Max Verstappen has won the 2021 World Title after a heart-stopping battle in the final moments of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After the Williams of Nicholas Latifi crashed out in the final laps, a safety car and late decision by the stewards brought Verstappen right into the rearview mirror of Lewis Hamilton.
On a fresh set of soft tyres, Hamilton didn’t have a chance against the charging bull, and after a swift overtake Verstappen sailed to the finish line to clinch the ultimate win after an incredible season.
Speaking after the race, after landing his first-ever world title, the Dutch driver said: “It’s unbelievable. Throughout the whole race I kept fighting and to have an opportunity on the last lap, it’s incredible. I’m having cramp. It’s insane.
“I don’t know what to say. My team and Honda, they deserve it. I love them so much and I really really enjoy working with them. This year has been incredible.
“Finally a bit of luck for me.
“I also need to say a big thank you to Checo. He was driving his heart out today, it was great team-work and he’s an amazing team-mate.
“My team know I love them and I hope we can do this for 10-15 years together. There’s no reason to change ever, I want to stay with them for the rest of my life. I hope they let me.
“Christian and Helmut trusted me to be in the team in 2016, our goal was to be world champion and now we’ve done that.”
Speaking after the podium celebrations, Verstappen added: “My goal when I was little was to become an F1 driver. You hope for wins, you hope to be on the podium, when they play the national anthem you one day hope they’ll play yours.
“Now standing here and they tell you you’re the world champion is something incredible.
“To share this special memory with my dad. All the things come back through your mind, all the years spent together and travelling for that goal and it comes here together on the last lap. It’s insane.”