Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2021

Verstappen clinches the 2021 drivers’ championship with last-lap pass

2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has taken the 2021 world drivers’ championship, becoming the 34th Formula 1 world champion.

The Red Bull driver passed Lewis Hamilton to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the last lap of the race after a last-lap restart.

Verstappen is the fourth-youngest ever F1 champion, at 24 years, two months and twelve days. He sits in age behind Sebastian Vettel,, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

The championship was won at the heavily reprofiled Yas Marina circuit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the 22nd and final race in the 2021 F1 calendar. Verstappen had fought a close battle for the title with Hamilton throughout the season, coming into the last race weekend on exactly equal points for 369.5 each.

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List of Formula 1 drivers’ champions as of 2021

1Michael Schumacher71994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
1Lewis Hamilton72008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
3Juan Manuel Fangio51951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957
4Alain Prost41985, 1986, 1989, 1993
4Sebastian Vettel42010, 2011, 2012, 2013
6Jack Brabham31959, 1960, 1966
6Jackie Stewart31969, 1971, 1973
6Niki Lauda31975, 1977, 1984
6Nelson Piquet31981, 1983, 1987
6Ayrton Senna31988, 1990, 1991
11Alberto Ascari21952, 1953
11Jim Clark21963, 1965
11Graham Hill21962, 1968
11Emerson Fittipaldi21972, 1974
11Mika Hakkinen21998, 1999
11Fernando Alonso22005, 2006
17Giuseppe Farina11950
17Mike Hawthorn11958
17Phil Hill11961
17John Surtees11964
17Denny Hulme11967
17Jochen Rindt11970
17James Hunt11976
17Mario Andretti11978
17Jody Scheckter11979
17Alan Jones11980
17Keke Rosberg11982
17Nigel Mansell11992
17Damon Hill11996
17Jacques Villeneuve11997
17Kimi Raikkonen12007
17Jenson Button12009
17Nico Rosberg12016
17Max Verstappen12021

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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266 comments on “Verstappen clinches the 2021 drivers’ championship with last-lap pass”

  1. Hmmmmmmm….curious.


  3. Well… that’s good for the clicks on the site I guess

  4. Great champion. Well deserved!

    1. Max has stated that he was only interested in winning the championship once perhaps he’ll do racing a favour now and retire.

      1. No no he will take Number 1️⃣

  5. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    12th December 2021, 14:37

    All the RB conspiracy claims now sound rather hollow don’t they??

  6. That was so intense. TILL THE LAST LAP

  7. Congratulations Max Verstappen, in the end a worthy champion, whatever the racing style and luck (Lewis had his share too).

    1. Being worthy and winning worthy is different mate. Masi is absolutely disgusting, first saying no lap cars pass, then just before the end of lap, only cars in front of max to be allowed, if this is not race/match fixing I don’t know what is. Unbelievable rules are 100% abused. They either apply full or not at all but he did apply to benefit one person only. This can’t be acceptable.

    2. @david-br
      Have to salute your sportsmanship in this bitter polarized hooliganism environment. Being a Ferrari fan I know how it feels when your favourite driver loses the title in the last race. Hard luck to Lewis, he has won like no one else in the sport and certainly there will be some more wins to come for him.

      1. Thanks @tifoso1989 I guess we both have 2022 to look forward to now! However disappointed I am, it’s been a great year of racing for Formula 1.

        1. @david-br
          Absolutely ! Hope I’ll watch a race or even have a coffee with you if I’ll visit Brazil again. Take care !

          1. @tifoso1989 You too, let me know if you’re in or near Rio!

          2. @david-br
            Don’t worry, I will ! Thank you.

      2. Yeah, I agree there with you @tofoso1989, @david-br, now looking forward to seeing Max run on the confidence of this win and Lewis fuelling off the defeat to grow even stronger.

        I also hope the FIA/stewarding up their standards a bit so that we have an easier time of understanding the rules and understanding the verdicts.

        1. @bascb
          They need first to deregulate the sport. I think they have created an overregulated sport that they can’t police anymore. They have implemented an algorithm with lots of conditions. I remember in Saudi Arabia RBR were complaining about a situation, I don’t remember which one -maybe Bottas slowing Verstappen in the pitlane- but the FIA told them that according to the regulation it’s fine.

          Even teams now don’t know the regulation which reflects on the status of the sport. The FIA need to issue general rules that must be enforced in every situation and not a complex algorithm. For example, if you push somebody off the track, that’s a slam dunk penalty every single day of the week, period. Instead the FIA are thinking too much whether it’s a championship winning race or Verstappen doing it to Hamilton or is it the first lap… They have to simplify the rules and enforce proper penalties if they are abused.

          Haters are going always to hate no matter how hard Hamilton is trying. I was never a Hamilton fan, far from it but I just can’t not appreciate his reaction after the race and his father too. Chapeau ! It’s not about losing or getting defeated. Muhammad Ali has 5 losses btw.

          It’s about how to bounce back from the defeat and how you conduct yourself in and off the track. Anthony has a lot to be proud off with regard to Lewis and Lewis can bounce back even stronger. I remember Alonso stepping into an unreal level of driving just after his title loss of 2010. Game on for 2022.

