Max Verstappen speaks out on 2021 Abu Dhabi GP ‘robbery’

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton were embroiled in controversy in 2021 as they fought hard for the title.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has spoken out on the 2021 season finale, where he controversially claimed his first world title.

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a momentous occasion for Verstappen, but in many ways a dark one for Formula 1.

Whilst it cannot be argued that Verstappen was a worthy World Champion, the way in which it was one will forever be discussed.

Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton entered the season finale level on points, knowing that whoever finished ahead of the other would take the crown.

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Hamilton comfortably led from Verstappen for virtually the entire race, until a Safety Car was required in the closing laps after Nicholas Latifi crashed.

Hamilton opted not to pit for fresh tyres, whilst Verstappen boxed for a set of Soft tyres.

It was looking for all the world like the race wouldn’t resume to green flag racing, something which would’ve secured Hamilton an unprecedented eighth world title.

However, race director Michael Masi was keen to finish the season with green flag racing, something he made happen by breaking the rules.

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Masi ordered only the lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to un-lap themselves, something which isn’t allowed.

Either every car should be allowed to un-lap themselves, or none at all.

This happened on the penultimate lap, which should’ve resulted in the final lap being completed behind the Safety Car.

When lapped cars are allowed to un-lap themselves, an additional lap is meant to be completed behind the Safety Car.

Instead, Masi decided to restart the race, which saw a last lap battle decide the title.

Verstappen ultimately overtook Hamilton at Turn 5 to take his maiden crown, which has been a talking point ever since.

Perhaps due to the controversy behind the event, Verstappen has chosen not to watch the race back.

“No, I’m not going to watch that again. I know I won. Usually it’s friends who like to see that again,” Verstappen told De Telegraaf.

“I’m not much into it right now. Maybe later, when I’ve stopped. In the months after that race in Abu Dhabi I looked back a bit, but at a certain point I only look forward.”

Verstappen is very much a forward-thinking person, with him simply focusing on the next event, his home race.

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The Dutch Grand Prix will bring the summer break to a close and presents Verstappen with an opportunity to match Sebastian Vettel’s record for nine consecutive wins.

“This season it may all look easy to the viewer, but then I’m completely in that focus and I’m only concerned with the next race,” Verstappen said.

“And outside of Formula 1, sim racing also takes a lot of time. Then I’m back there analysing and finding the right adjustment.”