Official: Max Verstappen is the new world champion!



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Official: Max Verstappen is the new world champion!

Max Verstappen won his first championship title in an incredibly dramatic way after overtaking Lewis Hamilton in the final lap on the fifth turn thanks to a happy combination of circumstances that allowed Verstappen to attack Hamilton on much fresher and faster tires.

Hamilton had a great start from the inside and took the lead before the first turn, and Perez overtook Norris who came out wide at the exit of the first turn while Bottas lost two places and fell behind Leclerc and Tsunoda.

Red Bull complained to race director Michael Masi that Hamilton did not regain his position even though he cut the bend, but Masi replied that Verstappen forced Hamilton to drive off-track and slowed down enough after cutting the bend and thus did not gain a lasting advantage.

But a controversial moment occurred in the sixth turn of the first lap when Verstappen launched a late attack from the inside, Hamilton had to avoid a collision and cut the chicane, and the referees very quickly announced that there was no need to investigate the incident.

Sainz overtook Norris and held fourth place for Ferrari behind Hamilton, Verstappen and Perez, while Norris held fifth place ahead of Leclerc, Tsunoda, Bottas, Ocon and Ricciard. Hamilton took advantage and started to build an advantage over Verstappen, and in the 11th lap he drove a second faster lap and increased his lead to 6.3 seconds after 13 laps, and Red Bull then called Verstappen into pits and put a new set of hard tires on the car.

Verstappen returned to fifth place and overtook Norris on the first DRS route, and Mercedes reacted immediately and called Hamilton at the end of lap 14 when he got a new set of tires and returns to second place, 11 seconds behind Perez who was not yet in the pit.

Verstappen managed to overtake Sainz in the 18th lap on the sixth turn after previously flying wide in the penultimate turn and had to postpone the attack on Sainz, and the Dutchman then came in 8.5 seconds behind Hamilton who was then 2.5 seconds behind leader Perez .

Hamilton attacked Perez for the first time before braking for the sixth turn in lap 20, but Perez gave him back in the second DRS zone and regained first place ahead of braking for the ninth turn. After that, the Mexican further slowed down the Briton in the third sector, which helped Verstappen catch the connection.

Hamilton overtakes Perez on the brake for the sixth turn in the 21st lap, and the Mexican then releases the gas to overtake Verstappen and at the end of the lap enters the pits for hard tires Raikkonen (in the 26th) lap loses control of the rear end on braking for the sixth turn due to problems with the braking system, then enters the pits and finishes his last appearance in Formula 1.

In the same lap, Russell, who lost his strength in the Mercedes power unit, also gave up, but managed to get to the pits and give up while Bottas entered pit for the first time at the end of the 30th lap and returned to ninth place.

Giovinazzi stopped by the track due to hydraulic problems that caused the conditions of the virtual safety car, and Red Bull took advantage of this, invited Verstappen to pit for new hard tires after which the Dutchman returned to second place 19 seconds behind Hamilton.

Continuation

Ten laps before the end Hamilton had an 11.7-second lead over Verstappen who failed to be significantly faster than Hamilton despite significantly newer hard tires, and Norris had to go to the pit from fifth place due to a slow tire burst and returned to tenth place.

Norris managed to overtake Ocon and Alonso in the Alpine on much newer medium tires and break into eighth place behind Tsunoda and Gasly, and after Latifi's collision at the exit of the 14th turn in the 53rd lap, a safety car comes out on the track.

Red Bull invited Verstappen to the pit for a set of soft tires while Mercedes could not call Hamilton because of the position on the track because they would lose the leading position, and after the track was cleared we were left with only one lap of racing.

The FIA ‚Äč‚Äčannounced at the last minute that drivers who were a full lap late could overtake the safety car even though they initially announced it would not happen, which meant Verstappen returned to second place on the track behind Hamilton, and when the race began Verstappen was quite close to Hamilton and attacked him on the brake for the fifth turn in the last lap.


Hamilton tried to fight back in two DRS directions, but on much older and two-step harder tires he had no chance and Verstappen achieved the victory he needed for the title. Sainz finished third for Ferrari after Perez gave up near the end of the race, securing fifth place in the drivers 'standings, and Mercedes won the constructors' title for the eighth year in a row.

Tsunoda and Gasly had a great race for AlphaTauri in fourth and fifth place, and Bottas finished his five-year career at Mercedes in sixth place ahead of Norris at McLaren. Alonso and Ocon finished eighth and ninth for Alpine, and Leclerc was tenth for Ferrari after a second boxing entry during the virtual safety car.