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’One ball six required and guess what, Max Verstappen hits it’: Reaction to Redbull’s new world champion

2021 FIA Formula One World Champion Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium of the Yas Marina Circuit after winning the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on December 12, 2021. Photo: Kamram Jebreili/AFP

2021 FIA Formula One World Champion Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium of the Yas Marina Circuit after winning the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on December 12, 2021. Photo: Kamram Jebreili/AFP

Published Dec 13, 2021

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Abu Dhabi - Max Verstappen edged out Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday to win the 2021 Formula One world championship.

It was a controversial last lap that led to a double appeal from Hamilton's Mercedes team.

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Here are some of the reactions from the pitlane and beyond:

"The sport needed a new world champion and I think it was well done in the end, Max Verstappen has driven very well the whole season."

- Jackie Stewart, three-time former world champion

"What a showdown! I love champions, records and stories that make my heart beat 300 beats a minute Congratulations World Champion @Max33Verstappen. And to @LewisHamilton for an epic season and a story that surely continues."

- Mario Andretti, 1978 F1 world champion

"It's going to be commented in terms of rule about safety car. I can understand they (Mercedes) are not going to be happy about that. It was exceptional for the show. Always going to be controversial. I try to feel the happiness for Max and the sadness for Lewis."

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- Alain Prost, four-time world champion

"A lot of not very happy people. And a lot of very happy people. This is a new way of running the sport where the Race Director can make these ad hoc decisions. It's been a bit too 'guess what I'm going to do now', I think."

- Damon Hill, 1996 world champion

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"Hats off to Max... big congrats & respect!!! Also an awesome performance by Lewis... it's been an epic F1 season!"

- Nico Rosberg, 2016 world champion and former Mercedes teammate of Hamilton

"Both (Lewis & Max) deserved it. Obviously I don't know what exactly happened at the end, but congratulations to both of them."

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- Sebastian Vettel, four-time world champion

"We wanted to get both titles. It hurts that Lewis didn’t get the drivers'."

- Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton's Mercedes teammate

"Max is an absolutely fantastic driver who has had an incredible season and I have nothing but huge respect for him, but what just happened is absolutely unacceptable. I cannot believe what we've just seen."

- George Russell, Williams driver

"For it to end like that, I'm not so sure."

- Lando Norris, McLaren driver

"WHAT A BOSS! @Max33Verstappen"

- Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool and Netherlands footballer

"Wow. What an incredible ending of a Formule 1 season to remember forever! Two fantastic teams going all in for the win but there can only be one winner. A true champion replaced by another true champion. Congrats to @Max33Verstappen. You made us proud."

- Former Netherlands striker Robin Van Persie

"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."

- Former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar

"1 ball 6 required and guess what, Max Verstappen hits it. Unbelievable win."

- India cricketer Rohit Sharma

AFP

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