Max Verstappen Wins F1 Title After Dramatic Win in Abu Dhabi

A thrilling season comes down to the final lap

Max Verstappen
Race winner and 2021 F1 World Drivers Champion Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium.
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Going into today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were tied on points for the year’s Formula 1 title. That laid the groundwork for a thrilling race, which was only advanced by the qualifiers, which found Verstappen taking pole position with Hamilton in second. Two of the world’s best drivers going head-to-head in the final competition of the season to determine the title? Sounds like a recipe for something thrilling.

And that’s exactly how it played out. In the final lap at Yas Marina, Verstappen passed Hamilton to win the Grand Prix — and the title for the season. It was the 24-year-old’s first Formula 1 title.

The results also found Mercedes winning its eighth constructors’ championship, setting a new record in the process.

The event wasn’t without some controversy, however. As ESPN reports, Hamilton quickly took the lead from Verstappen on the first lap, and kept it by traveling over the runoff. Later in the race, lapped cars were permitted to line up behind the Safety Car — a group that included Verstappen, who had fresh tires on his car.

On the final lap, Verstappen was able to pass Hamilton, making for a dramatic finish to both the race and the season. For viewers looking for a thrilling competition, it’s hard to imagine anything more gripping than this.

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