Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Mega Gallery

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The most extraordinary Formula One particular time in many years finished, of class, in 1 of the most extraordinary finishes probable when Max Verstappen snatched the globe championship away from Lewis Hamilton with a move on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi GP.

Mercedes submitted two protests just after the race, which were dismissed more than 4 hrs just after the race and Verstappen’s initially globe championship was upheld.

Hamilton led 51 of the 58 laps and was only five outings close to Yas Marina Circuit away from passing Michael Schumacher in the report books with an eighth championship Sunday. Then a crash gave Verstappen and Purple Bull 1 last probability.

No matter what Hamilton claimed over his radio when Nicholas Latifi’s spin into the wall introduced out the security automobile was only replayed as 1 lengthy bleep to address the expletives.

F1 race director Michael Masi took his time figuring out how to conclude the race in advance of controversially settling on 1 last lap of racing to choose the title. Verstappen commenced the last lap just powering Hamilton, chasing him through the initially 4 turns.

Verstappen made his move on the fifth switch, and Hamilton had 1 final shot. He pulled his Mercedes even with the Purple Bull in switch nine but couldn’t distinct Verstappen, who surged in advance to develop into the initially Dutch globe champion.

Verstappen and Purple Bull celebrated in a champagne soak, obtained hugs from his fellow competition — such as Hamilton and Hamilton’s father — and made his way to the DJ to bounce wildly up and down to the new music. The “Orange Army” of Dutch supporters erupted in pleasure and fired off their traditional orange flares. The supporters also chanted Latifi’s identify as they exited the circuit.

“It’s just insane, I mean, my intention when I was minimal was to develop into a Formula One particular driver and to go for wins, to be on the podium,” claimed Verstappen. “When they participate in the national anthem, you want it to be yours and when you stand here and they explain to you that you are the globe champion, it truly is one thing amazing and specific.”

Verstappen, the only F1 winner to contend below the Dutch flag, was congratulated on Twitter by Key Minister Mark Rutte. He claimed the acquire was a “A historic day for Dutch sport.”

It was a fitting end to a time that noticed the two contenders go wheel-to-wheel over 22 races spanning 4 continents and arrive in Abu Dhabi tied in the championship standings. It marked the initially time the contenders were equal at the time finale due to the fact 1974.

The two mixed for eighteen of the victories, with Verstappen winning ten periods — equaling the variety of wins scored over his initially 6 seasons in F1. Verstappen led an F1-superior 652 of the 1,211 laps this calendar year and scored eighteen podium finishes.

But he is been criticized this calendar year over his intense driving with Hamilton himself stating Verstappen was over the edge. The two crashed three periods this time, and Verstappen was sent to the clinic for evaluation following 1 incident at Silverstone.

Verstappen had complained all weekend that he is been dealt with unfairly by the race stewards, who he believed held him to a better common than other motorists. He recurring that he wanted race control to participate in no role in the finale, but when Masi did, it went in Verstappen’s favor with the last 1 lap of racing to choose the title.

“I consider (the track) was distinct, so why would you run it out powering the security automobile?” Verstappen claimed. “When every thing is distinct, you have to release the track, so I consider which is a fair level from the race director. Of class, now it functions for me. But it also functions in opposition to me, I know that.”

Hamilton did not take part in the article-race information meeting with Verstappen and 3rd-area finisher Carlos Sainz. He did 1 job interview in advance of the victory podium and congratulated Verstappen and Purple Bull.

Hamilton, who turns 37 up coming month, won three consecutive races coming into the finale to knock all 19 details off Verstappen’s direct in the standings. But his 8 wins this time are the fewest for Hamilton due to the fact 2013, when he only won as soon as and completed fourth in the standings.

He praised the effort and hard work of Mercedes.

“It’s been the most hard of seasons. I’m so proud of them, so grateful to be on the journey with them. We gave it totally every thing, we in no way gave up and that’s the most important matter,” Hamilton claimed. “I’ve been feeling great in the automobile this earlier pair of months, specially at the end. But if I’m sincere, we’re however in the pandemic and I just would like absolutely everyone to remain harmless and have a great Xmas with their people, and we’ll see about up coming calendar year.”

The bitter rivalry between Mercedes and Purple Bull acquired the ending it deserved — 1 that still left the victor virtually speechless.

“Oh my God!” Verstappen screamed over his radio as he crossed the end line.

“You are the globe champion! The globe champion!” screamed back Purple Bull manager Christian Horner.

“Let’s do this for a different ten or 15 many years!” Verstappen replied.

Purple Bull won its initially F1 title due to the fact 2013 Mercedes had won each and every championship due to the fact.

The mood was considerably distinctive in the Mercedes camp, exactly where Hamilton sat motionless in his automobile for numerous moments as other motorists made their way to congratulate Verstappen. The defeat finished his reign of 4 consecutive titles and denied Hamilton a probability to move Schumacher as greatest all-time in F1.

Mercedes manager Toto Wolff was incredulous on the radio, demanding “the final lap be reinstated.”

“Toto, it is named a motor race,” Masi tersely replied. “We want automobile racing.”

Hamilton obtained a lengthy hug from his father, who then went to the Purple Bull garage and hugged the two Verstappen and Verstappen’s father. Jos Verstappen was himself a previous F1 driver and lifted his 24-calendar year-old son to develop into a globe champion.

It took Verstappen seven seasons to make it to the leading — he was the youngest driver in series record when he debuted at age seventeen, and the youngest winner when he won the up coming time at eighteen — and he savored it with “Jos The Boss.” His father had not even made it to congratulate his son in advance of he’d pulled on a championship sweatshirt.

Jos Verstappen, a 1-time teammate of Schumacher, was winless in 107 races over 8 time.

“With my dad, traveling through all of Europe, for that 1 intention to be in the Formula One particular, to hope that you can acquire a race and listen to your national anthem, and then of class the ultimate intention is the globe championship, which is pretty tough to realize,” claimed Verstappen.

Mission achieved and Purple Bull celebrated by actively playing “We are the Champions” in its garage.

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