Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton suffered a heartbreak at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday as he missed out on a record eighth F1 world championship title after a dramatic end to the race. With Hamilton leading comfortably in the final few laps of the season-ending race, Nicholas Latifi of Williams crashed towards the end. This saw the safety car being brought in, which allowed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to close the gap on title rival Hamilton. The lapped cars were then allowed to overtake the safety car just before it was taken off, allowing Verstappen to start the final lap almost alongside Hamilton.
Taking advantage of his faster tyres, Verstappen comfortably overtook Hamilton and sealed victory to pip Hamilton to the world championship title.
This was Verstappen’s maiden title. He also became the first ever Dutch driver to secure the world championship.
Reacting to the thrilling race, Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar congratulated Verstappen and offered his sympathies to Hamilton.
“What a race! Congrats to Max for becoming the World Champion for the 1st time & there will be many more. However, my heart goes out to Lewis. What a season he’s had too. If not for the safety car, the trophy would’ve been his. Sheer bad luck. All the best for the next season,” Tendulkar wrote in a tweet on Sunday.
What a race!
Congrats to Max for becoming the World Champion for the 1st time & there will be many more.
However, my heart goes out to Lewis. What a season he’s had too. If not for the safety car, the trophy would’ve been his. Sheer bad luck. All the best for the next season. pic.twitter.com/pYPLoin4gO
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) December 12, 2021
Earlier in Sunday’s race, Hamilton overtook Verstappen at the very beginning and took a comfortable lead.
However, having pitted early in the race, Hamilton’s tyres wore out towards the end.
The British driver was still in a comfortable position before Latifi’s crash allowed Verstappen to close in due to safety car regulations and then seal victory with a final-lap overtake.
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