Verstappen’s race and title-winning last-lap pass was a unique Formula 1 feat

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stats and facts

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As a significant question mark still hangs over the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the statistics for the season finale are, officially, provisional.

Assuming things stay as they are – and a change would be hugely controversial as it would almost certainly alter the outcome of the championship – here are the notable statistics from last weekend’s race.

With the 20th win of his career – putting him level with Mika Hakkinen – Max Verstappen became the 34th world champion in the history of Formula 1, and the first from the Netherlands. His championship win means Stirling Moss once again holds the record for winning the most races – 16 – without ever taking the title.

Verstappen took a vital pole position on Saturday, the 13th of his career, giving him as many as Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Jacky Ickx, Jacques Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Webber.

Button didn’t lead until the final lap in Canada 10 years ago
However he was beaten to turn one by Lewis Hamilton, who stayed ahead of him for the rest of the race until that decisive final lap. Verstappen only led one lap of the race – the final tour. The last time this happened was when Jenson Button won the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011, passing Sebastian Vettel on the final lap.

Of the 1,057 world championship races so far, it was only the 13th time a race was won by a driver who only led the final lap. Two of those occasions were also last-lap championship deciders. However in both of those the driver who lost the lead still won the title: Jack Brabham when he was passed by Bruce McLaren at the 1959 United States Grand Prix, and Villeneuve after Hakkinen and David Coulthard overtook him in the 1997 European Grand Prix.

Verstappen therefore became the first driver in F1 history to clinch the title with a last-lap pass for victory in a race he had not led up to that point.

The Red Bull driver also set the fastest lap of the race and now has a total of 16, putting him level with Daniel Ricciardo. It was his third hat-trick of win, pole and fastest lap, coming one week after Hamilton did the same in Jeddah.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2021
Sainz ended his season on the podium
Carlos Sainz Jnr registered his sixth podium finish which ensured he ended the year a career-best fifth in the championship, one better than he managed in the last two seasons. He also finished ahead of team mate Charles Leclerc, who dropped two places to seventh behind Sainz and Lando Norris at the final race.

While McLaren slipped one place to fourth in the constructors championship compared to last year, they do have one achievement to celebrate. They were the only team all season to achieve a one-two finish, when Ricciardo led Norris home at Monza.

There was no consolation for Haas at the end of a tough season, however, as they recorded their first ever point-less season.

At the opposite end of the points table Mercedes claimed the constructors championship for the eighth year in a row. But the manner in which Hamilton lost the drivers’ title rankles deeply with them, and it remains to be seen whether they will lodge an appeal which could theoretically force a change to the record, however unlikely that is.

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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131 comments on “Verstappen’s race and title-winning last-lap pass was a unique Formula 1 feat”

  1. Haas indeed had a pointless season, might as well have taken a year break if not for the loss of prize money!

  2. Wow, I can’t believe what I am reading on this site lately. Completely embarrassing.

    and a change would be hugely controversial as it would almost certainly alter the outcome of the championship

    How could they do that? What is the precedent? Please kindly enlighten us? They couldn’t nullify even the crashgate scandalous race and they are going to remove 1 lap from the race distance just to hand Hamilton the Championship?

    1. If they can hand it to Verstappen, they can hand it back.
      If they find rules have been broken and that the last lap should have been safety car, it’s very simple to change the result to match the order it should have been.

      1. Very simple, for all we know Hamilton could have crashed behind the safety car… again. You don’t play “pretend” in these cases or make leaps of logic.

        If the 305 km do not get completed which in the case of Abu Dhabi required even the last lap then unless special circumstances like more than 2 hours pass etc the race result gets annulled. Hamilton needs this race to win otherwise Max is the champion regardless of the race being result being legit.

        And ok… I get it. Hamilton fans are hurt. The ending sucked. But do we really need all the British media to keep being hamiltons-championship-funeral.com ?

        1. you dont need to complete 305 km, Spa wasnt even 1 km yet Mx got half points as the race was less than half distance… for over hafl its full points.. but even so either way LH was the right full none manipulated winner

          1. LH was the right full none manipulated winner

            they can hand it to Verstappen

            Many disgruntled commenters here forget that nothing was handed to Verstappen or taken away from Hamilton. Their racing, and eventual win by the former, was a proper (and amazingly clean) race for position over a full lap.
            The only thing that is in question (and rightly so) is: were the rules followed properly to have that single green racing lap at the end and in where should lapped cars have started that lap.

          2. Spa was suspended under article 50 and half points were awarded under article 6.5. Abu Dhabi was never suspended and the 305km were completed fully.

          3. @Mosin

            That only applies if the race is stopped before it’s 75% complete, but it was never stopped. There doesn’t seem to be a provision in the rules for retroactively deciding that the race was only partially completed.

            Furthermore, the issue remains that you would have to pick a moment to end the race retroactively at, where you determine the race result from.

            Anyway, it’s pretty interesting how rapidly the Lewis fans lost the high ground with how many of them proposed something that is way more against the rules than what actually happened.

        2. But do we really need all the British media to keep being hamiltons-championship-funeral.com ?

          LOL

        3. Huh? 305km do not get completed? Races before have been truncated under different instances such as red flags or the chequered flag falling too early. In this case of race manipulation they would simply cut back to the lap before the rules were broken and Lewis would be the race winner instead.

    2. I learned (overruling my ignorance) that they can award a 5s or 10s time penalty or even exclude him from the race.
      But the complicating part is that Masi wasn’t part of the race.

      It would be overly harsh though to penalise any driver (or even just give a fine) who was in a lapped car and did not overtake the leader when required to.

      Similarly, I don’t think they will penalise the safety car driver. He will easily defend himself that he received the proper 39.13 instruction.

      1. A 5s or 10s for who? Verstappen? He is completely innocent here and the protest is not against him.

        1. The whole comment (most of mine are) was full of sarcasm.
          Only Masi can be penalised (with 5s of 10s penalty), as it is his actions which are being protested.

          And only the non-unlapped cars were treated unfairly by his actions (and they missed the opportunity to protest).

          All the driver fans (not the F1 fans) are complaining about the actions/treatment of Verstappen and Hamilton, whereas neither of them did anything wrong, not were treated unfairly.
          Just for one the chips didn’t fall his way (like they did fall his way in Imola).

      2. Mercedes tried to get Verstappen penalised, but since everyone could see that was bogus it went nowhere fast. Their other complaint is against the FIA. Neither Verstappen nor Red Bull is a party in that case.

        So far, nobody has put forward a regulations-based “solution”. There is no ground for shortening the race, plus doing so would invalidate the race as it would mean the required distance wasn’t covered. No half points can’t be awarded as the race was never suspended. Cancelling Abu Dhabi would both leave Verstappen the WDC, which is what Mercedes is trying to overturn, and lead to a huge lawsuit from the event hosts.

        1. To be honest, I think they brought the point about Max overtaking before the line as a way to let the Masi save face. If they found Max had illegally overtaken under safety car conditions, Masi wouldn’t have to admit he’d royally screwed the pooch. However, I think that was always a stretch: While he did, technically, overtake under SC conditions, it was pure technicality and has happened quite often in the past.

          Masi making up new rules to the benefit of one, and only one, driver is certainly not a technicality.

        2. So far, nobody has put forward a regulations-based “solution”.

          Then you didn’t read my initial post on Monday.
          If Mercedes wants to protest the decision of Race Direction, then the only ‘solution’ is to nullify the whole race*.
          Any other decision will be unfair in one way or the other, and could not restate what could have happened (restart with 5 cars between them, Red Flag restart with 4 laps to go, even a SC to the end could’ve caused an accident for one or the other driver [Russell])

          * they could then cancel the race permanently, or try to run it (before Thursday’s price giving).

