Max Verstappen wins the title after the last overtaking of Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi – SPORT NEWS PEDIA

F1, formula 1, Grand Prix, Max Verstappen wins the title after the last overtaking of Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, sport

Red Bulls Max Verstappen won his first Formula One world title under dramatic circumstances at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

His rival Lewis Hamilton had shown himself in control of the race and even heading for the title, despite controversy at first, until a late safety car.

The race was restarted with a lap back with Verstappen on fresh tires and Hamilton on old, and the Dutchman swept past to win the race.

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It was in many ways a fitting end to one of the biggest and most controversial seasons in Formula 1 history – and the arguments about right and wrong will rage for some time to come.

At the end of the race, while Verstappen screamed with delight and Red Bull celebrated, the British Hamilton sat in his Mercedes for several minutes, not believing how events had turned against him in the final minutes.

But Mercedes has launched two protests – one for Verstappen overtaking Hamilton under safety car conditions just before the restart, and one over what they believe was that officials did not follow the rules on safety car procedures correctly.

Both Red Bull and Mercedes will see stewards to discuss their sides of the argument, and a decision is expected later.

How a historic title-holder unfolded
The race seemed to surrender to Hamilton after he was controversially allowed to keep the lead he had earned with a better start than Verstappen, despite going off the track to maintain his position as the Dutchman tried to pass him at the end of the first back straight. .

Red Bull and Verstappen were annoyed and disbelieving about it, but Hamilton was dominating from then on through a pit stop and a virtual safety car, until Nicholas Latifi crashed with his Williams with five laps left.

Mercedes felt that they could not afford to pit Hamilton because it would have been to give up the lead if Verstappen did not do the same – and he may well not have done so because his tires were relatively fresh after another stop.

But when Hamilton did not stop for fresh tires, Verstappen did, and that was the crucial call.

There was more controversy when race director Michael Masi initially said that cars patched between Hamilton and Verstappen would not be allowed to run by themselves, as is normal practice.

Red Bull complained and Masi changed his mind, putting Verstappen just behind Hamilton in the remaining round of races.

Verstappen passed Hamilton into the 5th turn and held his attempts to re-pass down the two straight stretches that followed and completed the lap before breaking out of joy.

Still, no matter what anyone’s views on the various events of the race, would have disgusted Verstappen the title after a season in which he and Hamilton have gone toe-to-toe in one of the most remarkable F1 seasons ever .

Hamilton, meanwhile, will have to console himself with Mercedes ‘victory in the constructors’ championship – for an unprecedented eighth year in a row.

First round drama too
At the same time, it was an appropriate way to end a season that has been marked by clashes on the pitch and quarrels off the pitch between Hamilton, Verstappen and their team.

The race went as the season has been, with Hamilton and Verstappen in a race and league of their own, and for a long time this year’s fate seemed to be heading for Hamilton.

There was drama from the initial lap after Verstappen made a poor start from pole position, Hamilton an electric from second place on the net and the Mercedes was ahead before the first turn.

Verstappen tracked him through the first few corners, slung him down the long, first straight back and dived into the harassment at 6- and 7-shifts.

Verstappen came down the inside of Hamilton, but went deep into the corner, and his speed led him to the outer edge long before the other right-handed part of the corner.

Hamilton avoided him, as he has done so many times this season, and cut across the harassment and kept the lead.

He put down a bit in the rest of the inning to give back the advantage he thought he had gained and the quarrels started on the pit wall.

Verstappen said over the radio: “He has to give it back.”

Red Bull sent race director Michael Masi on the radio to insist Verstappen was “at the forefront and staying on track”.

Masi replied, “He has forced him out. All the benefit was given back before the end of the first half.”

Officials decided no investigation was needed, and when Verstappen was told of the decision, he said, “It’s incredible. What are they doing there?”

The accusations will no doubt continue for some time, especially as Verstappen came in over the weekend and complained that he was treated differently from other drivers by the stewards after the controversial Saudi Arabia Grand Prix last weekend, and Red Bull has sparked tensions between the teams. with a number of controversial allegations in the media.

Hamilton had run – until luck intervened
On the track, however, the basic truth for much of the race was that once Hamilton was done, he and Mercedes simply had too much pace for Red Bull and Verstappen, as they have done in the last four races.

Red Bull threw everything they could against Hamilton.

After Hamilton and Verstappen sought fresh tires, they left out Perez and ordered him to hold Hamilton back.

Hamilton passed Perez down to the 6th inning of the 20th inning, but was then sent back down the next straight.

Perez was then ordered to “back him up” through the marina section of the field, and Verstappen closed what had been an 8.7-second deficit to 1.7 when Hamilton finally passed Perez a lap later.

But Hamilton relaxed again until a virtual safety car deployed to clear the stranded Alfa Romeo by Antonio Giovinazzi gave Red Bull a chance.

They searched Verstappen for fresh tires in hopes of getting back to Hamilton over the last 20 laps.

But Hamilton was so strong that Verstappen was only able to make a minimal dent in his lead, and the race seemed to be over until the late drama snatched it – and what would have been his eighth world title – from Hamilton’s range.

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