- Max Verstappen bagged his first-ever F1 World Title concluding a dramatic final lap
- In the final lap, Lewis Hamilton was overtaken by Max at the Yas Marina Circuit
- Hamilton had been trailed by Verstappen since the first lap in Abu Dhabi GP
Red Bull’s Belgian-Dutch racing driver, Max Verstappen earned his first-ever F1 World Championship title after defeating Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic showdown on Sunday at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It was confirmed that Max was the F1 World Champion ahead of the FIA (International Automobile Federation) stewards turned down Mercedes’ plea over the result at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Mercedes who achieved the constructors’ title for the eighth consecutive season were enraged by the playout of the final lap of the race post-Williams Racing’s Nicholas Latifi’s crash evoked a ‘Safety Car’ period.
The title-deciding race was initiated at pole position by Verstappen who had been trailing Hamilton since the first lap but following Latifi’s crash, overtook him (Hamilton) in the final lap. The Dutchman pit for fresh tyres using the safety car while the British-origin Hamilton resorted to older tyres.
Verstappen’s win amassed mixed reactions from the entire fraternity of F1 including various former and current drivers opinionating on the result of the race. A lot of cricketers and footballers also took to Twitter and expressed disbelief in what they had witnessed in the final lap.
Winner of the 2016 F1 title, Nico Rosberg congratulated Max on his commendable performance whilst praising Lewis for his efforts too. He referred to the F1 season as epic.
George Russell who will supposedly partner Hamilton from the upcoming season lauded Max’s driving skills and his remarkable performance throughout the season, however, was dissatisfied with the results.
The skipper of the England team, Harry Kane also expressed his amusement watching the battle between Lewis and Verstappen. Admitting that he was not an expert on the subject, he opinionated that it seemed like an unfair advantage had been given today and that Hamilton should not have been penalised for somebody else’s crash.
India’s T20 and ODI captain, Rohit Sharma also took to Twitter to convey his felicitations to Verstappen using cricket terminology. Sharma stated the championship resembled a situation when a batsman is required to score a sixer in a single ball to win and Verstappen did it. Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar also congratulated Max on his win alongside expressing distress over Lewis’ loss. He mentioned that Lewis might have won the trophy if it had not been for the safety car.