Mercedes later resumed to the FIA. Hamilton’s team was furious with the race management, because the car’s safety protocol was not adequately applied in the closing stage of the race. The German team reported that the field was launched one lap early. As a result, Verstappen was able to successfully pass Hamilton on the last lap, giving the Dutchman a grand prix and world title win.
The hosts announced in an official statement around 8pm that the Race Director may deploy the Safety Car at its sole discretion when necessary. Verstappen may also briefly drive into Hamilton during the safety car condition. The protest against this was already dismissed at 7:30 pm.
Verstappen and Hamilton traveled to Abu Dhabi with exactly the same number of points. The Dutchman won nine races en route to the final, and his British rival wrote eight races to his name. If both had not scored points, Verstappen would have been crowned world champion because of this advantage. It came to an unprecedented deal with Verstappen as champion.
Red Bull started the race with an offensive strategy. Verstappen and Sergio Perez (4th place) both started on the soft tyres, while Hamilton started on the medium compound, which is a little slower, but runs longer.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton before the start, with the World Cup in between.
Ⓒ Getty Images
Although the soft tire provides more stability, Hamilton fared better than Verstappen at the start. The 36-year-old Briton immediately took the lead. Verstappen counterattacked a few corners later, but it turned out to be in vain. By braking too late, the Dutchman put himself next to the Mercedes driver. Hamilton left the track and retained the lead, but the stewards did not think the moment was serious enough to order the Englishman to give up his lead. Much to Verstappen’s dismay. “Cool? What are they doing there (in race management, editor)?”
Verstappen’s soft rubber soon came to the end of his life. On lap 14, the Dutchman dived in in search of new solid tyres. A roll later followed Hamilton, who switched to the same compound. On the other hand, Perez has been driving for a long time, trying to catch Hamilton at the end and maybe hold out.
Sergio Perez holds Lewis Hamilton. Max Verstappen in the background.
Ⓒ Getty Images
Red Bull’s plan worked. In the inevitable duel with Hamilton, the Mexican sold his skin so dearly that Verstappen could come close within a second. „Czech (alias, editor) is a legend,” beamed Verstappen, who had just appeared in the race, via the onboard radio.
However, Hamilton’s Mercedes team was so fast in the clean air that his lead on Verstappen, who was quickly passed by Perez, then quickly increased to just over five seconds.
Max Verstappen in the hole lane.
Ⓒ Getty Images
The outage was captured by Antonio Giovinazzi, who provides a hypothetical safety case for the car, by Red Bull to bring in Verstappen for a second time. In the last 21 laps, the Dutchman went on to chase after Hamilton, who was also interested, with everything he had. “It’s a risk that we’ve stayed outside, isn’t it?” he asked aloud. “I’m not going to be doing this for the whole race.”
Nothing turned out to be less true. Hamilton seemed steadfast. The condition of a safe car after Williams driver Nicolas Latifi crashed five laps to the end caused an uproar. Verstappen did not hesitate, indulged in the new soft tyres, and, due to the situation on the track, was able to rejoin directly behind Hamilton, who was disqualified. The safety car went one lap before the end of the track, after which Verstappen achieved a decisive overtake that earned him the most memorable world title in motorsport history.
Max Verstappen passes Lewis Hamilton.
Ⓒ Getty Images
The 2021 F1 season has not been a typical year anyway. The atmosphere between Verstappen and Hamilton has skyrocketed this season. Verstappen and Hamilton hit each other on the track multiple times. It led to unforgettable events in England, Italy and Saudi Arabia. Verstappen also stopped saying “Lewis Hamilton” and “Mercedes”. Instead, talk about “he” and “she.” “So much has happened to it,” he said this week in an exclusive interview with Telegraph.
Max Verstappen is the new world champion in Formula 1.
Hundreds of fans watched the finale of the race in the former dome prison in Breda.
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