        2. Indeed @tifoso1989, the sport does have such a convoluted and inconsistent and thick rulebook that it seems hard for anyone to really be able to have a clear view of what is ok and what not.

          Wholly agree with you that Lewis, while he must have felt defeated (sitting in his car there to process it) he showed the world the sportsman he is by congratulating Verstappen with the championship and the win. I too fully expect Lewis to let this fuel him to grow into an even better racer, just like we have seen him do in the past.

    3. Agreed with your sportsmanship.
      Two great drivers and only one can win.

  8. petebaldwin (@)
    12th December 2021, 14:37

    All I have at the moment is “wow.” I’ve been repeating that word over and over for the last 5 minutes…..

    1. That felt so contrived.

  9. Incredible, what a race… Couldn’t make it up.

    1. Somebody actually did!

  10. Fair play to Max. Masi made a mess of managing the SC situation but ultimately it was right to let the lapped cars through.

    1. Not all of them though. Just the ones between Verstappen and Hamilton, I believe.

      1. Exactly. Complete bs.

        1. Someone posted regulations saying that the safety car must complete a lap after the lapped runners are allowed through. If that’s the case, there will be a challenge.

          1. @drmouse out of curiosity, I’ve looked into the regulations. Here’s the exact text:

            If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW
            OVERTAKE” has been sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system, any cars that
            have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety
            This will only apply to cars that were lapped at the time they crossed the Line at the end of the
            lap during which they crossed the first Safety Car line for the second time after the safety car
            was deployed.
            Having overtaken the cars on the lead lap and the safety car these cars should then proceed
            around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and make every effort to take up
            position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car. Whilst they are overtaking, and in
            order to ensure this may be carried out safely, the cars on the lead lap must always stay on the
            racing line unless deviating from it is unavoidable. Unless the clerk of the course considers the
            presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the
            safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.
            If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message
            “OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging

          2. “at the end of the following lap.”

            Oh dear, this isn’t the end of it I think.

          3. There are a few things in here that I think will get questioned. Next lap being the first, but also the message is supposed to go to all lapped cars and that the race will be restarted the lap after the last lapped car passes the leader, not, randomly let a few past that are in the way of what the director wants and then green light it.

        2. Masi’s patronising response to Toto on the radio has ensure this isn’t the end of this unfortunately @drmouse.

          1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
            12th December 2021, 15:03

            It’s Wolff. response or not, this isn’t the end of it

          2. @john-h
            I can’t blame him if he tries. Though the FIA guys and since the days of Balestre and especially Max Mosley and by their own rules they are very well protected if you try to legally fight them. Nothing will happen, as long as the FIA, the F1 management – Netflix too – are extremely happy with Verstappen ending Hamilton’s reign.

      2. Masi broke the rules

    2. Right? Normally it takes a lap to let lapped cars get around. How is this ok to let them go so early and immediately restart?
      How is it OK for Horner to chat to race control and convince them to change their opinion?

      1. How was it OK for Wolff to beg Masi not to put the safety car out?

        1. Both are wrong!

          1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
            12th December 2021, 14:53

            but only Horners got actioned…

        2. Both are wrong. When the Toto radio was played out i thought to myself that it should be a 1-way radio with only Masi able to talk to the team and only allow the team to talk to him when replying to his requests

          I know there are situations where the team may need to speak to him without prompt but it feels like there should be a different way

          Anyway, if Masi wanted to put a SC out then, i hope Toto’s radio message didn’t influence his decision. However, it feels like the Horner radio did change the mind of Masi as up until that point, it was no lapped cars to pass

      2. @hotbottoms Good point. Either you let all overtake which will have taken more than 1 lap or you don’t let any overtake and it ends behind safety car. But no, they had to bend the rules to get Max ahead.

      3. Bernadette Gill
        12th December 2021, 15:26

        Totally orchestrated.

    3. Whoa, only the cars between Lewis and Max were let through!

      Masi must resign.

    4. Yeah, the ones that would benefit Max. No others.

      That’s fair.

      1. Complete bs.

        1. How, Jim?

          How is it “bs” to allow only cars in between to overtake?

          Why were they only allowed a handful of corners to get down the road?

          Red Bull gambled on the fresh rubber, and we’re assisted by a dubious decision by a race director who hasn’t been able to control things right the way through the year.

          If you’re going to call my comments “bs”, at least be polite enough to issue a proper retort rather than just be rude.

          1. Jim, sorry – having seen your comments below, we agree.

            I should have labelled my post above /s.

        2. Losing is hard. Get used to it.

          1. Winning a rigged/fixed race has always been easy. So you are right in that sense, loosing like that is hard.

          2. Classy to the end erikje.
            Congrats to Max and all his great fans out there. You are not one of them.

  11. Just witnessed the biggest fix in world sport – how can FIA even begin to explain that ??!!

    1. Mr Jacob Fardell
      12th December 2021, 14:40

      Horner said ‘Michael we only need one racing lap.’ That’s exactly what he got.

    2. Agreed, maFIA is no longer just handing out free pit stops and races, but whole championships.
      These free pitstops and tyre changes, how can a crash of completely irrelevant guy change the outcome of a championship. This is a huge loss for F1

    3. Rigged BS.

      1. Yelitza Mutueel
        12th December 2021, 15:05

        Very disappointed. I didn’t think that their would bo space for corruption in F1 or FIA. NOT NICE!

