When this year's Formula 1 Championships kicked off back in March, few could have predicted just what an intense run of events it has subsequently given us. It has been especially close all season between two drivers in particular; namely, Team Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Team Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
But yesterday (Sunday 12th December) at the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi, in a nail-biting last lap, Verstappen ultimately overcame his rival to emerge as both winner of that race and, for the first time in his career, as Formula 1 World Championship title holder for 2021, with a final total of 395.5 points.
After an equally close run of things at the Saudi Arabia GP the week before (5th December), Hamilton took an early lead and appeared to have control of the race at the start. But after the race had to restart with one lap remaining, owing to a late safety car, the Dutch driver sprinted ahead on fresh tyres to ensure the title was his, following two bronze finishes in 2019 and 2020.
The World Championship title win caps off what has been an incredible season for Verstappen, with a total of 10 Grand Prix wins to his name. His fellow Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez has also finished in the top 5 of the season, in 4th on 190 points, whilst Team Mercedes' Valteri Bottas and Team Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr complete the top 5 in third and fifth place respectively.
Writing on his Twitter account after the win, Max celebrated, paying tribute to his dad Jos Verstappen, himself a former F1 driver, saying "This is just unbelievable. I started racing with my dad many years ago. We dreamed of becoming a World Champion and now we are … Thank you everyone at Red Bull and at Honda for an amazing car, you guys were amazing once again."
He also sent his thanks to his friends and family and to his affectionately dubbed "Orange Army", adding "you were amazing once again. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do!" From all of us at TrackDays, we send our congratulations to Max and all at Team Red Bull - they've undoubtedly had a strongly consistent run this year and this is very well deserved!
Our Formula 1 updates have now concluded for the season, but make sure you keep visiting our News page here on the TrackDays website to get all the latest F1 news. To book your next Formula 1 Single Seater driving experience via available dates or purchase of our open gift vouchers, visit our dedicated Formula 1 Experiences page today.