Max Verstappen: "The winner takes it all"

Max Verstappen takes pole in Abu Dhabi to win the World Championship title.

Katie Siddall
12th December 2021
Image: Wikimedia Commons
In May 2021, I wrote an article which had the last line - "Let’s hope [Verstappen, Norris or Bottas] give [Hamilton] a run for his money for the remainder of the season." And boy... was I right!

With penalties thrown left, right and centre this season, including penalties appearing with the Brazilian qualifiers, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have made the 2021 Formula One season as interesting as they come. Both drivers stood at 369.5 points before the race began... there can only be one winner. Would it be the seven-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, or the 24-year-old Dutch hoping to take his first World Championship, Max Verstappen?

Setting up in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen lost pole position as soon as the flag was waved as Lewis Hamilton overtook him. Hamilton had an amazing start, especially since Verstappen within the first few corners failed to overtake, creating yet another controversial moment with this season of F1.

This was not to be the first controversial moment as a yellow safety car came onto the course during lap 53 due to Nicholas Latifi's rear end taking a spin for the worse. This yellow safety car led to there being only one racing lap left of the season. Hamilton, then in first place with a +12.102 interval, did not expect what was to come.

As usual, the safety car made sure that every driver was bunched up, meaning that the interval between first and second, Verstappen, had drastically closed. Then, to make matters worse for Hamilton, the drivers who had already been lapped had to overtake the safety car before it left the course. In other words, Carlos Sainz Jr., Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel had to unlap themselves.

Max Verstappen could not have ran into better luck as this meant he was directly behind Lewis Hamilton.

When the safety car had removed itself from the course, on the final lap of the 2021 Formula One season, Max Verstappen overtook the seven-time World Champion! Hamilton was not giving up though, he was fighting corner after corner for his first-place position but there was just no opportunity for Hamilton to claw back first. Max Verstappen flew down the racetrack straight over the line, past the chequered flag to win his first-ever title in F1!

At 24-years-old, Verstappen is the first Dutchman to win this title and owes this win to his teammate Sergio Perez as, whilst he was lower down in the standings, fought to keep Hamilton at bay to give Verstappen multiple opportunities throughout the race.

Today's race at Abu Dhabi was one of the most exciting races we have seen this season; however, throughout the season there have been multiple races with just as much excitement! All the drivers have to be given credit as they were phenomenal all season round. They have all done their countries proud but it is Verstappen who gets to take the title home in 2021.

Personally, I already can't wait for next season as George Russell heads to fill Valtteri Bottas' position at Mercedes, as Bottas heads over to Alfa Romeo. Maybe my predictions for this season will also hold up for next season. But for now, let's all congratulate the amazing Dutchman... AND WORLD CHAMPION... Max Verstappen!

Update: Mercedes have put forward two appeals after the Abu Dhabi GP. The first for Verstappen’s overtaking under the safety car and the second due to the proceedings after the GP. It has since been stated that Max Verstappen will keep his World Championship title.

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