    4. All of sport? Man, you don’t watch a lot of sport…

      1. Gershwin Mutueel
        12th December 2021, 15:12

        Wowwww I’m shocked……….I’m a Dutch citizen and I would like to see Max win…But not like this…..This was clearly a fixed situation………..shame on FIA……..I mean you cut out all of the build-up interval of Lewis, you removed the cars between them, you knew Max had fresh soft tires and Lewis had 30+ wear tires, you obstructed and fooled the team strategy……….I’m very disappointed in FIA…….THIS IS UNFAIR AND BIASED……..

    5. When Lewis was gifted the championship in lap one with the remarkable decision not to penalise Lewis that was my thought’s also.
      But karma succeeded.

      1. Please. Lewis drove the race of a champion today, and was costed it by a half witted race director.

        1. Jacob G Fardell
          12th December 2021, 15:25


    6. Merc chose not to pit, Hamilton was allowed to keep his position on lap 1, seems to me Merc lost and fans want someone to blame

      1. If Merc had pit, Max would have stayed out and Masi would have rigged let it finish under saftety car anyway. Pitting was not an option for Mercedes because Masi would have manipulated the win for Max even easier.

  12. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    12th December 2021, 14:38

    Finally a worthy champion, haven’t had one in years!

    1. Jenson, Kimi, Nico, Alonso

    2. The F1 gods decided to balance things up. Luck had been too one-sided

    3. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 14:55

      Focus on your champion sunshine… you get the win and still you attack the 7 x world champion. I can see where your motivations lie… clealry…

    4. Barry, the future of F1 fans. That is all.

    5. Oh Barry you were doing so well earlier. What happened?

  13. Masi gave Max the WDC. Going back on not letting lapped drivers through was wrong.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      12th December 2021, 14:44

      He should have let the trough from the get-go. Again Masi is being inconsistent

      1. Yeah but then there would not have been a racing lap @justarandomdutchguy.
        One thing, Masi needs the read the rules before next season. Congrats to Max though, I still don’t like the brake test but he won the world championship in that way so be it.

      2. If masi let all lapped drivers through from the get go there would have definitely been time. The five cars between hamilton and verst did it in one lap.

        @justarandomdutchguy @john-h

        1. You can’t do it from the get go. Anyone that has watched F1 for years knows that, they need to be together and when the track is live they let the lapped cars move at racing speed.

    2. I think it was obvious Masi gave it to HAM when he decided to let HAM in front after he went off-track and kept 1st position, obviously gaining a lasting advantage.

      1. Mark in Florida
        12th December 2021, 20:54

        (@mg1982) Lewis got his sketchy call on lap 1 and everyone that was a Lewis fan said oh that’s great alright, Max brake checked him again. Strangely enough he managed to stay within the track limits at all times. Lewis is world famous for this exact same move just ask Rossberg. But Masi in a way gave the call back in the end to Max. So how can people complain about it. In a year of shady rulings this is par for the course. Lewis got one, Max got one. He just made the most of his call. Congrats to him and RB. I’m still waiting for Ferrari to do something special so Leclerc can get a championship.

  14. I really don’t like how the rules and procedures seem to just be made up as they go along and depending on who has Masi’s ear at that moment.

    1. +1 we need a rule book

      1. We have one. That did not follow them. There is no provision for only allowing some cars through, and the safety car should come in the lap after.

        This was farcical.

  15. Today we saw the final confirmation Formula 1 is no longer a sport, but manufactured sports entertainment drama. The whole season was a farce with multiple controversies basically every race. What a joke it has become since Bernie sold it to Liberty.

    1. Sad to say that you are 100 percent correct. Liberty media has turned F1 into an actual circus. While I hated that Bernie made it hard to see the races at least he didn’t let the bs that Liberty has done regarding the rules.

      1. Bernadette Gill
        12th December 2021, 15:32

        Totally agree…it has turned into an Americanised circus.

    2. Mr Jacob Fardell
      12th December 2021, 15:01


    3. Fia/masi should be investigated for game fixing. They literally changed the odds of a massive gambling on the track and off the track.

      1. Swallow this and get a life.
        F1 got a well deserved winner and a bad whining loser team.

        1. Erikje, as always the most eloquent commenter on racefans.

    4. I am Dutch but this feels completely fixed. Surely masi must go. Given this was a race, why weren’t place 3 and 4 allow to race with a clear track without back markers? Why only 1 and 2?

  16. This is not a sport…

    1. Nope, its just a show.

    2. This is what came out my head too. May be difficult to watch more if this is how it’s going to continue.

    3. Motorsport =/= sports

  17. This has got to be the best season ever in f1. Better than brazil 2008

  18. This is a shameful end to a great season.

    1. No karma at last.
      And with a undisputed pass on Lewis.

  19. Disgraceful, you’ve just witnessed the death of a sport.

  20. petebaldwin (@)
    12th December 2021, 14:39

    I feel this site will be taken over by F1anon tonight…. Going to be some tears!

