Max Verstappen finds miracles happening in the form of a safety car | Formula One | Breaking News Updates

Max Verstappen finds miracles happening in the form of a safety car | Formula One

| Local News | News Today

SShortly after the most chaotic and thrilling end of a Formula 1 title race in the history of the sport, Max Verstappen stood atop his Red Bull car, his fists pumping and shaking as if lightning flashed through him. , before making a flying descent, Frankie Dettori style. Who could blame him? Somehow, against all odds, he had passed Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic shootout on the last lap of the final race of 2021. A first world title was won. Yet this one-season F1 thriller still had one final vicious twist to come.

While the Dutch driver was partying, Hamilton’s Mercedes team spotted two apparent rule violations. An appeal has been filed. The lawyers have been consulted. Suddenly, it was no longer a sporting competition, but legal.

And so the world waited. It wasn’t until 11 p.m. local time in Abu Dhabi – more than four hours after Verstappen finished two seconds ahead of Hamilton – for the stewards to dismiss the appeals from both Mercedes. It was official.

Verstappen was truly the world champion. “I am very relieved,” admitted the Dutchman. “It has been a very stressful day. I’ll have a little drink. Then there was a firm hug for Red Bull manager Christian Horner who said the right man won. “I’m disappointed we had to go through this, but it’s been an amazing year,” said Horner.

“He’s a deserved world champion and no one can take that away from him.” Mercedes certainly tried. First on the track. Then on a long and winding call. The myriad twists and turns of what happened in Abu Dhabi will make great content for the Netflix series, Drive To Survive, which has attracted millions of new fans in F1. But it was also unsatisfying that such intense competition was going on in the flight attendant’s room.

The race itself? Well, that was limited by some great stanzas at the start and end, and a quiet middle eight. Verstappen crossed the line when the lights went out, allowing his rival to free himself. But the Dutchman quickly recovered and at turn six dived inside, forcing Hamilton to cut through the chicane. It was a smart move and most pundits felt Verstappen should have taken the lead. The flight attendants disagreed.

After the dazzling opening, the race settled into a simple story: Hamilton in the lead, Verstappen on his heels, but never threatening to mount a serious challenge. On lap 53, the Englishman’s long waltz to victory seemed almost over and he was ready to greet the top step of the podium like an old friend.

At this point, Red Bull had also given up. As Horner admitted with 10 laps to go: “The pace of the Mercedes is just too strong today. In all fairness, they just got a faster car. We’re going to need a miracle. Then, out of nowhere, Red Bull had an almighty slice of luck. With five of 58 laps to go, Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams, forcing the safety car out.

Red Bull called on Verstappen for new tires. But initially it didn’t seem to matter. Laps 54, 55, 56 came and went with the safety car still out and Latifi’s car still not cleared. Then, in a few remarkable seconds, the race and the championship came back to life. Latifi’s first vehicle has been cleared. Then Michael Masi made the fateful decision to allow five overtaken cars to overtake the safety car, which suddenly resulted in a shootout between Verstappen and Hamilton.

As they waited for the signal to start, centimeters separated them. Hamilton had the fastest vehicle, but the tires were worn out. It turned out to be too debilitating. Verstappen took off from him, then pushed him back as the pair nearly touched the wheels, before rushing home at full speed.

The safety car allowed Max Verstappen to get closer to Lewis Hamilton and with newer tires.
The safety car allowed Max Verstappen to get closer to Lewis Hamilton and with newer tires. Photography: Sky Sports

However, the title race was not over yet. Mercedes had spotted an apparent sporting rule violation 48.8, with Verstappen edging Hamilton under the safety car before the start of the final lap.

The stakes could not have been higher. Red Bull knew that if the FIA ​​sided with Mercedes, a potential sanction could include a five-second penalty, which would demote Verstappen to second place and give Hamilton the title. Mercedes also argued that article 48.12, relating to overtaken cars allowed to overtake the safety car, was also violated by race director Masi during the last dramatic stages.

“It was not fair,” blasted Mercedes’ Toto Wolff after Masi’s decision. Masi replied, “It’s a car race, we went to a car race.”

Quick guide

How can I subscribe to sports news alerts?

To show

  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play Store on Android phones by searching for “The Guardian”.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you are using the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then navigate to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Activate sports notifications.

Thank you for your opinion.

It took a while, but both appeals were ultimately dismissed – with the FIA ​​claiming the Dutchman had not broken any rules and also insisting that Masi had the flexibility under the regulations to control the safety car. Many will disagree with this decision. But can you really fault him for wanting a one-on-one to settle a world title, rather than a last-lap profession behind a safety car? “It’s amazing,” Verstappen said afterward. “Throughout the race I kept fighting and then the opportunity presented itself on the last lap. It’s crazy. This year will go down in history. Miracles happen.

Hamilton, meanwhile, took his loss with impressive grace, immediately hugging Verstappen and wishing him good luck. The result means the 36-year-old remains tied with Michael Schumacher on seven titles. Still, he has time – and the fastest car in the paddock – on his side.

Today Headlines Usa News Max Verstappen finds miracles happening in the form of a safety car | Formula One

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button