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Max Verstappen wins world championship after last-lap drama in Abu Dhabi

Max Verstappen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Formula One world championship title for Red Bull after passing the Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton on the last lap in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Max Verstappen wins world championship after last-lap drama in Abu Dhabi

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Dec 2021 6:16 AM GMT

ABU DHABI: Max Verstappen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Formula One world championship title for Red Bull after passing the Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton on the last lap in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. He became the first Dutch driver to win the Drivers' Championship, ending Hamilton's dominant streak of seven consecutive titles.

Lewis Hamilton finished second as the race ended in a nail-biting one-lap sprint, which saw Valtteri Bottas finish sixth and Sergio Perez retired from the final race.

The Mercedes, however, clinched a record eighth consecutive constructors' championship.

"Oh my God!" Verstappen screamed over his radio. "You are the world champion! The world champion!" screamed back Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

"Let's do this for another 10 or 15 years!" Verstappen replied.

Hamilton jumped ahead Verstappen at the start, while the Dutchman came back in Turn 6, nudging him wide and over the run-off, but the Mercedes driver continued in the lead. Stewards decided not to investigate.

The pit window opened when Verstappen came in on Lap 13, Hamilton a lap later, leaving Sergio Perez in the lead with the mission to hold off Hamilton.

Perez did exactly that, on Laps 20 to 21 -- being dubbed a "legend" by his team-mate as he let him past to continue the chase, before pitting on Lap 22. The podium looked certain until he retired on Lap 56 under a Safety Car, which was brought out for a Nicholas Latifi crash.

Red Bull won its first F1 title since 2013; Mercedes had won every championship since. IANS

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