        3. Actually no rules were broken. Yes there are points in the regulations for safetycar procedure. But there is also a point that says the race director can direct the race how he sees fit, so basicly he can do whatever the F he wants. On top of that there is an incentive signed by ALL teams to let the race always finish under racing conditions whenever possible. And Masi saw this as the way to go to let the race finish under racing condition.
          Bottom line is Merc gambled on a conservative strategy as the almost always do, and it backfired.
          You can bitch and moan about it all you want but Max is the 2021 WDC, and no Merc protest is gonna change that

          1. Erm, where does it say that in the regulations? there is a section where it says the RD has primacy over the clerk when it comes to safety car. Please point us to the regulation that says “he can direct the race how he sees fit”.

            Clue – there isn’t one. There is no regulation that says the RD can ignore the other rules. Please provide the clause number to back up your claim.

    3. I agree it’s unlikely to be overturned and indeed a race result has never been overturned in that manner before, however I’ve also never seen a race director ignore the regs to manufacture a last lap sprint before, so you could argue we are in an era of firsts.

      1. Read my comment above, Masi didn’t ignore regs

    4. @cobray What exactly did this site do wrong? A potential/unlikely appeal is in the works so the site has merely reported the possibility. Since when is reporting the facts an embarrassment.

      1. @cairnsfella The authors are writing about stuff like its “common sense” when as far as we know, it never happened before!

        1. @cobray If that’s the way you read it then I obviously cant argue with you, but I don’t read it that way at all. In fact stating that it would be “hugely controversial” seems to state the opposite of “common sense”.

        2. As @cairnsfella mentions, the fact it has never happended before, and that we are talking about an appeal of the FIA following or not following its own rules, not about a judgement over a penalty is exactly what would make any decision resulting in changing the championship hugely controversial, as the article rightly does.

          Will it happen? Hard to tell, since we don’t know whether Mercedes will push through with the appeal nor do we know how that would pan out in the end. Nor do we know whether even if the judgement is that the FIA acted wrongly we do not know whether it will actually change the championship standings as a result of any ruling.

          But it sure is controversial

    5. Brazil 2003. Raikkonen crossed the finish line first and was declared the winner.
      Afterwards, it transpired that the winner should have been declared based on the order one lap beforehand.
      Fisico was declared the winner.
      At the moment, it ddid not seem to matter much, as iit was expected that Ferrari would squash the competition once their new car was rolled out. However, Raikkonen ended up one point shy of Schumacher, making this decision in retrospect a title decider as well.

      There are huge differences between then and now as well though.
      1) The reversal did not officially make a WDC change hands
      2) There was little controveersion back then that the reversal was the right thing to do.

      I am not saying they should nullify the last lap (ap. I am just pointing out that there is a precedent.

      1. It’s not the same. That race had an official investigation going on since the red flag caught most people in the pits. They first eyeballed the winner as it being Raikkonen then confirmed with timings it was Fisichella.

        1. @cobray the things is, people are looking for anything which could give a hint of how this plays out, because AFAIK no race official in the history of the sport has purposely ignored the procedures written in the rules which he has been following for years and made up something brand new on the spot which significantly favours a single driver. We are in completely uncharted waters, there is no precedent for how this will be handled, so we must try to find things which hold a passing resemblance if we are to try to figure this out.

      2. No, this situation can’t be compared to Brasil 2003, there was a red flag there. There was no shortening a green flag race by one lap, just confusion with who was where on the track when red flag came up. I don’t see how Mecedes can argue Lewis was in front of Max at the chequered flag.

        1. And I can’t see how Sainz can argue that a pink elephant was holding his car back, but neither your nor my assertion matters as nobody is claiming either.

      3. I think if the Brazil race had ended on lap 53 (the last complete lap led by Raikkonen) it would have been a half-points race anyway, as you’d need to have run 54 of the 71 laps to complete 75% distance. Raikkonen would have scored 5 points rather than 8, and Schumacher would have wrapped up the title before the final race.

      4. They can also say the race in Abu Dabhi was invalid. Therefore, the race results are disregarded. Mercedes will have successfully won their appeal and VER will still be WDC. Still means that Wolff is doing a lot of brand damage to Mercedes and acting like a toddler. Mind you, Perez was on old tires too when he had to defend against Hamilton. So why didn’t HAM defend VER in that corner? (See also Palmers analysis)

    6. Crashgate was uncovered long after the season was closed, the trophies handed out and what is more, it happened quite a while before the end of the season @cobray.

      They certainly will not change a season’s outcome retrospectively over a year later. In this case the result of the final race is still provisionally, with a possible appeal pending, which also means the championship is not yet done and dusted until either Mercedes decides not to go ahead with an appeal or if they do, until after that one is settled (I guess – it would probably technically depend on the FIA suspending the process that is supposed to certify the results based on an open appeals process.)

    7. What part of “as it would almost” don’t you understand?

      The articles are nowhere as embarrassing as stupid comments like yours.

    8. Agree, in football even if a penalty is wrong or what ever FIFA/UEFA never change the result.
      Here it is the same, Mercedes and others might think the “judge” Masi and the stewards did something wrong but the results should not be changed. Safety car is always some kind of lotto.

  3. I have a good one! Hamilton is the first driver ever that enters the final race of the season with a mathematical chance of winning the title and loses out a record 3 times in the same venue! That venue of course is the Yas Marina circuit and lost in 2010, 2016 and 2021. For reference Alonso lost it 2 times in Interlagos and 1 in Abu Dhabi. Schumacher has lost 3 too buyt on 3 different circuits, Jerez 1997, suzuka 1998 and interlagos 2006.
    Also if you add Interlagos 2007 Hamilton lost 4 title showdowns which is also a record.

  4. Masterclass in never giving up!

    1. Hamiltons comeback over the last 4 races? Yes it was. And, even as a non fan of his, the fact he led the race, comfortably, all the way to the point when the FIA simply made up a procedure to provide a fake grandstand finish means the championship is morally his.

      I still can’t quite believe what I saw when I watched the highlights.

      1. @sham

        And, even as a non fan of his, the fact he led the race, comfortably, all the way to the point when the FIA simply made up a procedure to provide a fake grandstand finish means the championship is morally his.

        Not necessarily. A 1-lap “sprint race” with a rolling start in which all cars were allowed to unlap themselves (thus completely by the book) would have been possible if Masi hadn’t wavered for a while.

        1. @rodewulf
          I too, wondered why race control dallied for several laps before changing their minds.

          Could be that lapped cars can not be sent around until the track is clear and workers/equipment are out of the way?

          Just send them around under a yellow.

          If it is safe for cars to drive past the incident while only under yellow flags, why is the pace car out at all?

          The purpose of the pace car is not so much to slow the cars, but to gather up the field.
          This gives corner workers and equipment larger blocks of time to go about their cleanup, without having to keep one eye on the track the entire time.

          …Only explanation I can come up with for delaying unlapping cars.

          1. @clayt

            Could be that lapped cars can not be sent around until the track is clear and workers/equipment are out of the way?

            All cars were bunched together, so it was completely feasible to let them all unlap themselves if done without that inital hesitation and the inevitable dilemma that it brought which has been costing Masi dearly given how many “fans” are behaving about it.

