The 2021 Formula 1 season has been an intense one overall to say the least, as the Lewis Hamilton vs. Max Verstappen rivalry boiled down to the very last race. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in itself was the grand culmination of the year long season, and of course it ended in its bit of controversy.
As the yellow flag caused by Nicholas Latifi’s crash was lifted for the very last lap of the race, strategy became key. Yet, some confusion caused at the end about lapped cars unlapping themselves meant that Verstappen on the fresh softs would easily overtake Hamilton to win the Championship in dramatic fashion.
The decision taken by FIA Director Michael Masi was a controversial one, with several arguments being raised for and against the decision. While Mercedes did raise two complaints, both were promptly rejected as they decided to take no further action this year. As Verstappen was confirmed to be the 2021 World Champion, he had no intention of fighting the appeal if Mercedes had launched one.
“I am World Champion, I don’t even think about it that much”: Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen told racingnews365 that he was fine, and he did not think about it much at all. “We won it on track, we won it when there was a green flag, green light, and we passed them on track. They will never be able to take that away from me anyway, but also about the possible appeal or whatever, I’m not busy with that,” said the Dutch driver.
Mercedes announced after the closing race of the Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi that it is considering appealing the stewards’ decisions. Asking his thoughts on the situation, Verstappen said, “I am not concerned with that. You have to be able to accept defeat, no matter how much it hurts.”
Max Verstappen received the World Driver Championship cup in Paris on Thursday evening, officially closing the 2021 Formula 1 season. The teams now look to 2022, where the fight for the title will intensify even more with new regulations being put into place.