Max Verstappen Beats Lewis Hamilton in the Last Lap for His First F1 Title, And we will never hear the end of it. bb

Lewis Hamilton, max Verstappen


Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen beat rival Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes to win his first F1 championship and put a stop to Hamilton’s title streak at four during the final race of the season.

Hamilton and Verstappen, considered the two best drivers in the sport today, had been in a tie for the driver’s championship at 369.5 points apiece headed into Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi, the last Formula 1 event of the season.

It was only the second time in F1 history that two drivers entered the final Grand Prix tied for the championship. That meant that whichever driver could finish ahead of the other would earn the coveted Driver’s Championship, making the race the equivalent of an F1 Super Bowl — one event to decide it all.

Verstappen, 24, had never won an F1 title but looked to be the favorite most of the season. He clinched the win in the final lap of Sunday’s race.

Hamilton, at 36, has amassed seven F1 driver’s championships to match driver Michael Schumacher for the most of all-time. Four of his titles have come consecutively over the last four years.

Just weeks ago, Verstappen had been leading the championship by 19 points, but his lead was erased after Hamilton won three races in a row. (Drivers are awarded between 25 points to 1 point if they finish in the top 10 during the race).

Lewis Hamilton


While the two drivers had been cordial most of the season, the tension between the pair has grown over the last few weeks as they’ve been involved in a number of incidents on the track, including Hamilton inadvertently running into the back of Verstappen in the last week’s race in Saudi Arabia.

When asked by reporters ahead of Sunday’s race if his opinion of Hamilton and Mercedes had changed during their championship battle, Verstappen said, “Yes very much, and not in a positive way.”

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Yet, Verstappen had more wins than Hamilton heading into the weekend. His nine races to Hamilton’s eight gave him the tiebreaker in the event both drivers failed to finish Sunday’s Abu Dhabi race. This led to speculation that Verstappen could crash into Hamilton and still win the title.

The FIA (the governing body of many motorsport events) told the drivers they could be punished with a points deduction or race ban if they intentionally collided with their rival to win the championship.

“At the end of the day, I do believe everyone here racing comes to win,” Hamilton said of the potential of crashes headed into the race. “I would like to believe everyone wants to do it in the right way, so I don’t even let that creep into my mind.”

And while winning his eighth championship would make him the best driver in F1 history, Hamilton downplayed the significance headed into the race.

“I don’t know, at the moment it just feels like another championship for me,” he told reporters. “I don’t look at it as a multiple, I always look at every season and every year as you start from ground zero, you’re the hunter and fighting from the moment you start training, the moment you get into training you’re focused on winning.”

“I don’t turn up with the number one on my car, I turn up with the number 44,” he added. “I don’t consider myself as the reigning champion that year I consider myself as the one fighting for the championship.”

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