  5. Unique does not mean good. Uniqueness is not necessarily something to be celebrated….

  6. It was his third hat-trick of win, pole and fastest lap

    Ha! Never thought Verstappen would end up with the hat-trick of the race. One of the least dominant and fortuitous hat-tricks

    This is the first time in Leclerc’s career (across junior series), in which he has finished 2nd to his team-mate(s).

    A new driver coming into Ferrari and beating the erstwhile driver in their 1st season together happens fairly regularly at Ferrari since post-Schumacher. It has happened for 5 of the last 6 driver changes that Ferrari have done:
    1) 2007: Kimi beats Massa
    2) 2010: Alonso beats Massa
    3) 2014: Kimi loses to Alonso
    4) 2015: Vettel beats Kimi
    5) 2019: Leclerc beats Vettel
    6) 2021: Sainz beats Leclerc

    1. Also, there have been 3 half-points races in the last 30 years, 1991 Australia, 2009 Malaysia, 2021 Belgium. All 3 were won by the eventual champion of the year. Additionally, 2 of them (Senna and Verstappen) were driving a Honda and the 3rd one (Button) was driving a car which probably should have been Honda :)

      1. That is a great and amazing stat – nicely found

    2. I assume that no one has ever previously taken the hat-trick of win, pole and fastest lap while only leading a single lap of the race?

    3. I like the ‘Kimi loses to Alonso’ why is that one different to ‘Alonso beat Kimi’ sumedh?

      1. Haha, because Kimi is the new driver for 2014.

      2. @bosyber I assume it is because the first driver in the pair is always the new driver, and Kimi was the only one of those not to beat his teammate.

  7. Unique? Unheard of, most calamitous ever decision in F1’s history.
    Reduced the glory of F1, to a stage managed pantomime.

    1. You are talking about the unprecedented refusal to let the lapped cars overtake, thus guarantying Hamilton the win,right ?

      1. Following procedure would have guaranteed Hamilton the win, as the SC would have lasted until the end.

        1. That is not necessarily the case though @krommenaas, since it was just as much proper procedure to NOT allow cars to overtake and restart that way. In that case Verstappen MIGHT have managed to pass all 5 of them and go on to pass Hamilton (apart from all the ways Hamilton might have not finished) so it would be a big chance of Lewis winning it, but not a guarantee.

          1. BasCB you are absolutely correct, but when the first lapped car passes the safety car, then that option is removed and as Krommenaas says the rules state the safety car comes in the following lap as per 48.12. You can discus if it meant all the cars or some of the cars, but as soon as that lapped car passes the safety car then the end of the paragraph 48.12 in the rules takes effect. I believe in means all cars lapped can pass, but due to the lack of laps in this case it means the race finishes under safety car rules.
            The stewards have confirmed that rule was not applied fully and are trying to say 48.13 and 15.3 overrule 48.12. This is the crux of the case. I am not a lawyer, but my small understanding is 15 Officials deals with the officials and 15.3 states who has seniority over whom. 48.12 and 48.13 are steps in the procedure and one follows the other as night follows day.

    2. That was what I though too. How can it be a sport if the rules were ignored by a race official himself, to create a massive disadvatnage for a contender and hand the win to the other guy who was nowhere all race?

  8. Stroll’s 100th GP.

    Tsunoda out-qualified his teammate for the 1st time &, of course, achieved his PB finishing position in P4.

    DNF cost Gio a 100% finishing record. Therefore, only Sainz reached the chequered flag in every race, his first.
    Other examples are Kimi in 2012, Ricciardo 2016, & Hamilton thrice (2017, ’19, & ’20).

    1. Stroll’s 100th GP

      I’m really suprised about this one actually. I guess it’s going fast with these long seasons and I have to admit I’m also surprised each time I’m reminded that he has 3 podiums and 1 pole position to his name. Maybe Stroll just doesn’t stick to mind so easily.

  9. Penalise who? Exclude who? Masi? You can’t penalise a driver who hasn’t broken the rules. The only on track manoeuvre which could possibly be retroactively penalized was Hamilton’s lap 1 excursion.
    Verstappen was the beneficiary of a lucky set of circumstances, which makes up for his raw deals earlier in the year.

  10. “Assuming things stay as they are” – there is no scenario where things do not stay the way they are even if Mercedes proceeds with the appeal and wins it. A race cannot be shortened by one lap for Toto’s convenience, there is no magic rule for it. Max cannot be penalised as he did nothing wrong. If the race is annuled then Max wins the title anyway.

    It would be great if British media would stop with this nonsense. I understand, your boy Lewis should have won this, but he didn’t. It won’t change. I expect unbiased coverage from this site but last couple of days it has been nothing but.

    1. It is a good article with statistics I like it. Ignore that one sentence if you like but basically there is nothing wrong with it.

    2. Stop with this bias assertion will you. As I already highlighted for you, the article suggested any change would be “hugely controversial” This is exactly what you are saying isn’t it. Surely you don’t want them to change it to NOT hugely controversial?

      1. I’m not saying a change would be ‘hugely controversial’. I’m saying the result change is just not possible in this case. I would assume this to be common knowledge for anyone following the sport, and especially for media focusing on F1, but apparently we still see these ‘what ifs’ which are just conjecture at best or wishful thinking at worst.

        1. Surely this is splitting hairs at an extreme level.

          It is a fact that a potential appeal exists. This site cannot possibly state the outcome of any such appeal. You can, and have, but this site can not. That would clearly be irresponsible. So it has merely stated that “if” such an appeal succeeded, and “if” this effected the result, it would be hugely controversial.

          Your stance that is impossible may well transpire to be the case, but you can’t tell me that if a change was effected that it wouldn’t be controversial as surely that almost defines an occurrence of the seemingly impossibl?

    3. The whole situation somewhat reminds me of Frank Lampard’s “ghost” goal at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. English and British media complaints following the match prompted, eventually, the football authorities (FIFA and IFAB) to introduce goal-line technology and then VAR. If the team being wronged was any other than England, nothing would have been done and theses technologies would not be part of the game today (for better or worse).
      We are in this situation now because it’s part of the culture of british media to consider themselves special and that whoever they are rooting for should be “righted” in every way, shape or form.
      It just so happens that the “decision” that fuelled it all occurred at the very end of the season, irrespective of whether or not the it affected the outcome of the race.
      And irrespective of the fact that it can be argued not to be even close to be the most controversial stewarding decision of the season (Hamilton ghost penalty at Silvestone or Belgium being called a race come to mind), and not even the most bizarre call of the race : lap 1 incident not even being investigated.

      1. Over the past few weeks I’ve seen this constant narrative that the British media are biased – well yes on the whole they probably are. Is that different to any other nations media? No. Just like the Dutch media are biased towards Max. But that is allowed apparently because Holland is a smaller nation… Bizarre

        You need to remove the chip from your shoulder. The UK has no additional power to any other nation. Our Media can be brutal. Believe it or not there are still huge segments of the British media that refuse to accept Hamilton and will greatfully bash him for anything he says or does.

        1. Ziggo is even expressly ‘Max TV’ indeed, let’s see whether the new Dutch rights owner improves as they say the want to be more impartial, sure would be a breath of fresh air for this Dutch guy living in Berlin.

          And in the mean time a large part of the British media seem quick to loath Hamilton at the slightest opportunity. Though now of course, he’s the hard fighter losing to the bad outside world, which is a favourite mantra which has only gained popularity since Brexit, so maybe now he’ll finally really be seen as a national here ;)

        2. @Pemz

          The difference is that the British are producing the primary race coverage, Britain is pretty much the home of F1 & English is the current lingua franca (how many non-Brits follow British media coverage compared to non-Dutch that follow Dutch coverage?).

