In the most dramatic finish to one of the most dramatic Formula One seasons in years, Max Verstappen has been crowned 2021 Formula One world champion after overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the final lap.
Max Verstappen ripped a record eighth title away from Lewis Hamilton with a pass on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP to close one of the most thrilling Formula One seasons in years as the first Dutch world champion.
Hamilton was cruising past Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles Sunday in a race he controlled until Nicholas Latifi crashed with five laps remaining. F1 sent out the safety car for a cleanup and resumed the race with one lap remaining.
It was a fitting end to a season that saw the two contenders go wheel-to-wheel over 22 races spanning four continents and arrive in Abu Dhabi tied in the championship standings. It marked the first time the contenders were equal at the season finale since 1974.
Multiple rival drivers headed to the grid to congratulate Verstappen as Hamilton sat motionless inside his Mercedes. The defeat ended his reign of four consecutive titles and denied Hamilton a chance to pass Schumacher as best all-time in F1.
Congratulations to Max and to his team, I think he did an amazing job this year, Hamilton said to close what had become a bitter rivalry this season between Mercedes and Red Bull.
Hamilton received a long hug in the garage from his father, who then went to the garage and hugged both Verstappen and Verstappen’s father. Jos Verstappen was himself a former F1 driver and raised his 24-year-old son to become a world champion
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