Former tennis sensation Serena Williams has sparked a social media frenzy with her recent assertion that Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton deserves nine world titles. Williams, a personal friend of the British racing icon, expressed her sentiments in response to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff’s revelation about a personal commitment to securing an eighth championship for Hamilton.

The controversy dates back to the infamous 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a race etched in Formula 1 history. Hamilton, on the verge of securing an unprecedented eighth World Championship, faced a dramatic twist of fate. A procedural misstep by the FIA’s race director during a Safety Car period left Hamilton vulnerable on old tires, setting the stage for a one-lap shootout with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who seized the opportunity and claimed the title.

Since that pivotal moment, Verstappen has dominated the Formula 1 circuit, winning 33 out of the last 43 races since the 2022 season commenced. Hamilton, on the other hand, has faced a winless streak, further intensifying the pursuit of an elusive eighth championship.

Responding to Wolff’s declaration of a personal mission to assist Hamilton in securing an eighth title, Serena Williams took to Instagram to voice her opinion. In a comment on a post, Williams stated, “He should have had 9 already. But… lemme [sic] be quiet.” The comment garnered significant attention, amassing 1,266 likes at the time of this writing, with fans expressing both agreement and dissent.

While Williams’ comment primarily alludes to the Abu Dhabi 2021 controversy, speculation arises about another missing title—potentially referring to the 2007 season. In that year, Hamilton, in his remarkable debut season, stood on the podium in the first nine races, winning two of them. However, a series of unfortunate events, including the infamous Spygate scandal, denied him the championship.

During the rain-affected Chinese Grand Prix, Hamilton’s title hopes were dashed as his car got stuck in the gravel after a delayed pit stop. The title decider in Brazil saw Hamilton facing further setbacks, including a brief gearbox glitch and an unconventional three-stop strategy, leaving him in seventh place as Kimi Raikkonen claimed the championship.

The 2007 season remains a painful chapter for Hamilton, marked by mysterious errors and controversies. In a 2012 interview with F1 reporter Mark Hughes, Hamilton acknowledged being aware of what transpired but remained tight-lipped, stating, “It’s not something I can talk about.”