          Fact is that the Dutch highlights for the last race on the Formula 1 Youtube channel got 126k views, while the English highlights got about 10 million. That’s almost 100 times as much. So if there is equal bias in the Dutch and British reporting, the latter will have almost 100 times more impact.

          I’m also sure that British news sites get many more international readers than Dutch news sites.

          The UK has no additional power to any other nation.

          That is just an utterly absurd claim. By virtue of speaking/writing in the lingua franca (and having relatively strong cultural ties with many nations due to British colonialism), you have outsized influence over the world.

          By virtue of being ‘home’ to F1, you have outsized influence over the sport.

          By virtue of being a bigger nation, you have greater influence.

          1. Influence on what? Can you show me (with proof) that having more viewers/clicks/watches or speaking English influences the rules or regulations of F1. Or indeed the decisions made at the race track by officials.

            The history of colonisation may have left some legacy influence in many areas (such as global trade) but influencing sporting decisions is not one of them.

            Just this whole idea that in football they only introduced VAR/goal line technology all because the English national football team were wronged on one single decision is ridiculous.

          2. Pemz

            Influence on what? Can you show me (with proof) that having more viewers/clicks/watches or speaking English influences the rules or regulations of F1. Or indeed the decisions made at the race track by officials.

            It might not influence sporting decisions overall (maybe yes, maybe not), but it does heavily influence the global opinion, shaping the narrative even beyond UK and forming “heros” and “villains”, at least to a bunch of incautious fans. Not everyone fall into their propaganda, but a lot of people without any ties with them do.
            Which in itself is not the problem for which there’s any solution which doesn’t involve free sharing of ideas as the most important thing, no intervention. The real problem is them from British media self-fulfilling this trend by claiming to be presenting an universal voice (even from the drivers) and their take as neutrals, as we have seen plenty of times on this site and in most of other relevant motorsport coverage ones. As you correctly said, they’re not supposed to be neutrals, but they pretend to do so.

    4. There are scenarios where it can change. They can shorten the race by a lap. It’s not penalising to remove something someone should never have had. Yes, if the race is annulled, Max wins anyway – that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be annulled. (Not that I’d advocating for that anyway).

      This article is entirely unbiased. It reports facts, while acknowledging that there is a pending protest that does have the potential to change the result. In no what does it comment on the validity or likely hood of success, nor does it even hint at the authors own feelings on this.

      You accusations of bias have no basis here.

    5. Races have been shortened before it can happen again.

      1. @david-beau But those were for scenarios covered in regulations.

    6. Always talking about British media! Little do they know how much the British media have absolutely trashed Hamilton over the years. Man it’s exhausting reading so much rubbish.

      1. @john-h

        Always talking about British media! Little do they know how much the British media have absolutely trashed Hamilton over the years. Man it’s exhausting reading so much rubbish.

        If so then part of British media trashes him and exaggerate, part of British media loves him and put him over a pedestal. Not mutually excludent by any means. But which one is the larger part?

        1. Definitely the trashing @rodewulf. Daily mail and daily express have a huge readership here and to be honest some of the playground stuff that gets written has been terrible. All the stuff about Tax and living in monaco despite Lando, Jenson, etc. doing the same. As he represents diversity and inclusion, a large part of the press in the UK (mostly conservative leaning) let’s just say doesn’t exactly get along with that. He really isn’t universally supported here. I actually think if he doesn’t win the championship, that might change now because of the way he has conducted himself this season.

          1. @john-h
            I won’t dispute that much, as it’s easy to see why conservative newpapers wouldn’t particularly like him. As for specialised media, most of sites I see they make an active effort to enhance him whenever there’s a chance. At the same time that they’re very frank, to the point of being harsh, when writing about Verstappen, Alonso, Raikkonen, etc., they show a lot of resistance to raise or even poder many possible negative points about Hamilton. This has been my impression. Which is yours?

  11. Assuming things stay as they are – and a change would be hugely controversial as it would almost certainly alter the outcome of the championship –

    While the legal proceedings would continue, I think we can all agree that Mercedes’ solution of shortening the distance of Abu Dhabi grand prix will never be entertained, there is no precedent for doing that and nothing in the rules that allows such a scenario due to ‘race control error’.

    Most likely, this will go the crashgate way, i.e. official race results will stand as they are but certain individuals (We-kno-who) may face the sack / life-time suspensions and there could be personal cases against the said certain individuals

    1. Fair points.

      I already commented on a previous article that whilst I felt that the whole things was a complete b*lls up, a change to the result shouldn’t be the goal of an appeal. But I do believe an appeal, or some form of enquiry, would be highly appropriate.

    2. @sumedh well there was never any precedent for race control to invent new rulings last second for the last lap shoot out.

      If max can win via fraudulent means due to race controls artificial meddling in the race order for the last lap shoot out he can just as easily ‘unwin’ it.
      We are looking at the cold hard facts here and not fanboy feelings about who we should feel ‘sorry’ for.

      The race was understood to restart with lapped cars in place, at the last second race control reversed this in an unprecedented move inventing a new rule on the fly to move ONLY cars out of max’s way so he had an easy overtake on lewis.
      If the race restarted with cars ALL cars left in place lewis would win due to max being stuck behind lapped cars at the start of the last lap giving lewis valuable seconds breathing room. What about danny ric on new tyres who was denied the opportunity to unlap himself and fight for points? what about carlos sainz in third who was denied a FAIR chance to race max because race control did not remove lapped .
      Also carlos situation being held up is a perfect example of what would of happened to max if lapped traffic was left in place for the restart giving lewis to win hence why race control deliberately meddled in the restart to give max an easy overtake.

      This isn’t just about Lewis and max but the integrity of the sport and legitimacy of F1 itself. Why is race control allowed to break the rules giving preferential and special treatment to one driver moving only Max up the queue during sc? So max is allowed to race lewis but carlos allowed a fair chance to race max?

      Reversing the results is the ONLY punishment strong enough to act as a
      deterrent to prevent Liberty from pushing ace direction to manipulate the race in order to get more clicks and drive to survive content.

    3. Somewhat precedent to the shortening of a race: the chequered flag was waved too early in, for example, Canada (2018?) due to an error, hence the results were taken from the previous lap (or was it even two laps before).

      Then again, this is a completely different thing to what happened in Abu Dhabi.

  12. If they want to start altering championship results now. Then hopefully Damon Hill and Williams make a bid to get back the 94 title.

    It’s all very silly now. Referees and empires can at times be controversial and make mistakes but there decision has to be final.

    A sensible take deems Max clearly won the championship over the entire year not on the last lap.

    1. Indeed Max deservingly won the championship having scored the most wins, equal most 2nd places, most podiums, most poles, equal most sprintrace points.

      Disagree with Masi all you like but also a football match outcome is never changed even if a penalty, red card etc was given incorrectly.
      In this case I think Masi acted within the rules and authority given to him and yes the SC procedure was shortened but with the aim (expressed by all teams) to not finish the race under SC.

      1. Even if Masi did have the authority to throw the rulebook out of the window and make something up (which I personally don’t think is the case), he does still have a responsibility to do so fairly and in a sporting manner. This would mean not giving any participant an advantage which would not be awarded by the rules written over and above that given to others.

        The 2 options available within the written rules, at the point the decision was made, were a restart without letting lapped runners past and letting all lapped runners past but finishing under the safety car. The third option chosen by Masi, letting only a few cars past, gave Max an advantage over and above that, but didn’t give that advantage to any other driver on the track. That’s fundamentally unfair and wrong. Several drivers through the field were penalised by this.

