Abu Dhabi GP: Max Verstappen takes F1 title from Lewis Hamilton on final lap after late controversy

A dramatic and controversial season ends with a dramatic and controversial final lap after a late Safety Car wipes out Hamilton’s lead and gives Verstappen an unexpected chance to overtake his British rival and claim the 2021 title; Mercedes left livid from delayed safety car procedure

Last updated: 21/12/21 15:09

Please use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch the incredible end of the Abu Dhabi GP and the 2021 title fight as Max Verstappen passes Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the F1 world championship.

Watch the incredible end of the Abu Dhabi GP and the 2021 title fight as Max Verstappen passes Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the F1 world championship.

Max Verstappen became Formula 1 World Champion for the first time after an extraordinary and controversial conclusion to the Abu Dhabi GP at the end of the season which saw him overtake Lewis Hamilton on the last lap after a dramatic late Safety Car.

Hamilton appeared to be on the verge of hitting his record eighth crown after overcoming Verstappen polesitting at the start, but a Nicholas Latifi crash in the Williams brought out the Safety Car with five laps to go and created all sorts of drama to wrap up. an incredible season.

Red Bull stopped Verstappen for new soft tires, while Hamilton remained in the lead with his older set.

While there were initially five lapped cars queuing behind the Safety Car, Race Control ordered those to join the rear of the pack on the penultimate tour and this recreated the one-two Hamilton-Verstappen queuing for a last lap starts again.

Amid protests from an angry Mercedes pit wall, the race resumed on the 58th and final lap of the race – and a thrilling season – and Verstappen overtook Hamilton inside turn five to take the win and the crown from his rival Mercedes. .

Huge drama as Nicholas Latifi hits the barriers during the Abu Dhabi GP

Please use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Huge drama as Nicholas Latifi hits the barriers during the Abu Dhabi GP

Huge drama as Nicholas Latifi hits the barriers during the Abu Dhabi GP

Verstappen becomes the first Dutchman to win the title and the second for Red Bull after Sebastian Vettel.

“It’s unbelievable,” said an incredulous Verstappen. “Throughout the race I kept fighting and having a chance on the last lap is incredible. I have cramps. It’s crazy.”

Despite the huge disappointment at the extraordinary late turn just as it appeared at the climax of the story, Hamilton went straight to sportily congratulate Verstappen in the parc fermé.

“First of all, congratulations to Max and his team. I think we did a great job this year,” said the defending F1 champion. “My team, all in the factory, have worked so hard all year, it’s been the hardest of seasons. I’m so proud of them and I’m so grateful to be part of the journey with them.

Reactions on the podium of the top three when Max Verstappen won in Abu Dhabi ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.

Please use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Reactions on the podium of the top three when Max Verstappen won in Abu Dhabi ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.

Reactions on the podium of the top three when Max Verstappen won in Abu Dhabi ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz.

“In the latter part of the season we gave absolutely everything and we never gave up.”

Hamilton was hoping to become the sport’s eight-time world champion, but for now he remains tied to Michael Schumacher with seven.

Mercedes has yet to set a record for the eighth consecutive Constructors’ Championship with Red Bull, but this impressive result is likely to offer little comfort soon after Sunday’s extraordinary finish.

Abu Dhabi GP result: Top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
4) Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri
5) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
6) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
7) Lando Norris, McLaren
8) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
10) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

More to follow …

.

Leave a Comment