Max Verstappen referred to the events from the decisive race of the Abu Dhabi GP season in which he won his first title in his career and said that this year's title fight would have been decided ‘much earlier’ if he had been more lucky.
Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton in the final lap of the race in Abu Dhabi to win his first career title. Max and Hamilton fought fiercely for the title throughout the season, and in the end, the Dutchman triumphed. The Red Bull driver has a fantastic season behind him: he won 18 podiums, which is a new F1 record, and of the races in which he reached the finish line, he finished only one outside the podium (at the Hungarian GP).
Many fans, primarily Hamilton and Mercedes, are of the opinion that Max was lucky in Abu Dhabi, but Verstappen believes that it only came back to him for all the bad luck he had during the season: "It's always hard to find the right words, but you also need a little luck in life, and until that moment I wasn't too lucky this season because otherwise the championship would have been decided much earlier."
"My happiness came at the right time. But then you have to take the opportunity that came your way, which we did together as a team, "Verstappen said. Verstappen lost a clear victory in Baku when his tire burst two laps before the race, and in addition he lost a very likely safe podium in Hungary because he found himself in a chain incident caused by Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton looked like this year's champion until the 53rd lap, but everything changed when a safety car challenged by Nicolas Latifi came out on the track. Red Bull did not have the speed to follow Mercedes in the race, but they made a decision, so they called Verstappen into pit and switched him to soft tires, while Mercedes left Hamilton on the track.
"It was very difficult. Of course, I saw that they were much faster. We tried everything we could as a team. I simply told myself that I would do everything in my power, I would drive to the limits, I would do my best, I would not let it be easy for them."
Verstappen also commented on Perez's fantastic defense against Hamilton, which he slowed down Hamilton by over 7 seconds, which allowed Verstappen to get closer to Hamilton in the middle of the race. "Of course, Checo also did an amazing job.
It was also because of him that I won this title. " Massi's decision to allow only five drivers who were between Hamilton and Verstappen to return to the same lap with the leaders and the hasty protocols around the restart of the race caused great controversy.
Verstappen was asked if it was necessary to show the red flag and give everyone a chance to change their tires, and the Dutchman replied: "Yes, but racing doesn't work that way. You have to make the right decision at the right time.
We took a risk and switched to a new set of tires." "Maybe if they had gone to the pit, I would have stayed on track and we would have had the same scenario only with reverse roles. You can always talk about things like this later.
" For his first title, Verstappen defeated the most successful driver of all time, Lewis Hamilton, and when asked if his goal was to win 7 or 8 titles, Verstappen replied: "You have to be a little lucky to be in the right team for that period in time to fight for those titles.
I don't think too much about it, I always try my best and I'm happy to have at least one title now, "added Verstappen.