        Had the situation been reversed, I am certain that Max fans would be saying the same (and, in fact, many are even now), and Red Bull would be doing exactly what Mercedes are now. Had the situation been reversed, though, I would still be saying this was a farcical situation which needs to never happen again.

        For the record, I don’t want the result changing, in spite of being a Hamilton fan. The damage to the sport would be immense. What I want is an admission from the FIA and Masi that they royally screwed the pooch, and a commitment and plan to ensure rules are followed correctly in future. That said, if we don’t get that, I’d rather see Mercedes win and the entire that I love sport collapse than see it continue as a motor racing game show…

        1. @drmouse

          I would argue that Masi’s choice was, while not exactly according to the rules (but more than than many of the alternatives that people propose), quite sporting. Ultimately, the issue was caused by back markers who are not part of the battle for the lead. The rules already allow for them to be moved out of the way of the leaders and that almost always happens.

          If the crash had happened a little bit earlier, we would have had almost the same situation as what Masi made happen, with the back markers being removed from between Lewis and Max. It’s actually Sainz who was hard done by, from a sporting point of view, since he didn’t get the back markers removed between him and Max. Although realistically, he was extremely unlikely to be challenging, being on old hards vs Max on new softs.

          The main legal alternative, to run out the race under the SC, where no racing happens, can hardly be called sporting. There literally would be no competitive racing be happening to finish the race. It’s not a sport when there is no competition (see the ‘race’ at Spa).

          I’ve personally never been happy with having back markers unlap themselves. That the bunching up of the field due to a SC makes for an exciting ‘reset’ is just a side effect of a necessary safety feature, but making the back markers unlap themselves is just for the show. It’s more dangerous than making the back markers fall back, as you have cars going all out to unlap themselves, when the incident has just been cleared. If a mistake has been made and there is still big debris, a marshal or equipment on the track, that is very dangerous.

          And the time it takes for the back markers to unlap incentivizes the race director to release them before he is 100% sure that the track is safe, as the race director wants actual racing.

          Ultimately, I think that the unlapping rule is really bad. I really think that it would have (also) immensely hurt the image of the sport if any of the legal alternatives would have happened, by either running to the end under the SC despite the track being clear or Max having to overtake back markers, denying viewers a battle due to cars that are not in contention.

          1. @aapje I would argue that the “sport” has been hurt much more by the race director purposely choosing not to follow the rules and making something up which handed a massive advantage to one, and only one, driver. It opens the possibility of protests, appeals, legal action, and even possibly criminal match-fixing procedings, none of which legitimate exist if he follows the procedures written in the regulations. It brings the entire “sport” into disrepute.

          2. @drmouse

            The massive advantage was handed to one driver by the crash and the resulting safety car, neither of which were against the rules. If the crash had happened just a little earlier, he would also have had that advantage, without any rules being broken.

            I think that a very high proportion of fans, especially the more casual ones that merely tuned in for the finale, whose perception of the sport is going to be much more highly influenced by what they saw during that one race than long term fans, would be much more likely to see the bunching up due to the safety car as unfair (in a karmic sense), than the decision to remove the back markers from between Max and Lewis. It’s hard to see this outrage over Sainz being treated unfairly as genuine, in most cases, anyway, when most of those who complain are fans of Lewis, rather than of Sainz.

            I just don’t see a slightly more casual fan being outraged at a team not benefiting from it taking so long to resolve an incident that the race can’t be restarted or benefiting from having the back markers interfere with the championship battle, unless they are emotionally invested in Lewis winning.

            Outside of sports, I don’t see this utmost respect for the rules that you claim exists. I constantly see people argue that fully legal actions by the government, by organizations or by individuals are extremely unfair, and that illegal actions that they like should not be punished. And in this case, we are not even talking about a flagrant violation. In fact, many people here suggest alternatives that are far bigger violations of the rules, like a red flag.

            It opens the possibility of protests, appeals, legal action, and even possibly criminal match-fixing procedings

            Match-fixing requires betting, so unless Masi was betting on the outcome or was influenced by people who do, that’s never going to fly.

            Even in the unlikely scenario that the off-season will be dominated by legal proceedings, it’s going to merely be fodder for a small group of people. Most people are not going to be interested in legalistic details like if it was allowed to only release some of the back markers or whether the safety car had to run another lap.

            F1 survived killing drivers left and right, only taking safety seriously once one of the most beloved drivers died. Schumacher intentionally crashed out a competitor to win the title and yet he is commonly seen as the greatest driver ever. Ultimately, a bit of disrepute probably increasing viewership…

            I predict that Max remains the champion, that they’ll change the rules once things have died down so this can’t happen again, that Toto will be molesting headsets again next season and Lewis will be back pressing all the right and wrong buttons.

          3. Whilst your right about the one lap before crash circumstances @aapje, the fact is that this did not happen and then the race director went against the sporting regulations to manufacture a final lap showdown. Regardless of whether you’re a Max supporter or Lewis supporter, that is simply not right. Your comment about Hamilton pressing the wrong buttons at the end as well is just, well, what I’ve come to expect quite frankly.

          4. @john-h

            It was just a harmless little joke, John, lighten up.

            And I was mostly addressing whether the outcome was sporting, not whether it was according to the regulations. Just because they are called the sporting regulations, doesn’t mean that they define what is considered sporting by fans.

            You can follow the rules, but have an outcome that is not considered sporting and vice versa.

          5. @aapje
            Many casual fans of football don’t fully understand the offside rule. Many would consider it unfair for their team to have a goal disallowed because of an offside decision. That doesn’t make it right or sporting for the referee to ignore it.

            The essence of a sporting contest is rules which apply equally to all. Now, we can all argue until the cows come home about the inconsistency of decisions this season and before, but there has never been as blatant changing of the rules in a way that hands advantage to one participant above all others.

            I don’t agree with you that the advantage was gained by Max/RBR’s strategic decisions. Had everything been shifted to a lap earlier, as you suggest, and the rules followed, that would be the case. But that isn’t what happened. There were 2, maybe 3, options available to Masi within the rules at the point he announced that he had made up something new, and this new option was considerably more advantageous to Max than what was available in the rules at the time. Surely you can see how disgraceful this is, no matter how it is viewed by the “casual fans”?

          6. “Just because they are called the sporting regulations, doesn’t mean that they define what is considered sporting by fans.”

            Yes, but which fans are you talking about @aapje? I’m guessing the ones that support your own viewpoint right! Lol.

          7. (your reply did lighten me up)

          8. @john-h

            I saw a lot of very delighted fans in the Youtube comments section of various related video’s. Quite a few seemed from ‘neutral’ fans who were quite delighted with the fight at the end.

          9. Even if your YouTube evidence is to be believed, you seem to be wrongly equating ‘sporting’ and ‘delight’ @aapje.

            I’m sure it’s just my problem though, as you’re always keen to tell me how I’m wrongly perceiving your comments.

          10. @john-h

            Well, I’m being told that this is a horrible undermining of the sport that threatens to alienate fans and end the sport, but I’m not seeing that. British fans and fans that want to back a prolific winner are of course always going to hate seeing their hero lose.

            Ultimately, Masi produced the same on-track racing between the title contenders that would have happened if the cleanup was a little quicker, or the crash would have happened a little earlier. So in itself, the closing of the gap due to the SC and the removal of the cars between Max and Lewis is allowed by the rules. So if you consider that part unsporting, then that’s because you consider the rules to be unsporting.