    1. Which F1anon?

    2. You can’t blame with the way it was allowed to finish… Ham was clearly miles ahead, they handed it to max in the last lap with sc shenanigans. The worst sc decisions that never been made

      1. Mercedes should have pitted Hamilton on the safety car deployment. I think he would be WDC if they had.

        1. But Max would have just done the opposite and stayed out. That would have given up track position to Max. I’m sure Merc’s decision was made on the back of race control initially saying lapped cars not allowed to overtake.

          So, as far as Merc were concerned there would not be a restart, or if there was, the 5 lapped cars between Ham and Max would allow Ham to get out of danger. No need to pit.

          Merc weren’t to know Masi would change his mind later.

  21. And this is why F1 is a joke… I’m not a Hamilton fan, actually I never liked his racing style, but this is a total steal. He is the champion of 2021 and was deserving it far more… It’s a farce not a sport…

  22. We’re not letting the back markers through. 2 seconds later. We are letting the back markers through and ending the safety car now. Rigged.

    1. If this was in USA, lawyers would be rubbing their hands hard to challenge for blatant game fixing…. MaFIA and MaSia go hand in hand

  23. Ridiculous….

  24. Terribly inconsistent race direction -par for the course this season I suppose-, but Mercedes left Lewis vulnerable twice by not putting under either VSC or SC and it showed.

    With the pace advantage Hamilton had, even if Max had stayed out during the VSC if Hamilton boxed, I imagine he could have gotten back past.

    1. Yeah absolutely. I can only think they wanted to avoid Lewis to overtake Max because he would have taken him out. It would have worked out had it not been for the safety car.

    2. Well Mercedes really had no option here. If they had pitted, lost track position and the Race would have never resumed, Max would have won aswell, as i am sure Red Bull would have always done the opposite of Mercedes. It was not a given that the race resumed with so few laps left.

      1. Mr Jacob Fardell
        12th December 2021, 15:33

        +1 Exactly! They doomed if they did, doomed if they didn’t! You have no chance when the people deciding the rules are actively deciding them against you. F1 lost today.

        1. I was expecting Ham to take his mediums as far as they would go. Wasn’t that the reason for starting on them? I think Merc shot themselves in the foot by pitting a lap after Max.

          When going long on any tyre, especially if you are leading due to this strategy, you are always susceptible to a late safety car.

          If Merc had maximised the life of their mediums, Ham might have had some tyres left to fight Max.

  25. Just sad how Masi was working on making sure Verstappen would win. Utterly undeserved.

    1. @f1osaurus HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA

      1. FYI laughing at how raging you are this hahahhahaaaaaaaaa

  26. We need set rules in stone next year not on the fly decision making. Both were worthy champions and are absolute titans but I feel like we’re going to lose Lewis after this.

    1. @canadianjosh rules set in stone and no two-way communication between FIA and teams. Only the FIA should be able to open a communication towards a team, and only to inform them of their decisions. Hopefully they’ll learn something from this, because the season already seemed quite farcical before today with all the communications from both Mercedes and Red Bull towards the FIA to “give their input”.

      1. Toto and Christian have played politics all year I should add so this is what you get as well as having a guy like Masi who wants to please everyone but anyways this is a season I’ll never forget. Absolutely amazing aside from the politics.

    2. @canadianjosh who won the WDC in 2015, after Lewis actually implied he was losing because other people were racist?

      1. Shut up man, I’m neither a Lewis or Max fan whatsoever….whatsoever. I am happy for Max and feel for Lewis but I feel like rules are made up as we go and are inconsistent

      2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
        12th December 2021, 14:56

        he didn’t, he speculated… but remeber the fans in Spain, all face painted up with signs saying The Hamilton Family? The evils of racism are alive and well. Sadly.

        1. @timeslides speculated? It was a veiled implication. And even if it was just “speculation”, isn’t that enough to bring someone down? My point, which is lost on TWO people (you included) is that Lewis in 2014 “felt” (not reality but feeling) absolutely targeted, that his own mechanics, he “speculated” wanted him to lose for his skin color.

          Then in 2015 he won. So my POINT was why would we lose Lewis “after this” when Lewis looks calm, sounds reasonable, and isn’t crying in a corner Bout how everyone hates him?

          1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
            12th December 2021, 15:13

            Nice essay. No need to shout. I hear your point. And I agree that Hamilton will not be going anywhere.

            When has he ever claimed that everyoneone hates him? Citations required.

          2. @timeslides During the year(s) that Nico gave him an actual challenge & did win the championship. I was in error, not 2014 but in 2015 and most especially 2016. Not sure I want to dig through every single article about Hamilton but eh..

            Here’s an ESPN collection of controversies, search for the Ali G joke from 2011 where he actually does say (in jest, one would say) “because I’m black”. But that was 2011, and he was never as specific about it after that, using words like, “for some reason, I don’t know”.

            Or the post-race interview in 2016 where Hamilton said that during that race he needed to, “…help, [himself], because nobody else was going to help [him].” (just before the 1 minute mark) Watch his face. This part wasn’t about racism, but about not feeling like the team was actually behind him. When asked about being given equal cars and Nico was just better on that occasion, Hamilton very clearly had an issue. Whether he felt he was a better driver or that he felt things were NOT equal can be speculated, but those who were intently watching that season should remember Lewis’ comments about, maybe, not being allowed to pass or why team orders favored Nico, or why he (Hamilton) couldn’t get off the grid as well as Nico came down to not being given the same car, etc.

