. ‘He didn’t expect me to overtake him there!’:
. Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the 2021 Formula One title at Abu Dhabi
. Verstappen has revealed more details about controversial final lap in new series
. ‘Verstappen – Lion Unleashed’ documentary sheds more light on Red Bull star
. The Dutchman says Hamilton ‘did not expect him’ to overtake on a corner
Formula One world champion Max Verstappen has revealed fresh details on his title-winning lap in Abu Dhabi in a new documentary about his 2021 season.
The Dutch driver is the subject of a new Viaplay series, and in it he reveals more about how he managed to overtake Lewis Hamilton in a controversial final lap of the season that saw him snatch the title from the Brit.
Much has been said about the end of the race in the months since, with race director Michael Masi sacked from his role – but Verstappen’s title will stand and all eyes will be on the Red Bull star heading into 2022.
In a new clip from the ‘Verstappen – Lion Unleashed’ documentary, the Dutchman reveals that he caught Hamilton by surprise with his late move, attacking him on a corner rather than a straight.
He (Hamilton) didn’t expect me to overtake him there,’ Verstappen said. ‘We had less downforce that weekend so we had more top speed… so I wanted to be up front because without DRS I can defend.
‘Even if he came alongside me he could never overtake me because of the top-speed advantage. With the grip I had I went for that corner and defended those other corners.’
The final race of the season saw Nicholas Latifi crash late on, bringing out a safety car with just a few laps remaining.
Controversially, Masi allowed some but not all back-markers to unlap themselves and then withdrew the safety car early, allowing Verstappen to close the gap to Hamilton and attack him on the final lap of the race.
Verstappen had far fresher tyres, allowing him a clean run at his Mercedes rival, and he managed to get past him and see out the victory, sealing himself a first ever drivers’ title.
This season, the pair will go head-to-head again as Hamilton looks to get revenge, and Verstappen tries to defend his title.
Despite the season starting later this month, there is now some confusion over the make-up of the grid, with Haas driver Nikita Mazepin’s future up in the air.
The Russian driver is the subject of a meeting involving F1 bosses today, in which they will discuss whether Mazepin can continue in the sport.
This meeting comes in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and with the Russian Grand Prix pulled from the 2022 race schedule.