            As I said before, to me it seems that there was a fully legal alternative that they could have taken which would have resulted in the same on-track racing between the title contenders (although the impact on other drivers would be different, as all the back-markers would have been released). At that point, is the objection not purely based on a legal technicality, rather than a sporting one?

            Would you have called it unsporting if the SC had ground to a halt (or 5 km/h), the backmarkers would have been released, and we’d still have had the 1 lap of green flag racing, with Max right behind Lewis? Because as far as I can tell, that would be a fully legal option.

            Note that the apparent agreement with the teams to try to finish races under green conditions implies that the race director will make different choices near the end of the race to make that happen, than during the middle of the race, so the complaint that Mercedes made assumptions that the SC situation would be handled similar to halfway during the race is undermined by that agreement.

            PS. I am reminded of a 2011 scandal where fairly obvious matchfixing happened in football/soccer, allowing Olympique Lyonnais to advance in the Champions League at the expense of Ajax. Something that the UEFA refused to even investigate. Yet the Champions League still exists and brings in more income than ever, despite something that is way, way, way worse than what happened here.

          11. @aapje you need to read the regulations, after the slopes cars overtake the SC comes in the following lap. It’s been a silly rule but one that has frustrated me for years when we just want to get racing going.

            The problem is it’s still in the sporting regulations. Masi, the race director, went against the regulations to produce a one lap showdown. Of course had Latifi crashed one lap earlier then it would have happened anyway, but that is not grounds to say it’s ok and it certainly is not sporting. A delightful spectacle yes absolutely, a sporting decision, absolutely not.

            Of course it’s not the end of the world, we’re still going to watch F1 next year, Max has won the championship, etc. Your football analogy is correct, also the Henry handball incident springs to mind, but it would be nice if you could at least accept that this was not a sporting decision, because it really wasn’t. I guess that might be too much to ask though. You seem to be triggered by some British sites or something, but please try to put that aside for one moment and ask whether what Masi did was sporting. It really wasn’t.

          12. @john-h

            I still have a huge problem with you not distinguishing between Masi breaking the rules and him producing an unsporting outcome.

            Before we continue, you first need to answer me whether you agree with me that the same championship showdown could have been achieved legally by slowing down the SC…

            If so, I think that this is a technical violation and not a sporting violation*, since the actual showdown could have been achieved legally, unless you think that the rules are not sporting. Again, being sporting and following the rules are not the same thing. In tennis there recently was a rule change to stop players from trying to unsettle their opponent by visiting the bathroom. This was considered unsporting even before it was made illegal. It didn’t suddenly become unsporting by virtue of the new rule. And strictly speaking, the common football practice of kicking the ball into the stands when a player is injured is illegal and there is no obligation for the other team to return the ball. Yet not doing either is typically considered unsporting.

            * Of course, that only applies to the championship showdown, not to the situation for Sainz and a few others, who faced a situation that could not been achieved in a legal way.

          13. “Before we continue, you first need to answer me whether you agree with me that the same championship showdown could have been achieved legally by slowing down the SC…”

            I’m not sure exactly what you mean if I’m honest. The SC should drive around at roughly the same speed at all races and on all laps. Anything different, I’m not sure if that’s ‘legal’ or not. Maybe? It’s definitely not sporting to do that just to ensure there is a final lap showdown. Why should a final lap showdown be a goal in the first place?

          14. @john-h

            I checked the regulations and there is no minimum speed for the safety car, so it would not be against the rules.

            It’s definitely not sporting to do that just to ensure there is a final lap showdown. Why should a final lap showdown be a goal in the first place?

            Again, the teams seem to have agreed that it should be a high priority to finish the race under green flag conditions. That agreement inherently means that the race director may go against precedent to achieve this, although it should be within the rules. If that implicit understanding didn’t exist, that entire agreement would be pointless.

            As far as I can tell, there were only two legal options to get racing again:
            1. Leave the back markers
            2. Slow down the SC

            Not getting the back markers out of the way is extremely uncommon and doesn’t seem very sporting, since it allows those who are out of contention to strongly influence the race between the drivers that lapped them. The very existence of blue flag regulations implies that the rules considers such impact to be unsporting and tries to minimize it (by demanding that the back markers get out of the way, rather than race against the drivers that lapped them.

            Doing what I argued would result in a showdown, but that is just a consequence of the normal SC procedure. My solution would simply mean that they would get to follow the normal SC procedure fully, but without ‘using up’ a lot of racing laps to do so, so you actually get green flag racing, rather than finish the race under the SC.

            Ultimately, it is just a feature of the SC that it eliminates the gaps, which means that it can produce a showdown, especially if a chasing driver is on better tyres. If I would suggest that the SC be called for a situation that didn’t warrant one, you could accuse me of wanting to engineer a showdown. However, the safety car was called legitimately.

        2. @drmouse

          The 2 options available within the written rules, at the point the decision was made, were a restart without letting lapped runners past and letting all lapped runners past but finishing under the safety car. The third option chosen by Masi, letting only a few cars past, gave Max an advantage over and above that, but didn’t give that advantage to any other driver on the track.

          If I’m not mistaken, those were not the only possibilities shortly before that, as between laps 54 to 55, all cars were already bunching up together. They dispersed on the next lap for unknown reasons, maybe because conflicting orders were sent to them. Had Masi made the sensible call of lettling all of them unlap themselves at that point instead of only four of them, and calling the Safety Car in at the same lap they did but without having to lose time changing directives from not allowed to overtake the SC to all cars should unlap themselves, the same outcome could have been reached and completely by the book. And it would be the most fair outcome from a sporting perspective, as it would mean less intervention on how things unfolded, considering that finishing the race behind a Safety Car is not only an underwheliming way to finish a race but also taking away opportunities. Mercedes screwed themselves up with strategy more than once this race, and hsould pay for that on a competitive context, and it could have been done by the book. But Masi wavering for the decision led to a bizarre outcome, a no coming back catch-22 style trap that left everyone confused and all sides had reason to complain. But as the aggrieved part was Mercedes and Hamilton, the whole story blows out of proportion with some underhand media backing of their cause as a whole, defending as a desired outcome something which was exactly the way they wanted or nearly there, as one more of those magic “coincidences” of interest.

          1. @rodewulf
            By the time the unprecedented call was made to let 5 cars through, the options I outline above were the only ones realistically on the table.

            If there was a point earlier where Masi could have let the cars safely unlap, that is a separate mistake. Had he done that, there would be no complaint. But 2 wrongs do not make a right. Masi cannot be allowed cover up an earlier mistake, if that’s what it was, by inventing brand new rules on a whim.

          2. @drmouse

            If there was a point earlier where Masi could have let the cars safely unlap, that is a separate mistake. Had he done that, there would be no complaint. But 2 wrongs do not make a right. Masi cannot be allowed cover up an earlier mistake, if that’s what it was, by inventing brand new rules on a whim.

            Technically he can, but to argue it the result is a contradiction between the established procedure and the powers of a race director and it does open some precedents which are far from ideal. And it really was a point of no return for consistency after saying that cars were not allowed to overtake the SC and then all of the sudden only some of them could. It led to a hurried process which further raised that sense of suspicious things happening in those who taken the aggrieved side on that decision.
            Anyway, confusion and uncertainty about the rules, specially about its application and interpretation, we had been having a lot this season, for all the tastes and displeasures. But none of those can be more controversial than this last one, that’s for sure.