            It’s really difficult to gather a collection of citations, but I hope that this one interview and the “joke” can at least prove that these were very possible scenarios. That’s all I can do for you at the moment without actually… researching. And I’m not in school :)

          3. Blaize Falconberger (@)
            12th December 2021, 16:11


          4. @timeslides look.

            He, sometimes, let one or two words slip over the course of the season. If you specifically have never felt the way he felt, or was treated the way he felt he was being treated, then congratulations for you. You also could never understand it.

            He definitely believed that people were out to get him. In the long run did he honestly believe that “everyone hated” him? No. Do you understand how difficult it is going to be to find something specific like that, for something he (likely) would’ve only felt even though he knew it was false? He definitely felt attacked much of the year, he definitely made veiled comments for much of the year. I’m sorry I can’t easily find the one comment in hundreds upon hundreds of single-line responses to how many publications over 8 months.

          5. Blaize Falconberger (@)
            12th December 2021, 16:21

            You said it, not me.

  27. This feels so sooooo unfair. Just heartbroken. They messed it up

    1. Come on. Letskeepog together. The world saw what happened. As fans of Lewis we should take his lead and show some class. Congratulations to Max. Arguments can wait for another day

      1. Thank you for this. I’m a Max fan but this season I gained so much respect for Lewis. He’s a true champion with class.

  28. Barry, honestly – I’m gutted. I wish I could respect the win. Enjoy your champion.

    1. Great pass, great defense, what’s wrong? ;)

      1. Cause it felt artificially created for a last lap shootout, they shown earlier in the year you either red flag or finish behind the safety car.

        Congrats to Max as you can only race with what’s thrown at you but this season has been a mess with consistency.

        1. @rob8k I do also think a red flag would have been better, but then we would probably have had a standing restart and had Max won, the same amount of whining.

        2. If it was red flagged though Ham would have had new softs AND track position.

    2. Why can’t you respect the win? Is it because you’re not actually a proper fan at all?

      With four laps to go, I genuinely believed Hamilton was going to win, and given the gap at that point, that was fair enough.
      However, it isn’t over until the finish line of the last lap

  29. Masi threw the race to Max. Simple as that.

  30. Congratulations To Max and ALL of his fans. EVEN you and erik Bazza. Enjoy

  31. Congratulations to Max Verstappen for winning the 2021 Formula 1 World Driver’s Championship!

  32. Long time F1 fan who never posts here – they need to sort out the race direction. In the end for me, either of these two were worthy champions, but this new process where we hear either Toto or Christian on the radio to Masi, and then a race direction decision change, is very unsporting. There needs to be a race director who isn’t instantly swayed by who he’s talking to in that exact moment.

  33. Well done to Max, but why were only some lapped cars allowed to overtake? Great result for Red Bull though, congrats. Would like to hear why all cars were not allowed to overtake, just the ones between Max and Lewis.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      12th December 2021, 14:47

      Because Masi backed himself in a corner

    2. I don’t want to hear why, I want to see the rules which allow it to happen. The regulations I have seen don’t.

  34. An embarrassing joke.

  35. What a disgrace. The last formula 1 race I will ever watch.F1 you just lost a fan of 16 years.FIA has made throws sport unwatchable.

  36. Congrats to max and his fans. but, the loser today is f1.

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 14:57

      Sadly, yes!

    2. Definitely

      1. I’m not so sure F1 has lost, if anything Drive to Survive will draw even more fans in after this whole deal but to the most hardcore fans like us on this site it leaves a weird taste in our mouths. Honestly this season has been the greatest I’ve ever watched but the stewarding has been the most inconsistent I’ve seen and sets a precedent for years to come.

  37. Nice rigged result from FIA / Masi

  38. Nice work by Masi again. I think I’m going to get some careers advice from him, because somehow, he still has a job.

    1. Lol go be boring and watch 2014 to 2020 then

      1. I’d rather watch a worthy winner, rather than rules be contorted to suit a result.

        And no, I’m not a Lewis fan.

  39. I literally cannot believe that a team can be so dumb. Mercedes didn’t make 2 pit stops when they had to. This last one – they take softs, and are behind Verstappen, they have a great chance to overtake and take the title. It’s so easy to take a decision, and they had the time. But no, “Let’s be dumb, let’s be like Ferrari in 2010”. Pathetic.

    1. I think thats a decision based on being up against Max and the fact Max has the advantage if neither finish. They wouldn’t want to concede track position and rely on Lewis getting past Max cleanly

      Whilst the overtake should be easy with the tyre delta, it’s never that easy with Max (which is a compliment when he doesn’t overstep the mark)

    2. This. Mercedes made the two exact pit calls that kept an inferior Red Bull in the fight.

      1. Yes even toto supported max.

    3. Entitled, full of fear & awful loser Tonto.

      Even Hamilton took it in the chin.

    4. And then the SC goes to the finish and they gifted away the win to Verstappen.

      Verstappen had literally nothing to lose so he could take that gamble for stopping under SC.

