Max Verstappen sealed the 2021 Formula 1world title with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory, clashing with Lewis Hamilton again and benefitting from a controversial late FIA safety car call.
The 2 rivals got here collectively on the opening lap, nevertheless it was the choice to permit a ultimate lap shootout that gave Verstappen the possibility to place a decisive move on Hamilton, who had led many of the race however was unable to cease throughout a digital security automotive and the complete security automotive that adopted Nicholas Latifi crashing in the course of the closing laps.
In the beginning, Hamilton made a significantly better begin to instantly shoot alongside Verstappen from second on the grid, with the Briton seizing the lead on the Flip 1 braking level regardless of a small lock-up on his left-front.
Hamilton scampered clear however Verstappen stayed shut sufficient to shut in barely taking place the long term to the Turns 6/7 chicane than splits Yas Marina’s two predominant straights.
The Dutchman despatched a late lunge to Hamilton’s inside and received alongside by the apex, however went so deep to the surface of the monitor he ran half his automotive on the kerbs, with Hamilton going absolutely off and reducing behind Flip 7 – rejoining to maintain the lead.
To Pink Bull’s fury, race director Michael Masi knowledgeable the crew the stewards had reviewed the incident however determined no investigation was essential.
|1||Max Verstappen||Pink Bull|
|3||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||5.173|
|11||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1’07.527|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin|| |
|14||Mick Schumacher||Haas|| |
|15||Sergio Perez||Pink Bull||3 Laps|
|Nicholas Latifi||Williams||8 Laps|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||25 Laps|
|George Russell||Williams||32 Laps|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||33 Laps|
This was as a result of of their view Verstappen had compelled the problem with Hamilton left no room to remain on monitor and that the chief had slowed down sufficient to steer by 1.1-seconds on the finish of lap considered one of 58 to have given up any benefit he gained by reducing the nook.
With Pink Bull informing the annoyed Verstappen that he must win the race and championship on monitor, Hamilton shortly edged clear and set a string of quickest laps by the opening 10 excursions – operating the extra sturdy medium tyres to Verstappen’s softs.
His lead had reached 3.4s by the tip of lap 10 – at which level Verstappen was already suggesting his rear tyres have been beginning to slide.
Three laps later, with Hamilton’s lead over 5 seconds for the primary time, Pink Bull known as Verstappen in to go from the softs to the hards – rejoining in between the Ferrari vehicles of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, who went off by the plunging downhill proper of Flip 3 in Verstappen’s wake.
Mercedes introduced Hamilton in a lap later for his personal set of hards, which meant Sergio Perez, who had been almost 10s off the lead by the point Hamilton got here in – biking by to steer.
Hamilton carved into Perez’s benefit as Verstappen took a number of laps to move Sainz – even going off on the penultimate nook as he chased the Ferrari arduous, lastly shifting as much as third with a DRS move into Flip 6 on lap 18.
Over the following two laps it turned clear Pink Bull’s plan was for Perez to carry Hamilton up significantly to try to get Verstappen’s close to eight-second deficit down.
On laps 20 and 21, the main pair engaged in an exciting battle, with Perez nipping again in entrance of Hamilton at Flip 6 after being handed with DRS on the surface, then when the Mercedes received forward out of Flip 7 he used his personal DRS activation to shoot again alongside and by by the Flip 8 kink and lead once more into the brand new hairpin of Flip 9 on the finish of the second straight.
Hamilton attacked at Flip 1 and was rebuffed by Perez, however then had one other go along with DRS into Flip 6, the place he lastly sealed his transfer again to first by reducing from the surface to inside to depart Perez nowhere to go.
Perez pitted on the finish of lap 21 to take his personal hards, his efforts to carry up Hamilton getting his teammate again to 1.7s adrift.
However Hamilton was capable of draw back once more from his rival, his lead again to 4.2s by the tip of lap 30 – though he knowledgeable his crew “it is a lengthy solution to go [to the finish] on this set of tyres”.
That concern turned of nice significance six laps later when Verstappen was known as for a second time to take a second set of hards – below a digital security automotive that had been activated when Antonio Giovinazzi’s final race for Alfa Romeo ended with a transmission drawback and he pulled up at Flip 9’s exit.
Mercedes opted to retain monitor place and never take a less expensive pitstop, which arrange a 20-lap chase to the end with Verstappen on a lot brisker tyres and needing to shut a 17s hole.
The Pink Bull driver did instantly minimize chunks from his rival’s benefit, however solely in close to half second chunks, which meant it nonetheless held at 13.9s with 15 laps to go.
Verstappen continued to residence in on Hamilton, with each having to get by a gaggle of backmarkers as the ultimate 10 laps approached.
However he nonetheless needed to shut an 11s hole coming into the ultimate part, with tensions raised by Lando Norris, who had dropped down from third at first, falling out of fifth with a gradual puncture – seemingly picked up on the brand new kerbs exiting Turns 5 and 9, which Hamilton was suggested by Mercedes to keep away from.
Nonetheless, the race was altered dramatically when Nicholas Latifi crashed exiting the Flip 14 left that leads out from beneath the resort that straddles the ultimate sector with six laps left – after the Williams had been battling Mick Schumacher by Flip 9 and gone after over the kerbs after which misplaced the rear of his automotive and slammed into the wall as he chased the Haas.
Pink Bull introduced Verstappen in for a 3rd time to go to the softs, with Mercedes unable to convey Hamilton in as it could have meant sacrificing the lead.
The incident took nearly all the remainder of the race to clear, which initially regarded like it could profit Hamilton because the lapped vehicles that had filtered between the leaders – Norris, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon, Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel – weren’t allowed to overhaul the security forward of the restart.
However Masi reversed this name forward of the ultimate lap, with Hamilton backing up Verstappen significantly after which flooring it to try to bridge a spot.
He led on the final tour however Verstappen used his brisker rubber to remain shut after which dive right into a move on the new Flip 5 left hairpin at first of the center sector after which weaving in defence on the straight right down to Flip 6, the place it had all kicked off over 90-minutes earlier.
Hamilton chased Verstappen on the run to Flip 9 however the Pink Bull defend the within and Hamilton had nowhere to go, sliding extensive by the hairpin and coming residence 2.2s as Verstappen took his first F1 world title.
Sainz ended up third as Perez was retired within the pits in the course of the late security automotive, with AlphaTauri pair Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly taking fourth and fifth forward of Valtteri Bottas, who to work his approach again up from a poor first lap – gaining when Norris suffered his puncture.
Norris took seventh forward of Alonso and Ocon, with Leclerc rounding out the highest 10 – the second Ferrari shedding floor after stopping in the course of the VSC.
Sunday, December 12
Verstappen wins – Race result, reaction, latest news, TV channel. … Max Verstappen ripped a record eighth title away from Lewis Hamilton with an overtake on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP to finish one of the most thrilling Formula One seasons in years as the first Dutch world champion.
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