With all set and done, Max Verstappen is the cleared 2021 world champion after triumphing over Lewis Hamilton in the season finale at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. However, it turns out that a key moment between the pair was completely missed by the cameras. F1 journalist Tom Clarkson, who poses the questions in the driver press conferences over race weekends has shared an amusing anecdote from the pre-race media session attended by the championship rivals.
“There was a funny moment on the weekend where, prior to having Max and Lewis together on Thursday, there was a big discussion about do we go for the cheesy handshake shot,” Tom Clarkson told the F1 Nation podcast as quoted by RacingNews365.com. “Which I think you [Damon Hill] and [Michael] Schumacher did a few times, didn’t you? So it’s, are we going to go for the cheesy handshake shot because that’s what all the newspapers will want?”
What was opinionated by Tom Clarkson?
Clarkson added, “Anyway, Max arrives early, sits down, and we’re just having a chat. About three minutes later, Lewis walks in, walks straight over, fist bumps him and goes, ‘How you doing, man?’ and they have a bit of a chat. I thought, brilliant. That is the shot. I don’t need to worry about this cheesy handshake thing anymore. And we had a Netflix camera in there. We had the two cameras that we have in the press conference room anyway. There was even a photographer in there as well.”
“So the press conference happens and they have a good natter,” Tom Clarkson explained. “And then at the end, I said to the Netflix guy, ‘Ah, you must have enjoyed the fist bump’. And he goes, ‘Oh, I missed it, mate, I missed it’. I said, ‘You missed it?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I was focusing on Lewis. and by the time I’d seen what was happening, I’d missed it’. ‘Oh, okay’.
“So, I then turn to the camera guy for FOM. And I said, ‘Did you get it?’ And he said, ‘No, mate, we still had the slate up’, prior to the start of the press conference. I then went to the photographer, ‘Did you get it?’ And he went, ‘Er, no, mate, sorry, I didn’t get it. I had the wrong lens on’.“