  40. Don’t get me wrong, I actually wanted Max to win over Lewis. But if the rationale for the end was to allow 1 racing lap, why didn’t they do what they did in Baku and red flag the race and resolve it that way? Sure Max probably would’ve won in that instance as well, but would’ve been less controversial I think.

    1. Actually no, saying that, it would’ve been fairer because Lewis would’ve changed to softs in the red flag period and it would’ve been a straight fight.

    2. The most controversial thing in this race was not penalizing HAM for the lap1 off-track excursion and the gained lasting advantage.

      1. @mg1982 Verstappen was the one who was about to be penalized for that dive-bomb ramming into Hamilton, but since Hamilton kept the place and dropped back to give away his advantage, they left it at that.

        Same as when in the USA, Alonso rammed Raikkonen off and still complained Raikkonen should give the place back.

      2. It’s called a divebomb and forcing your competitor off the track.

  41. MASI and Liberty just want to create hype and more clicks – so they need a new champion. They fixed the last two laps to give the championship to VER. A joke and a shameful day in F1 history.

    1. The circumstances were the same for Mercedes, they could have pitted but chose not to

  42. Lewis fans. Recognize Mercedes’ disastrous estrategy and stop searching for phantoms!!!!!

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      12th December 2021, 14:49

      Well if they want to blame inconsistent leadership from Masi, they aren’t entirely wrong, but neither are Verstappen’s fans

  43. That was a travesty! Lewis had no chance on that last lap. Why are only 5 cars allowed to unlap themselves right at the last minute. What a terrible way to end a season. Very unimpressed.

    1. Why are only 5 cars allowed to unlap themselves right at the last minute

      It has always been the case from a long time ago. Hamilton has had a very questionable call from Masi at the start of the race too.

      1. It’s never been the case that only some lapped cars are allowed to overtake. It’s either no lapped cars or all lapped cars

      2. No it’s not. It’s actually written in the rules, you know:
        “Unless the clerk of the course considers the
        presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the
        safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.”

        They actually managed to break there own rules.

    2. Lewis had no chance on that last lap.

      Agreed, better driver, better tires.
      Strategy cost Lewis the win. So toto…..

      1. You type sooo much rubbish. Max had pole and the better tyres and still managed to mess up the start, literally gifted Hamilton at the start.

        The customary desperate lunge on lap 1 was almost preordained and not only left no room, as per usual, runs Hamilton off track , again, this time he got what he deserved and no investigation.

        Then gifted an opportunity to win on the last lap by Racing director breaking their own rules.

        If there was any way to win a race this wasn’t it.

      2. Gracious in victory, Erikje as always.

  44. Mercedes shot themselves in the foot here, they can whinge about safety car protocol all they want but they knew they were exposing themselves to this situation when they didn’t take the cheap VSC pitstop.

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 15:15

      They have some whinging to do to catch up with Horner to be fair…

      1. And that’s saying something!!!

    2. Or the other one along with Verstappen. They were quite ahead.

      Played it “safe” and lose.

      Only themselves to blame.

  45. Max wins the title in his own style :) A legendary driver !

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      12th December 2021, 14:49

      Against the odds, but messy and scrappy along the way?

    2. True. I found his driving over the line this year @tifoso1989 but if he wants to win like that, then so be it. Congrats to him and I’m glad the season is over.

    3. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      12th December 2021, 14:58

      The pass or crash style lol… still, he won!

      1. People say senna is the goat but disagree with max style make up your minds.

        1. @f1fan-2000 Just knock it off. Verstappen takes dirty driving to a whole new level. Beyond what the likes of Maldonado and Ericsson displayed.

        2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
          12th December 2021, 16:14

          I never mentioned Senna? D’uh..

      2. 15 years watching – now I wonder if the rules matter at all.

  46. And now for the months of legal wrangling until we actually get a final result.

  47. Entertainment not sport.

    1. What’s the difference?

  48. What Emotions 🙃.
    What Swings….
    It does seem too good to be not scripted…
    There will be protests and bad blood over this.

    I really feel for hamilton… not like that man

    Its best for the sport though

  49. Max you are not the champion I won’t recognize that ever

    1. Hahahaha, lol.
      He defeated the greatest in great style.

      1. Getting absolutely dropped for dead throughout the race? That’s what you call ‘style’? Max was in the faster car and yet again has worse race pace.

      2. “the greatest” – and the one that follows the RULES.

    2. Hahaha who cares 😂 Over the season Max had rightfully deserved the WDC. But i feel for all 44 fans. Hamilton did deserved the win today. So much faster the everybody else. Just bad luck. Like Max had many times this season.

  50. Ahahah, I enjoyed it.

  51. You can’t deny it was an exciting race. However, the FIA screwed up as usual. First by not giving Hamilton a penalty for running off on the first lap and secondly by not letting lapped cars overtaking earlier as they always do. This just cause a mess of confusion and inconsistency where some cars went by while others didn’t at the last second.

    In any other race this season this would have been a red flag instead of a SC like Baku this year and Mugello last year for instance.

