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Going Dutch: World reacts to Max Verstappen’s 1st F1 title victory

Hamilton was five laps away from passing Michael Schumacher in the record books with an eighth championship Sunday until a crash gave Verstappen and Red Bull one final chance.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: December 12, 2021 9:56:38 pm
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands kneels next to his car after he became the world champion after winning the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

After Max Verstappen snatched the world championship away from Lewis Hamilton with a pass on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP in one of the most dramatic dramatic finishes possible, the world stood still for a while before erupting.

A plethora of reactions poured in from all around social media congratulating the new champion.

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar said, “What a race! Congrats to Max for becoming the World Champion for the 1st time & there will be many more. However, my heart goes out to Lewis. What a season he’s had too. If not for the safety car, the trophy would’ve been his. Sheer bad luck. All the best for the next season.”

India ODI and T20 Captain Rohit Sharma quipped in with a cricket analogy as he tweeted, “1 ball 6 required and guess what, Max Verstappen hits it. Unbelievable win #AbuDhabiGP #F1TitleChampionship”

Verstappen’s fellow Dutch national, football legend Robin Van Persie tweeted, “What an incredible ending of a Formule 1 season to remember forever! Two fantastic teams going all in for the win but there can only be one winner. A true champion replaced by another true champion. Congrats to @Max33Verstappen. You made us proud.”

Brazilian racing driver Lucas di Grassi tweeted out, “Personally it makes no difference who wins in F1. I just want to see a great show pushing the right technology forward. This year it was a great fight between Lewis and Max and motorsport won. Congrats to all @fia @F1”

Hamilton was five laps away from passing Michael Schumacher in the record books with an eighth championship Sunday until a crash gave Verstappen and Red Bull one final chance.

Whatever Hamilton said over his radio when Nicholas Latifi crashed to bring out the safety car was only played as one long beep to cover the expletives.

F1 race director Michael Masi took his time figuring out how to conclude the race before controversially settling on one final lap of racing to decide the title. Verstappen started the final lap just behind Hamilton, chasing him through the first four turns.

Verstappen made his pass in the fifth turn and Hamilton had one last shot. He pulled his Mercedes even with the Red Bull but couldn’t clear Verstappen, who surged ahead to become the first Dutch world champion.

Verstappen and Red Bull celebrated in a champagne soak, received hugs from his fellow competitors — including Hamilton and Hamilton’s father — and made his way to the DJ stand at Yas Marina Circuit and jumped wildly up and down to the music.

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