Max Verstappen has revealed that he had cramp on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and that he had to battle through the pain of that as he sought to win the world championship.
Formula 1 2021 finished in mega style with a controversial last-lap shootout between title rivals Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, with the Dutchman emerging victorious thanks to the superior grip he had on tyres he had just fitted during the now infamous Safety Car period.
Indeed, it looked perfectly set up for him to take his maiden crown on the final lap and that is what he did, though he certainly had it tough with him battling cramp in his throttle pedal leg:
“I thought I didn’t have the force to push anymore,” Verstappen said to F1’s Will Buxton in an interview earlier this week.
“I had cramp in my right leg, but this was the final lap and I had to bite down and get through the pain.”
It’s easy to forget that the drivers had been pounding around for 50-odd laps before this final battle and there can be no doubt that they would have been feeling dehydrated and tired, especially with all the nervous energy that would have sapped away at them given what was at stake too.
All the drivers are supreme athletes, though, and when you’ve got something like the world championship on the line, you simply have to find a way through the pain barrier – as Max evidently did.