  52. Massive, massive joke.
    I started following F1 in 1974. My relation with F1 ended today.
    Congratulations to all involved for transforming the ultimate racing formula into a laughing stock.

    1. Still the best season since 2012

      1. Yes I agree, the silver wars in 2014,15 and 16 were gold as well in hindsight

  53. Max won his first in the last lap, Lewis won his in the last corner.
    Not sure if I like Max as a character over Lewis, but after years and years of Mercedes dominance it’s nice to have a breath of fresh air. Sure Lewis hasn’t lost any of his speed and he can do it again next year.

    1. *Lewis won his first.

    2. And Lewis won his first because someone pulled over and let him through, rather than fighting hard like tge entire season until that point.

      This is a fair bit of karma.

      1. And Lewis won his first because someone pulled over and let him through

        Wrong. Glock (and Trulli) didn’t make a stop and almost finished ahead of Hamilton, but then it started to rain.

        Please go back under your bridge.

        1. @f1osaurus Still a fact. Immediately following the race he admitted he didn’t want to be involved in the championship so he didn’t even try to race Lewis.

      2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
        12th December 2021, 16:15

        Now you’re starting to sound like a bit of a loon…

  54. lexusreliability?
    12th December 2021, 14:47

    I have been watching F1 for 30 odd years and never seen anything like this. Why allow only 5 cars to unlap themselves and restart the race straight away? There is nothing Hamilton could have done. But Merc were also asleep today in terms of strategy.

  55. It was terrible decision from Masi to go back on that terrible decision. Two negatives make a positive? Congratulations to Mercedes and Max Verstappen.

    1. + 1 I am sure Merc will officially object?

  56. This is the first time I see an obvious rigging of a sport in a live TV. Those backmarkers and SC decisions are very weird. It’s obviously done to help Max. Although I don’t support both Max or Lewis, but this isn’t right at all.

  57. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    12th December 2021, 14:48

    Gotta admit: classic from Hamilton and his dad to congratulate Jos and Max. As much as I’m a Verstappen-fan, I don’t think if Hamilton would’ve won they would’ve returned the favor.

    1. A kind word from @barryfromdownunder for Hamilton, what’s happening out there?! Congrats to Max. I don’t like his bully style racing but ultimately it’s won him the championship.

    2. @barryfromdownunder I think you’re right. Very graceful from Lewis & his father

  58. The season finale was crazy but FIA really bottled this championship.

    A really nice championship, with a crazy ending, but FIA with their organisation, definitely screwed the image of the championship…

  59. what a disgrace to sports…

  60. The German wall has finally been broken in the Hybrid era.

  61. It was a ridiculous decision from a sports perspective. Unfortunately I think it time that the fans who followed it for many years have to accept that it’s no longer a sport but an entertainment show.

    Max was brilliant this year and a worthy champion but it’s a shame it had to be won like that. I’m sure they’ll be a review, may be the end of Masi at least.

    Lewis showed so much class at the end in the interview, to lose in that way and still be humble, a true true champion

  62. Never seen anything like it. Good for Max, lucky today, but for sure a worthy champion on the balance of the season.

    I feel like on a day which is likely to be the most viewed race in a long time, it’s a shame race direction’s late-race title-deciding flip-flopping certainly won’t reflect well on the sport.

    Well, cheers to both the drivers for a thoroughly entertaining season. Sad to see it end!

  63. “We’ll see about next year”!! Interesting comment from Lewis

    Anyway, well done Max. Just about deserved

    1. Yeah could be the end @banbrorace. Let’s see. Not sure if he’ll want another entertainment show season like that.

  64. That was for celebrating a win after putting your opponent in the hospital.

  65. If he really wanted the race to end in proper racing with just last 5 laps.. red flag and restart from grid.

  66. Wow, utterly bananas end to a crazy season. I’m glad to be a fan of both drivers, it was always going to be win-win for me. If the controversy at the end shows anything is that the rules in general need to be tightened up and then adhered to no matter the situation or stakes at play. Fantastic season from both drivers, unfortunately questionable refereeing. Bring on the next season.

  67. Sincerely this race was the Best Movie in drama category, I’m really enjoy it. Please nominate for Golden Globe and Academy Award.

    1. I thought the screenplay lacked nuance, officials wouldn’t behave like that in a real sport.

    2. It cannot be nominated. Doesn’t fill the diversity quotas.

  68. Most hollow WDC ever in F1 history.
    Massi should be replaced.
    The debacle & totally BS of only allowing some lapped cars & not the rest is a disgrace.
    Mercedes should take this to legal challenge immediately.

  69. Utterly utterly utterly shameful, this is not sport.

  70. Congrats Barry, well done Max.

  71. It was crazy, some bad luck and immaturity on the side of Verstappen throughout the season. Imo not choosing the “motorway DRS overtake”, but an unsuccesful and maybe unnecessary harder effort, at the first race with the tyre and pace advantage almost cost it to him, just to mention a nowadays rarely mentioned event.
    Hamilton had a great, hard fought season, and showed that he is still amongst the very bests, what is very good given his age, based on it and for never giving up he would have been a deserving champion, but had some Massa-ish bad luck at the end. Based on this, my money is not on Russell against him for the next season (despite of likeing George as well). But hopefully we will see another great battle soon.

