Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Abu Dhabi GP updates

All of the action for the 2021 Formula 1 world title decider, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit

Live: F1 Abu Dhabi GP updates

Max Verstappen sealed the 2021 Formula 1 world title with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory, clashing with Lewis Hamilton again and benefiting from a controversial late FIA safety car call.

The two rivals came together on the opening lap, but it was the decision to allow a final lap shootout that gave Verstappen the chance to put a decisive pass on Hamilton – who had led most of the race but was unable to stop during a virtual safety car and the full safety car that followed Nicholas Latifi crashing during the closing laps.

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb, Stefan Mackley

Summary

  • Verstappen wins the Abu Dhabi GP and his maiden F1 title with a last-lap pass on Hamilton
  • Safety car pits with one lap remaining after Latifi hits the barrier
  • Verstappen pitted for fresh soft tyres under caution period, Hamilton stayed out on old hards
  • Raikkonen retires from final F1 race with brake issue
  • At the start Hamilton took the lead but went off-track as Verstappen tried to repass - no investigation deemed necessary
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Hamilton, Mercedes
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  5. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  6. Bottas, Mercedes
  7. Norris, McLaren
  8. Alonso, Alpine
  9. Ocon, Alpine
  10. Leclerc, Ferrari
Status: Stopped
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Verstappen wins title by beating Hamilton in controversial last-lap duel

And here's the report - and that's it for 2021! https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-abu-dhabi-gp-verstappen-defeats-hamilton-to-win-title-in-controversial-last-lap-duel/6877931/

Blimey O'Riley, I think I've got my breath back now - that was something else. I think we're in for a very busy evening tonight - report coming your way very shortly!
This season finale will be one debated in years to come.
 
Hamilton: "Firstly, a big congratulations to Max and his team. I think we did an amazing job this year. It's been the most difficult of seasons. We gave it everything, and we never gave up."
Sainz: "I was very strong today. With the safety car at the end, nerves were high, but I kept it together."
 
Verstappen "It's unbelievable. All race, I kept fighting and then I had that opportunity on the final lap. Finally, a bit of luck for me. I want to say thank you to Checo too, he's the best team-mate."
Have you caught your breath yet? We haven't.
 
Carlos Sainz Jr finished third - we missed that among all the fun. Tsunoda and Gasly were fourth and fifth, with Bottas, Norris, Alonso, Ocon and Leclerc completing the top 10.
 
 
Good. Lord.
Max Verstappen wins the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - AND the title!
Hamilton comes back at him into Turn 9 - but Verstappen holds him! The title is his!
Verstappen makes the lunge into Turn 5 - and he takes the lead!
"Michael..." says Wolff, lost for words. That's it.
Race control let the lapped runners through! This is it!
Safety car in this lap! One racing lap!
Lapped cars won't be allowed to overtake - so we should get a lap of racing - but Verstappen will have to fight through.
Red Bull is retiring Perez. That's it for the second Red Bull driver - and all but cements the constructors' title for Mercedes.
The call for a safety car simply had to come with Latifi's car facing nose first to the wall on the track and unable to move. A small brake fire briefly sparked up in Latifi's front-left to make matters worse but it is quickly under control.
There's three laps left at this point. Will we get going again?
Mercedes has decided not to pit Hamilton this time around - and it looked as though they were going to pit, but they won't. "We would have lost track position" says Hamilton's race engineer.
Latifi was racing Schumacher, going wheel to wheel through Turn 9 and goes wide and off track. It looks like with dirty tyres the Williams driver loses grip through Turn 14 and spins into the wall.
This race and this season is providing drama right to the finish!
Verstappen pits for soft tyres now!
Latifi has crashed - safety car deployed!
Norris, with his fresh tyres, gets ahead of Alonso to take eighth place. Small comfort having been running in fifth and he now has a 11.5s gap to bridge to catch Gasly.
And on lap 51, Hamilton's now opened the gap by a tenth as Verstappen hits the traffic - bolstered by an extra car after Norris' stop.
Like for like on lap 50, Hamilton and Verstappen both logging 1m26.7s laps.
That pitstop has put Norris slap bang in the middle of the Alonso-Ocon-Ricciardo-Leclerc battle. Norris gets by Ocon to take ninth place on the exit of Turn 5.
Norris pits while defending in fifth from Bottas and it sounds like it was a slow puncture for the McLaren driver. Cruel luck for the Brit.
Verstappen took a second out of Hamilton on lap 47, but there was the traffic ahead. Alonso moves over, freeing up Hamilton.
"It says I have seven laps?" Hamilton asks. "Ignore the dash," comes the reply - there's more than that remaining.
10 laps to go - how are your nerves?
Verstappen's managing to take 0.2s out of Hamilton per lap at this point, which may be more as Hamilton comes up to deal with traffic.
Traffic coming up for Hamilton - the quartet of Leclerc, Ricciardo, Ocon and Alonso are battling ahead.