson we have to learn. They never give up and never say I am not going to try but sometimes doing perfectly, something happens that the athletes cannot control.”

Why was the F1 finish controversial?

The drivers completed five of the last six laps at the end of the race under the safety car. Race director Michael Masi allowed certain lapped cars to unlap themselves on the penultimate lap and created a one-lap shootout between the two title rivals.

Verstappen overtook Hamilton into turn three on much fresher tyres and held the lead until the finish to become world champion.

Mercedes launched two protests against the final classification. One of them cited article 48.12 of the sporting regulations. It claims that ‘any cars who have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car’. However, only the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen were let through, and not those between Verstappen and third-placed Carlos Sainz. The stewards would later say that ‘any’ does not mean ‘all’ in this case.

The regulation also states that ‘once the last lapped car has passed the leader, the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap’. The safety car returned to the pits at the end of the same lap on this occasion.

The stewards rejected both of Mercedes’ protests, which confirmed Verstappen as champion. They would justify the decision by saying that Article 48.13 overrides the above regulation. That states that once ‘the message ‘safety car is in this lap’ has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety at the end of that lap’. However, questions immediately arose as to why article 48.12 was not followed in this circumstance.

Mercedes have until Thursday to appeal that decision. At the time of writing, it is unclear whether they will do so.

Featured Image Credit: Getty