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Max Verstappen wins maiden F1 world title after dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ending

December 12, 2021

(CNN) — Max Verstappen clinched his first Formula One World Championship after beating Lewis Hamilton in a controversial season finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

This season had been heralded as one of the greatest in the sport’s history and the title race went down to the very last lap.

Hamilton had all but won his record-breaking eighth world title until Williams Racing driver Nicholas Latifi crashed into the barriers with four laps remaining, resulting in the safety car being called out.

It meant the race restarted on the final lap, with Verstappen allowed to start almost side-by-side with Hamilton, despite the Brit having established a healthy lead.

The Dutchman, on new tires, had the pace to overtake his rival and win one of the most dramatic races ever in F1.

The victory meant Verstappen prevented Hamilton from claiming an eighth world title, which would have seen him surpass the record he shares with racing legend Michael Schumacher.

“It’s insane. I don’t know what to say. I’m so pleased for the team and for all these guys. I love working with them so much,” Verstappen said after the race.

“Finally, today, I had a bit of luck. My team know I love them and I want to do this with them for the next 10 or 15 years!”

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