Verstappen wins 2021 F1 world championship
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Max Verstappen’s dad, Jos Verstappen, admitted that he walked away from the race after fearing the championship was out of his hands. Things weren’t going Verstappen’s way in the race after losing the lead at the very first corner.
Verstappen tried to re-take the lead into Turn 7 on the opening lap, forcing Hamilton wide and off the track.
But the FIA sided with Mercedes at the time for Hamilton to keep his place at the front of the pack.
And Hamilton soon started to pull away from Verstappen in the race with Mercedes clearly the quicker car.
Red Bull were left hoping for a “miracle”, as Christian Horner put it after the first set of pit stops.
They were given a small chance when Antonio Giovinazzi was forced to pull over on the side of the track, giving Verstappen a free stop to put on some fresh tyres.
Mercedes were unable to do the same, with Hamilton concerned on team radio.
But the British racing superstar was still maintaining good pace and looked to have the title sewn up heading into the final 10 laps.
Disaster then struck when Nicholas Latifi crashed out in the final few laps, leading to a safety car.
Red Bull acted quickly to bring Verstappen in for soft tyres, while Hamilton stayed out on his old hards.
The FIA then changed their decision heading into the last lap with the safety car coming in for the lapped cars to be let through, leading to a straight battle with Hamilton and Verstappen.
Both drivers did everything, but Verstappen had the tyre advantage and made it work in his favour before crossing the line for his first world championship.
Emotions were running high at the chequered flag with the Red Bull sidewall in tears.
Jos Verstappen was spotted being mobbed by friends and family before having a heart-to-heart with his son when the 24-year-old came out of his car.
But Jos admitted after his son’s dramatic title win that he was unable to watch midway through the race as it looked as though Hamilton would seal his eighth championship.
“During the race I walked away because I didn’t believe it anymore but I came back for the last lap,” he said.
“I think Max was the driver this year and he really deserved this championship.
“I think the whole team was worried because we know they’re speed.
“But he kept fighting. He will always fight.
“That’s in his DNA I guess and that’s what he did today.
“He said to me, ‘every lap I was flat out’ and he was driving to the maximum.
“Then he had one chance, one lap.”
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