Formula 1: Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s final lap battle at Abu Dhabi for the title will never be topped


Aaaaand breathe.... if you can.

F1 2021 has been the ultimate season in the sport's history and, suitably, predictably even, it came down to the very last lap of the very last race of the year.

After 57 laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the F1 Drivers' world title was totally and utterly up for grabs, with Lewis Hamilton so cruelly denied from his record-breaking eighth crown by a late Safety Car and the ultimate one-lap sprint for the title, which Max Verstappen benefitted from hugely.

Verstappen, after pitting during the Safety Car period caused by Nicholas Latifi's late crash in his Williams, just needed one chance to attack Hamilton as the tyres he was now on were night and day in terms of freshness.

And, with one racing lap left after the Safety Car came in and the lapped cars got out of the way, he had that chance, surging into turn five to take the lead in the race and the championship once more off of the Briton, before keeping it in the battle down to turn nine.

Don't let us describe it for you, though, let the pictures do the talking! (Courtesy of Sky Sports F1.)

Hamilton had been leading from the very get-go after jumping Verstappen at the start and surviving an early battle into turn six, managing to scamper off into a decent enough lead, seemingly having the pace in his Mercedes to cover whatever Red Bull threw at him.

Indeed, it looked as though we were all set for Lewis to win a record eighth world title and break Michael Schumacher's record but, sometimes, the racing gods simply just intervene.

Latifi, after a battle with Mick Schumacher of all drivers, found himself without grip and into the wall, throwing one last set of dice in this most famous, iconic and sensational of seasons.


The debate will continue, of course, as to whether the lapped cars should have been let go with one lap left and Mercedes are protesting the result, so it appears we're not finished just yet in terms of this controversial campaign.

For now, though, it was Red Bull's day in the end and Verstappen's season after what was quite possibly the most dramatic end to a Grand Prix we've ever seen.



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