The 2021 Formula One season drew to a close yesterday evening and what a finale it was! Whether you are a Verstappen or Hamilton fan, it is hard to deny that both the drivers drove to their MAX potential. But in the end, tied on points it was MAX VERSTAPPEN that just managed to clinch it!
Of course the battle was not easy with Hamilton leading the race for most of it. He showcased pace never seen before even on older hard compound tyres. But his race was temporarily spoiled by the new Mexican Minister of Defense, Sergio Perez. He defended Hamilton beautifully in laps 20 & 21, until he had to retire in the closing laps of the race.
If Sergio would not have done what he did, the championship could have very easily swung the other way.
The gap between Ham and Ver kept fluctuating but never seemed to be closing rapidly with a safe 10 second buffer.
Of course that was all until Lap 54 when Williams driver Nicholas Latiffi had a bit of a moment and went into a barrier. What this incident allowed for, was a safety car. Max swung into the pits to change and get a fresh set of Soft tyres on.
He joined the convoy with 4 backmarkers between him and Hamilton in P1. And this is where the controversy of the FiA and it’s inconsistent decisions kicked off. While Massi initially said backmarkers would not be allowed to unlap themselves. He then within a few seconds flipped the decision back and allowed them to unlap.
This allowed for Verstappen and Hamilton to now be neck and neck as soon as the safety car would disappear.
But it is Lap 57/58. Was there enough time to make a move?
Turn 5 of Lap 58 and Verstappen after a risky lunge took back P1 and did not look back after that! Turn 6 & 9 saw Hamilton attack back and try to take the lead as well. But in the end it was the RedBull car which finished the race in P1!
Max Verstappen took his first world championship and denied Hamilton his eight title!
Also in this final race we saw World Champion Kimi Raikkonen retire from the race and Formula 1. His teammate Antonio Giovinazzi has also left the sport and will now re-appear in Formula E.
The Tifosi were also looking strong with Carlos Sainz finishing on the podium in P3. Le Clerc managed to save his ruined race and finished in P10 claiming a single point. Ferrari overall finished 3rd in the constructors championship.
While RedBull was in the limelight thanks to Max. Sister team Alpha Tauri wasn’t far behind either, with Tsunoda and Gasly finishing 4th and 5th respectively.
This season had us on our toes with each battle unfolding week after week. But this last race had us tuned up to our MAX emotions!
See you in 2022 F1!