Max Verstappen Wins The F1 Drivers’ World Championship
The 24-year-old Dutchman edged out Britain’s Lewis Hamilton to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and become the latest world champion.
Max Verstappen has won the F1 Drivers’ World Championship after claiming victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He edged out Britain’s Lewis Hamilton with his 10th victory this season, leaving him with an eight-point margin.
The 2021 F1 season came down to the wire this weekend, with Verstappen and Hamilton heading into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with absolutely nothing to separate them. Both drivers started the Grand Prix with 369.5 points and everything to race for.
As it happened
Verstappen’s weekend got off to an excellent start, with the Dutchman crushing the qualifying session and claiming his 10th pole position of the year. As the lights went out in Abu Dhabi on race day, however, Hamilton — on medium tyres — pulled ahead of Verstappen. The 24-year-old fought back however and regained his lead at Turn 6.
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Lap 56 brought on a Safety Car, and with it, a nail-biting finish to the Grand Prix. During the Safety Car caused by a Nicholas Latifi crash, Verstappen pitted for soft tyres. He then fought back and passed Hamilton once again — yet another memorable move from the young Dutchman this season — and reclaimed his lead. Hamilton attempted a move at Turn 9, but nothing came of it. Verstappen then raced on to bring home his maiden victory.
Max Verstappen’s lucky charm
Praise has been pouring in from all over for Max Verstappen following his title victory. Among his well-wishers is Red Bull partner TAG Heuer. The Swiss watchmaker congratulated Verstappen on his maiden victory, calling the feat “one of the closest championship battles in F1 history”.
“As a proud partner of Red Bull Racing Honda, TAG Heuer would like to congratulate Max Verstappen and all the team on this extraordinary achievement.” TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault said in a statement. “We are also delighted that the TAG Heuer Monaco we presented to Max a few months ago is continuing to bring him good luck, and that this ‘lucky charm’ has helped him to overall victory in the championship fight today.”
The TAG Heuer Monaco Titan Special Edition referenced by Arnault was presented to Verstappen on the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year. It proved to be a pivotal weekend for the Dutchman as he claimed the victory and moved into first place on the driver standings for the first time this season.