Max Verstappen has won his first-ever F1 Driver’s Championship title, after a nail-biting contest in Abu Dhabi. Going into the race level on points with Lewis Hamilton, the youngster held his nerve in a scarcely-believable last lap to emerge victorious. But we probably haven’t heard the last about this controversial race…
Verstappen vs Hamilton: Last lap, controversies, and F1 highlights
Verstappen and Hamilton, who went into the race level on points, went wheel to wheel to the chequered flag with the Dutchman edging the race. Hamilton, who had won the three previous races, made the perfect start when he overtook Verstappen before by the first corner.
The two then tangled on the first lap with Verstappen overtaking and forcing Hamilton wide off the track but the Mercedes driver cut across and rejoined the race in the lead. He slowed to give back time but the stewards decided not to investigate the incident – in a move which seemed to favor Hamilton
F1 Abu Dhabi GP ends in acrimonious circumstances
Hamilton built up a lead which was then threatened when Red Bull took advantage of a virtual safety car on lap 36 of 58 to switch to a new set of hard tyres. The Brit stayed out and saw the Dutchman erode his lead with every lap.
Another safety car on lap 54 enabled Verstappen to pit again and switch to soft tyres. When the safety car came off, just one dramatic lap remained and the two began it neck and neck…
It marks one of the most dramatic finales to an F1 race calendar in the sport’s history. There’s bad blood between Verstappen, Hamilton, Red Bull and Mercedes, and it’s unlikely that tensions will have cooled in the desert.
WATCH: Verstappen and Hamilton duel it out in the last lap
Nonetheless, the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP has earned its place in sporting folklore. For those of you looking to relieve the breathless ending to the race, we’ve got a clip in full here:
VERSTAPPEN WINS THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!!
WHAT A FINISH!!!! HE’S DONE IT!!!
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 12, 2021