Max Verstappen wins Formula 1 title by overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the last lap

Max Verstappen won his first Formula 1 championship in a stunning way on Sunday, snatching the title from rival Lewis Hamilton on the la...


Max Verstappen won his first Formula 1 championship in a stunning way on Sunday, snatching the title from rival Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the season after a highly controversial decision by race officials to resume racing after a late crash.

The finish capped a superb day of high-stakes racing and ended a final day’s duel for the world title in which Hamilton had led most of the race.

“It’s just crazy,” Verstappen said, adding: “When you stand here and they tell you you’re the world champion, it’s just amazing.”

The decision of the race officials to resume the race for one final lap after a crash by Nicholas Latifi with five laps remaining was a game-changer at the finish. Moments earlier, the crash had seemed to give Hamilton the title as there was so little time left in the race. Verstappen had recently made a pit stop for new tires, a final attempt to catch up with Hamilton.

But after initially signaling the race would end behind a safety car, race officials cleared the track’s debris and cleared the slower cars between Hamilton, in front, and Verstappen, in second. Verstappen and his Red Bull team, couldn’t believe their good fortune; Hamilton and Mercedes were crushed.

“This is auto racing,” the race director’s annoyed voice told the Mercedes team managers when they complained, but then the decision was made. The event would end, it was decided, with the cars racing, not in a parade to the line.

It didn’t take long for Verstappen to grab his opening, and he quickly passed Hamilton for the lead. Hamilton, who was hoping to win his record-breaking eighth world title, breaking a tie with Michael Schumacher, just didn’t have enough time to regain the lead.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ended a unique Formula 1 season. As the pandemic forced many long-running races to be canceled, the sport was quick to add new ones. When the checkered flag came down on Sunday, it closed Formula 1’s longest season.

Scheduled events in China, Canada, Singapore, Japan and Australia have been canceled, but races have been added in Portugal, Turkey and Qatar, which hosted their first Grand Prix in November.

“We were able to bring home a schedule that will take us to 22 races this year, showing how strong the system is and how good the relationship we have around the world is,” said Stefano Domenicali, Managing Director of Formula 1.

The record-breaking schedule, up from 21 races in 2019, was positive news for Formula 1 as it tried to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Incomes surged, increasing 12 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year, but the longer season has also taken its toll on the teams. The Haas team said workers quit due to the extra workload and constant travel.

Günther Steiner, Haas’ team manager said a handful of his staff were leaving to find jobs outside of Formula 1, in part because of the growing schedule.

“A few people just don’t want to participate in the 23-race program next year,” he said, adding that an engineer had just started a family and was planning to leave. “In general, I would say we have a little more sales than in previous years, but not a lot.”

It’s not going to get any easier. The schedule will lengthen again in 2022 due to the addition of the Miami Grand Prix. Twenty-three races are scheduled from March 20 to November 20. About a month was cut out of the season to avoid a clash with the FIFA World Cup. To account for this compressed schedule, races will be held on Sundays in a row 11 times, up from eight this season, giving teams less time to rest. Twice there will be events on three consecutive weekends.

Andreas Seidl, McLaren team manager, said that having more races in a shorter season “would make the task even more intense between the first and the last race”.

“But it’s positive to see how great the interest is in the different countries,” he said. “As a team we are very interested in the commercial growth of Formula 1.”

Still, senior officials are aware of the cost of the schedule for team personnel, including drivers.

Lando norris de McLaren said it becomes “more difficult” to find time to rest and recover between races as new Grands Prix are added. He called the amount of travel “one of the hardest things.”

“It is wreaking havoc on you,” he said. “We are less directly at work than mechanics and engineers. But our side of the job is a lot more physical, and it’s always mentally draining, how much you have to focus, how much time and effort you put into thinking about all of these things and trying to improve yourself, etc.

Sebastian vettel Aston Martin has warned that Formula 1 “must not overlook the fact that we are a group of people and human beings traveling the world.”

“If we have 52 weekends a year, we do 23 in the form of races and [there are] a few months a year that we can’t run races in most parts of the world [because of the weather], that obviously gives you a very intense season, ”he said.

“The objective must be [that] we have a sustainable way of managing our season, not only for our environment, but also for human resources. “

Teams are taking steps to ease the burden. Many allow people to miss certain races to stay cooler during the season. Some teams offer financial incentives to work more errands and book more comfortable hotels at the end of a long trip.

The extension might also not stop at 23 races. Qatar and China have contracts to each host one race from 2023, which would create a 25-race schedule, the limit set by Formula 1 regulations.

Franz Tost, AlphaTauri’s main team, feared that the saturation of the races would also be too much for the fans.

“I think Formula 1 will lose a bit [of] the premium market, because if every weekend there is a race, people will lose interest, ”he said.

“That’s what worries me the most: not because of the workload, it’s because people are overloaded with shopping.

Frédéric Vasseur, Alfa Romeo team manager, said that a potential 25-race calendar should be seen as “a positive first, as it means Formula 1 is doing well and the perception of F1 is growing. improved”.

“We have to make sure that the fans don’t lose their motivation,” he said. “It’s important. But for the team, I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal.

Kimi raikkonen Alfa Romeo will retire from Formula 1 this weekend, ending a 20-year career. When it debuted in 2001, the calendar consisted of just 17 races, the majority of which were in Europe. He did not finish Sunday’s race.

Raikkonen, 42, said the growing schedule was not a factor in his decision to retire. But he urged caution about the impact it would have on those working in Formula 1.

“They work long days, especially if there are issues with the cars,” he said. When racing in Mexico, he said, “They worked overnight. It’s hard for them.

“The problem is going to exhaust a lot of people,” Raikkonen said, “and it won’t be good for anyone.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Max Verstappen wins Formula 1 title by overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the last lap
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