What a race it was! Who would have guessed that Formula 1 2021 would go down the wire, with the winner being decided in the last lap of the last race.

Mercedes protest dismissed and Verstappen remains 2021 F1 World Champion -  Total Motorsport
Max Verstappen – Formula 1 World Champion, 2021; Total Motorsport

Let’s get some things in perspective. Mercedes was a “straight line demon”. Red Bull, let alone the rest of the competitors (yes, there were more than two drivers in Formula 1 this season; for some of you who were wondering) could not match this.

Lewis Hamilton’s experience kept the championship title chase – his eighth; alive. He filled in the gaps at the corners and other places. One could immediately tell that Lewis’ talent shone in these areas.

While Lewis had 7 world titles under his belt; he was under tremendous pressure to up the ante and take the title again to notch it up to “8” and become the supremo of Formula 1 World champions. He had to prove to his team and fans. He could have retired at 7 World Champion titles. But he decided to gamble with a “double or nothing” and go for the 8th, which seemed to have proved elusive to him from almost the very beginning of the season. But he is an athlete and racing on the track is in his blood. There seemed to have been more racing off the track with Mercedes throwing their whole financial might behind Lewis.

Red Bull was a team of strategists. They displayed their brilliant “chess” moves, always a couple of moves ahead of Mercedes, and every other team that cared to challenge it. Max Verstappen had to rely on car setup and this team strategy.

Max, was a rookie at actually chasing after the World Championship; not just winning a couple of races here and there. This is not to belittle individual races nor the rest of the drivers on the grid. All these drivers on the grid represent the “crème of the crop” of world drivers. They are at the pinnacle of formula 1. But there is only 1 champion each year.

Max had almost no pressure whatsoever – just to enjoy racing, go for the world championship when it became evident he was in the real running for it.

The season showed that Red Bull had the edge overall. Their pit calls were most times, brilliant maneuvers.

Both drivers went into Abu Dhabi with equal points. Max was one race win ahead of Lewis. This meant that Lewis had to win outright on points to take the championship.

Lewis overtook Max who was on pole at the start of the race. He was ahead in many parts of the race. Max soaking in all the fun, was still in the hunt.

Williams driver, Nicholas Latifi, crashed into the wall; six laps from the finish, bringing out the safety car.

Racing director, Masi; announced that it would be a final lap shootout; without the lapped back-markers in the way. Here is when the so-called controversies started.

No where, did it seem to suggest that Mercedes at this point; made any objection to that decision made by Masi. Why? Was it because Lewis was ahead already before the slingshot lap started? During the final lap shootout, did they announce, shout, scream any form of protest while Lewis was in the lead, or even right to the chequered flag?

The last lap was a slingshot for both Max and Lewis. All gloves were off. It was a driver vs driver race. Both were excellent in the last lap. The better driver won. That is a fact!

Why make not one, but two protests after the race was over?

Again, protests should have been made when the lap shootout was announced. Now, it seems some crying over spilt milk and being a spoilt sport is being worn on the sleeves of the Mercedes team.

I would have rather the announcement made by them, “We will come back stronger with Lewis next season!”

Now, all praise, joy, shouts of happiness – the limelight is on Max Verstrappen – Formula 1 2021 World Champion. Congratulations! Max! 🏆🏆👏👏

Max Verstappen's Formula One world title in numbers
Red Bull
Picture by the talented David Tremayne: Honda’s F1 rebirth, December 12, 2021; Augustman


We have removed the video showing the last lap shootout because it was blocked due to copyright issues. We gave mention that the video was from TRL Limitless. So, we think they may have breached the copyright issue. We respect the ownership of that footage. If you would like to view that last lap footage; go to YouTube “Verstappen Wins Title With Final Lap Overtake! | 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”, Formula 1.

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