By Claire Gordon • 12 December 2021 • 16:19
Late drama at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has seen Lewis Hamilton miss out on a record-breaking 8th F1 world title as Max Verstappen is crowned world champion in controversial circumstances.
Hamilton was leading for most of the race before he was overtaken on the final lap by his championship rival. Reacting to his championship victory, Verstappen called it “unbelievable” and “insane”.
He added: “Finally a bit of luck for me. It was great teamwork. My team know that I love them and there’s no need to change ever. I want to stay with them for the rest of my life.”
Hamilton was on course for his eighth world title but an issue with a safety car caused the contentious situation everyone is talking about. The vehicle came on track to deal with a Nicholas Latifi crash, and during the delay, Verstappen changed his tyres. Lapped cars were then able to clear the safety car, which left a final lap race between the Dutchman and Hamilton.
Verstappen overtook Hamilton in turn five and stayed ahead until the chequered flag, meaning Verstappen is world champion after winning the season-end race.
Hamilton said: “Firstly congratulations to Max and to his team. I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, have worked so hard this whole year, it’s been the most difficult of seasons.
“I’m so proud of them and I’m so grateful to be a part of the journey with them.
“This last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and we never gave up.”
Mercedes driver Hamilton is the joint-record holder for world championship titles, tied on seven with retired German legend Michael Schumacher.
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