    Thanks for the great coverage and for the good season, happy celebrations season for everyone!

    1. On the other hand, if Baku was a red flag + a restart for 1 lap, then maybe it would have been more fair with a red flag + standing start for a few laps especially in hindsight. But given that F1 Grands Prix are fairly long races, a standing restart for 1-2 laps is a bit inconsistent with the genre as a whole. I think, as the lobby and the financial power of the competitors is strong versus the organizers, upcoming hard and strange decisions and happenings are hard to avoid.

  72. I never thought Formula1 as a sport can be fixed. There are just too many variables involved. I was wrong..

    1. Unsure how you “fix” mercedes choosing not to pit, and he was allowed to keep his position on lap 1, if they did try to fix anything then it didn’t work lol

  73. Once the euphoria of getting a new winner dies down, FIA should really rethink some of the safety car rules.

  74. The trouble is this championship will be forever tarnished. Michael Masi is a joke and should be fired immediately. This would never have happened in previous times.

    The reason I say this is, everyone would have known Lewis had no chance on the last lap. Masi’s statement is they wanted go racing. That was not even or fair racing.’ Laughable.

    Having said that Max did nothing wrong. He’s a great racer and would have been WDC one day whatever happened today.

    1. Aside from max and Lewis, Masi’s patronising comment to Toto was poor I thought. He’s the race director.

      1. But he was right. Its racing, not rulebook adventure.

        1. Wolff was right. Perez pulled some dirty moves “Brazilian style” because he knew Hamilton would not be able to force the matter.

          1. Naughty? Maybe.

            Dirty? Come on!

    2. @phil-f1-21 Lewis had every chance to pit before Max but Merc didn’t want it. Had Merc pitted it would have probably ended with Lewis on top.

      1. No sane team is going to risk ending up second.

        Remember, they were one lap away from a safety car ending, i.e. the incident taking another minute to clear up.

        1. @banbrorace that’s motor racing. They don’t know the future. They make strategy calls and they win or lose by those calls once in awhile.

          Today they lost.

          That should be the end of it.

  75. I’m a neutral. I didn’t care who won or who loses because I just enjoy the racing & I love the sport. I’d have been happy today regardless of who won the championship & both drivers were deserving champions.

    But for me the end of that race & the deciding factor in the championship was really unsatisfying & rather than coming away been super thrilled or whatever I just feel really deflated.

  76. I’m no rules expert so perhaps someone can explain. This is section 39.12 from the Sporting Regs:

    once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap

    Did this happen? It seemed to me like the safety car came in on the same lap as cars were allowed to pass.

  77. Far too controversial. The rules seem to change race by race. I’m confused to why they said no lapped cars to overtake and then they let only the ones between Hamilton and Verstappen go. I’ve stayed neutral this year but this felt rather fixed in my opinion.
    Hamilton seemed very professional in defeat.

  78. It was exciting but I don’t know If that was legal. max and Hamilton would both have been worthy winners. The main loser has been the officiating this season. Masi needs to go.

    1. Absolutely Masi is a joke. Totally inconsistent. Why was the decision to let some cars unlap themselves at the very last minute. Surely someone could do this job better?

  79. “No, Micheal No!”
    Sums up the season, nicely.

    1. Whines more than Horner .

  80. Masi has got to be the worst Race Director in the history of motorsport. Disgraceful, unworthy of his position.

    That said, Verstappen is a worthy champion. He was the better driver all year round.

    Hamilton upped his game admirably in the latter half of the championship, worthy drive of such Champion.

    Can’t help it to be upset the Season got spoiled in the very end.

    Congrats to Liberty, they’ve made it, their sHoW is now fulfilled.

    Yas Marina still stinks.

    1. Dismissal is coming for Michael Masi, even quicker than ever!

  81. @keithcollantine I think a poll to see how many Racefans members feel that Rules need to be more clear and consistent next season, and maybe a poll to Rate the Rules would be interesting.

  82. Wow, this was so intense. This boy is a living legend. Go Max! Thank you.

  83. As a big Hamilton fan, I’m fine with this.

    He’s driven four superb races and that’s all I could ask for.

    His bizarre Baku error, always looked likely to cost him – even back then

    Well done to Max and I’m pleased that aggressive overtaking is getting frowned upon. Since the Hamilton / Vettel Canada 2019 incident – they’ve been way too lenient, allowing Max to do what he wanted.

    1. Yes he was a beast these last four races and it was just this weird circumstance to stop him. But this is racing and winning four in a row even with a great car is really really hard. So many things can happen. Like today.

    2. Congratulations for being the only grown-up Hamilton fan around.


  84. I already made peace with the fact Lewis won, but then Latifi binned it and the crazy end happened.

    It was lucky but over a season the luck wasn’t one sided I think.

    The beste part was holding my son both crying of happiness.

    What a season this was.

  85. Wow Max, you deserve it mate, what a driver, both of them, what a season.

  86. The best season I’ve seen in 23 years of watching.

  87. Between the season long inconsistency with race control and stewarding, questionable driving standards, a huge portion of the fanbase showing their true colours (and complete ignorance) and that absolute clown show of a finale, I think this season has finished me.

    Off to a new sport! See ya!

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