In what was one of many
most intently fought System One World Championships for the drivers’ title, 24-year-old
Max Verstappen from the Netherlands grew to become the game’s newest champion in a panoramic season finale on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. The Dutchman driving for Pink Bull Racing achieved the feat by overtaking his title-rival, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, on the final lap of the final race of the yr in controversial circumstances. Going into the weekend, each drivers had precisely 369.5 factors, which means whoever completed forward would take the title, a state of affairs final seen in 1974. Ever since he made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2015, the youngest within the sport’s historical past, Verstappen has been tipped as a champion in ready. Extensively seen as a generational expertise, in his sixth yr within the sport, he lastly had a automobile that would compete in opposition to Hamilton who has gained the final 4 titles. This season, Verstappen was brutally according to 10 race wins and eight second-place finishes out of twenty-two races. In the meantime, Hamilton was going for a document eighth drivers’ title, a feat that might have put him forward of the nice Michael Schumacher. For the primary 54 laps, it appeared the British driver had the eighth title in his bag after beating pole-sitter Verstappen at first and controlling the race with nearly a 10-second lead.
4 laps from the tip, a crash for Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, introduced within the security automobile that nullified Hamilton’s lead. On the penultimate lap of a 58-lap race, officers from the game’s governing physique, Fédération Internationale de l’Vehicle (FIA), made two choices that labored to Verstappen’s benefit. Racing resumed for the final lap permitting Verstappen, now on Hamilton’s tail, to assault his rival and move him to seal the win. The Mercedes crew protested the classification of outcomes arguing proper procedures weren’t adopted earlier than the race was resumed on the final lap. However in a late-night determination, race stewards dismissed the crew’s protests, formally confirming the Dutchman’s first world title. Mercedes has lodged an intent to attraction the stewards’ determination and has three days to resolve whether or not it needs to take it to the FIA’s Worldwide Courtroom of Enchantment. The controversy has solid an extended shadow over what has been one of many closest seasons in current instances with each Verstappen and Hamilton evenly matched. The advert hoc method through which race officers performed the ultimate moments of the race has left a bitter observe, with the ultimate outcome being determined behind closed doorways and nonetheless topic to vary. The governing physique desperately wants to handle these inconsistencies earlier than the following yr lest it loses the belief of followers as a good arbiter.