          3. Was the track fully clear at that point to let unlapped cars by at racing speed @rodewulf

            I also think strategy wise Mercedes had no option really. They went past when the VSC was called earlier so would have lost track position and during the SC pitting and then finishing under SC would look ridiculous and the tyre advantage was gone anyway.

            I see your point but a few leaps there.

          4. @rodewulf

            Technically he can

            That all depends upon accepting the stewards interpretation of 15.3, which I find ridiculous, especially when Masi himself has said (after the Eiffel GP last year) that he has to follow the laid-out procedure and can’t change it. There has been no earlier correction of that statement. The evidence points to this just being Masi and the stewards reaching for any fig leaf to cover up for the blatant and wilful contravention of the rules.

  13. The three podium finishers carried the numerically progressive driver numbers 33, 44 & 55 (Tsunoda if fourth carried the out of sequence 22, but if you add this to Sainz’ 55 you get the driver numbers of the first three Championship finishers).

    Max becomes the fourth Champion who is himself the son of a former F1 driver. Unlike Rosberg and Hill, but like Villeneuve, his father was not a World Champion himself). Notable that every member of the ‘Sons of F1 Drivers’ club has only got one World Championship himself.

    Until the final lap, Mercedes were on course to have won precisely 70% of all Grands Prix in the hybrid era (112 wins/160 races). As it is they close out on just less than that (111 wins/160 races) but of course retain a 100% record in Constructors’ Championships in that era (8 wins/8 seasons).

    For comparison, in the original ‘Silver Arrows’ seasons (1954/55) they won 75% of all races (9 wins/12 races) and of course 100% of Constructors’ Championships. Since their return in 2010 as Mercedes F1, they have won just under half of all races to have taken place (115 wins/237 races).

    Finally, Hamilton may have been denied an 8th title this year, but he finishes the season having pushed the record for poles and wins both into triple figures. He now sits on 103 for both.

    1. @mrfabulous

      in the original ‘Silver Arrows’ seasons (1954/55) they won 75% of all races (9 wins/12 races) and of course 100% of Constructors’ Championships

      They actually won 0% of the Constructors Championships since the first one was established in 1958 ( won by Vanwall ).

  14. * 2021 saw the most different winners at drivers with 6 of the hybrid era. In 2014 & 2015 only 3 drivers won, in 2016 4 drivers won and from 2017 to 2020 5 drivers won.
    * Max broke the record for most podiums in a season with 18 podiums, previous record held by MSC, Vettel and Lewis at 17.
    * Max broke his own record of most 1st/2nd place finishes now set at 18, in Jeddah he reached 17 braking the record held by MSC, Vettel and Lewis at 16.
    * Max is the 4th driver in history to score 10 wins in a season, the others are MSC and Vettel with 13 wins and Lewis with 11 wins.
    * In 2021 Max scored same amount of wins as he did in the 6 years before 2021 and same amount as Bottas won in total in his period at Mercedes (2017-2021).
    * Max scored his 60th podium equaling his girlfriend’s father and 1 more than Nigel Mansell.
    * With 9 wins Mercedes scored the least wins in the hybrid era despite 2021 being the longest season. Most was 19 in 2016 and previous low was 11 in 2018.
    * With 8 wins Lewis scored the least wins in the hybrid era although still 3 more than he ever scored before the hybrid era, previous low was 9 wins in 2017.
    * Bottas is 1 podium short of tying for an unwanted record of most podiums without being a world champion, Bottas has 67 versus Barrichello who has 68.
    * With Raikonnen retiring after 349 races, Alonso is again the most experienced driver on the grid with 337 races. As Alonso is on the grid next year he likely will break Raikonnen record of becoming the most experienced driver.
    * Max won the 2021 WDC with 8 points (393.5 vs 387.5)
    – Would have been 3 points under 2019-2020 system (388.5 vs 385.5)
    – Would have been 4 points under 2010-2018 system (383.5 vs 379.5)
    – Would have been 1 points under 2003-2009 system (159 vs 158)
    – Would have been 8 points under 1991-2002 system (143 vs 135)
    – Would have been 3 points under 1981-1990 system (93 vs 90) – best 11 results (Max 9x 1st (excl Spa win) and 2x 2nd versus Lewis 8x 1st and 3x 2nd)

    1. @jelle-van-der-meer you missed out one:

      – Would have been -6 points if Masi hadn’t fixed the result (388.5 vs 394.5)

      ;)

      1. Haha nice one!

        I don’t know. The result isn’t sitting right with me and it will likely continue to feel like this way into next year.

      2. Dave

        – Would have been -6 points if Masi hadn’t fixed the result (388.5 vs 394.5)

        Here comes the one-liner distributer, the “unbiased” one with those simplistic takes on complex issues. Did you know that, had Masi made the sensible call of lettling all of them unlap themselves at that point instead of only four of them, and calling the Safety Car in at the same lap they did but without having to lose time changing directives from not allowed to overtake the SC to all cars should unlap themselves, the same outcome could have been reached and completely by the book? This is so much for your “certain” conclusion in which Masi “fixed” the result, it was not on purpose. He messed up making one call and later trying to correct it. Finishing the race with all cars behind the SC or all unlapped cars overtaking it, both would be correct ways to finish the race according to the regs.

    2. With 9 wins Mercedes scored the least wins in the hybrid era despite 2021 being the longest season. Most was 19 in 2016 and previous low was 11 in 2018.
      * With 8 wins Lewis scored the least wins in the hybrid era although still 3 more than he ever scored before the hybrid era, previous low was 9 wins in 2017.

      Reading this, I’m baffled again by the sheer dominance Mercedes enjoyed in the turbo-hybrid era. Even for those who keep banging on about how much a threat Ferrari was: maybe the stats halfway through those seasons make it seem that way, but bottom line Mercedes always had the upper hand.

      * In 2021 Max scored same amount of wins as he did in the 6 years before 2021 and same amount as Bottas won in total in his period at Mercedes (2017-2021).

      This says something about Nico Rosberg, I think.

      1. Yes it indeed says something about Rosberg but equally but than negatively about Bottas.
        * Rosberg won 20 races in 3 seasons with dominant Mercedes and 3 before the hybrid era.
        * Bottas won just 10 races in 5 seasons with dominant Mercedes

        Above is despite an increasing amount of races and a pretty flat performance of Lewis (31 wins in 3 seasons with Rosberg and 50 wins in 5 seasons with Bottas)

        * Rosberg had 46 podiums in 3 seasons (20x 1st, 22x 2nd and 4x 3rd)
        – 59 races so 78% podium and 71% 1st/2nd
        * Bottas had 58 podiums in 5 seasons (10x 1st, 27x 2nd and 21x 3rd)
        – 91 races so 64% podium and 41% 1st/2nd

        1. Correction – Bottas is statistically even worse as he drove 101 not 91 races for Mercedes.
          * Bottas had 58 podiums in 5 seasons (10x 1st, 27x 2nd and 21x 3rd)
          – 101 races so 57% podium and 37% 1st/2nd

    3. Max scored his 60th podium equaling his girlfriend’s father

      I know just about nothing about Max’s (or pretty much anybody else’s) personal life, but that has to be Nelson Piquet. Not my favorite driver ever but I reckon his overtake on Ayrton Senna at the Hungaroring 1986 as the best overtake ever in F1, incredible drifting rally-style. Didn’t hurt that I just loved the sight of Senna being overtaken.

  15. Sticking purely to the stats here, but is this the only Championship winning overtake in a Championship showdown apart from Villeneuve v Schumacher in ‘97?

