How Perez's Hamilton defiance was vital to Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph
Max Verstappen won the 2021 Formula 1 world championship in a thrilling final lap showdown with Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, the Red Bull man's new tyres leaving his Mercedes rival defenceless. Amid much controversy over the late restart, an earlier piece of team play that delayed Hamilton would have lasting consequences
“It sums up the season a little bit.”
Max Verstappen was laconically commenting on Mercedes’ decision to protest – on two separate grounds – his victory in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which handed him world title glory over Lewis Hamilton on the road. But considering all the race contained, the 90 minutes of action around the Yas Marina track were really the entire season in microcosm.
There was a passing controversy involving the title contenders, Red Bull and Mercedes furious with the FIA at separate points, amazing racing between Hamilton and Sergio Perez, tyre tactics and silly crashes. It really had all we’d seen before, plus new episodes that will live forever in F1’s memory and will be hotly debated in person, on the toxic wastelands of social media and, surely, in the courtroom.
Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?
OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed
Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS
He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing
The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period
OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge
Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?
Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…
Hamilton felt Abu Dhabi GP was "manipulated" in unplayed radio message
Autosport Podcast: F1 Abu Dhabi GP review
Subscribe and access Autosport.com with your ad-blocker.
From Formula 1 to MotoGP we report straight from the paddock because we love our sport, just like you. In order to keep delivering our expert journalism, our website uses advertising. Still, we want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an ad-free and tracker-free website and to continue using your adblocker.