    And 2021 must also be a record for most wheel to wheel racing overtakes between Championship rivals. At the opposite end of the spectrum I believe Villeneuve and Schumacher in ‘97 only raced each other directly once in that last race.

  16. Something else that has crossed my mind. There are quite a number of people who are saying Mercedes should drop the appeal for the good of the sport and a deal will be done behind closed doors etc…The problem with this is the FIA and particular Mercedes have gone out of their way to promote the message of non-discrimination, equality and diversity. Mercedes have spent a fair amount of money, changed the livery of their cars helped create commissions with Lewis, promoted this extensively among other things and therefore their reputation is on the line over this. If they do not continue with an appeal what message does this send about them, their beliefs and the ethos and culture of their team and company.
    They would quite rightly be accused of just peddling the equality message as a PR stunt. When the going gets hard and an injustice occurs they are prepared to conduct grubby deals in back rooms. They are not prepared to fight for the principles of fairness and equality and the executive breaking their own laws and rules. The message that sends out would completely overwhelm any positivity from not dragging the sport of F1 into further reputational damage.
    I was not sure about putting this paragraph in, but decided that I should for completeness even though it looks bad. There is of course another metric which looks appalling for F1 as a “white mans” sport, this is that a black driver about to break the record for most championships from a white driver and sit alone on top of the tree, has had his attempt prevented by breaking of a rules to allow the new white hope to win. I do not believe this at all, but it certainly does not help with the former F1 ringmaster coming out and saying Lewis should retire so Michael’s record remains intact before the race.
    I am not trying to create or promote a racist agenda, all I am trying to portray is for some people in the world this is how it will look and unless it goes before an independent court there will always be this view that the race was fixed.
    Bluntly F1 has got itself in an appalling mess by not following its own rules to try and provide an artificial final lap duel between Max and Lewis.

    1. OMG. This is the problem with racism. You can grab anything and say it is racism, but you’re doing nobody any service by doing so. So please stop.

      And maybe Bernie just wants the record to be MS’s for as long as MS is alive, because he cares for him or maybe it is just egoism since that record was set during his watch .

      But I’m sure it has nothing to do with racism at all.

      And the FIA went also out of there way about road safety, but driving with unbuckled belts was not really expensive. Should have been a community service for LH. This was no signal at all.

    2. This is true but it hasn’t come to the mind of most as yet. We will look back on the day as such if Lewis is denied the 8th next year.

      As a viewer it felt so forced, so manipulated. It was so bizzare. Never seen anything like it before in over twenty years of viewing. I am Lewis supporter and I would be quite fine losing on track, within the rules like 2007, 2010, 2012, 2016. But this last match fixing has me questioning my investment in the sport.

    3. You are posting this in every threat – certainly in the Stats article this has no place.

  17. It was a close call but this result cements Max as the ‘2021 Best Actor in a Netflix Fake Sports Drama’

    I can see the advert now’ You thought watching a Man climb out of a burning car was dramatic, wait till you see what we got for the season finale ‘

    1. Max refused the role – as 1 of the few drivers refused to take part in the manipulated Netflix series.

      1. Whoosh……

  18. The Lewis & Bottas partnership is the 2nd longest in terms of races in the history of the sport.
    * 1st is Schumacher and Barrichello with 104 races
    * 2nd is Lewis and Bottas with 100 races (1 race Lewis didn’t participate due to Covid)
    * 3rd is Hakinnen and Coulthard with 99 races

    Bottas somehow managed to take part of Q3 qualifying in all of his 101 appearances for Mercedes. Oddly enough he is only ranked 3rd in the list with most consecutive top 10 qualifications (prior to penalties applied).
    – Senna is 1st with 134 from Dutch GP in 1985 till his death at Imola in 1994
    – Prost is 2nd with 109 from Canada GP in 1983 till Mexico 1990

    In 2021 no driver has managed to drive all the race laps, Sainz came closest with 1,294 out of 1,297, he finished all races but in 3 he was a lap down.

    1. That’s an amazing stat about Sainz @jelle-van-der-meer. I think there are good signs for Ferrari in 2022. The car and engine is a solid package, hardly any failures this year, a huge budget and fresh start and probably the best driver pairing on the grid.

    2. Sainz is surely not the fastest out there but is relentlessly consistent and I believe good WDC material if he gets to drive a capable machinery.

      Not surprised that he finished the season ahead of his maybe faster but more volatile teammate

      I was kinda expecting a big shunt in the Abu Dhabi final lap*, DNFing both title contenders. It would not have changed the WDC result (except in case of a points penalty for Max) but would have given Carlos his maiden F1 win, about time for that.

      Now I miss @balue trashing Carlos and saying he’s just rubbish and it all was pure luck ;]

      (*btw no one seems to have noticed or commented it, but in the last turn Max seemed to be losing the rear, minor drift included. For I split second it looked like it was going to end like the Jeddah quali lap, just a few yards from the flag)

      1. hyoko

        Now I miss @balue trashing Carlos and saying he’s just rubbish and it all was pure luck ;]

        To honour the absent @balue I think that if some people and some in media praised Sainz in an overrated way, not it’s gonna be deep. And despite the fact that Leclerc performed during the final stage of the season in a way somewhat underwhelming, with Sainz clearly gaining on him, and oddly enough more in quali than in race, he probably still finished the year with a tiny edge over his team-mate overall. But it will become invisible to most of those with short and selective memories. They just can remember a few Sainz’s podiums, not a lot of Leclerc’s top-6 finishes, let alone how much more luck the former had.

  19. First time in the turbo era that both Red Bulls have qualified in the top 4 in Abu Dhabi.

    5th time that Hamilton has managed exactly 17 podiums in one season.

    Bottas only managed 3 points more in 2021 than in 2020, despite there being 5 more races.

    3rd consecutive race in which Tsunoda and Ocon have started 8th and 9th.

    Ricciardo has managed 4 fewer points in 2021 than in 2020, despite managing a victory and there being 5 more races.

    Alonso and Ocon each started ahead of the other 11 times. Alonso finished ahead 11 times, and Ocon 10 times (neither driver finished in the USA).

    Leclerc finished ahead of Sainz 14 times from 22 races, but Sainz outscored him.

    All 4 of the drivers who scored exactly 1 win in 2021 finished behind their team-mates in the standings.

    The only Drivers’ Championship position changes as a result of this race were the Ferrari drivers swapping 5th and 7th (with Norris remaining 6th).

    Alfa Romeo had not had a mechanical DNF in 2021 prior to this race, in which both drivers retired thus. This means that each team has had at least 1 mechanical DNF and at least 1 non-mechanical DNF in 2021.

    2nd time this year that Verstappen has won a race in which he started on pole but only officially led 1 lap (after Belgium).

    First time since Austria 2016 that the winner has taken the lead on the last lap.

    Second time (after 1997) in which McLaren have managed the only 1-2 finish of the season but only finished 4th in the Constructors’ Championship.

    7th consecutive Abu Dhabi GP in which Hamilton has finished in the same position that he started.

    Only the second time since the turn of the millennium where the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships have been won by different teams, after 2008. In both 2008 and 2021, the two championships would have been won by the same team had the final race finished 1 lap earlier.

    First time since 1992-93 that Ferrari have gone 2 full seasons without a win.

    Thanks to statsf1 and the official F1 site for some of these.

  20. Wasn’t this the first championship win for a Honda-powered since 1991? Fitting for them, as they’re leaving the sport. What a goodbye present!

  21. End of the tradition that the winner of new venues takes the title

  22. Probably the record of both podium appearances for Ham Max Bot came to the end.

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