Max Verstappen SNATCHES F1 world title from Lewis Hamilton on last lap in dramatic and controversial season ender

MAX VERSTAPPEN won his first world title in dramatic style after a final-lap overtake on Lewis Hamilton.

Brit star Hamilton was denied a record eighth world title after an incredible season-long battle with his Red Bull rival.




Verstappen and Hamilton were level in the drivers' standings heading into the final race on Sunday – but there was drama right at the end.

Hamilton led by more than 10 seconds and looked to be cruising towards the race win that would've given him an eighth world title.

But a safety car on lap 54 when Nicholas Latifi crashed into the barriers threw up one final dramatic twist.

Dutch superstar Verstappen chased down Hamilton on the final lap after pitting for fresh tyres under a safety car.

The safety car entered the pit lane with one lap remaining – and that freed up Verstappen for one final crack at the leader Hamilton.

And the young Dutch star grabbed his last-ditch chance to overtake Hamilton on turn five before streaking clear.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was left in tears and told Verstappen on radio "I'm so proud of you, Max".

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Mercedes were left speechless at the title being snatched from them on the final lap after the controversial safety car decision.

Verstappen said: "It's unbelievable. I tried the whole race and kept fighting then got the opportunity on the last lap.

"It's insane – finally a bit of luck for me. I love my team and fans and hope we can do this for 10/15 years together.

My goal when I was little was to become a F1 driver and you hope for wins and to be on the podium.

"You hear the national anthem and hope that one day they'll play yours.

"When you stand here and they tell you you're the world champion, it's incredible.

"Especially with my dad and the special moment we had here. All the things come back to your mind from over the years and travelling together and then it all came together on the final lap.

"Most of my family friends who pushed me were here today. It's amazing.



Verstappen added: "Lewis is an amazing driver and an amazing competitor and made it really hard for us.

"The two teams ran against each other and had some hard times but that's all part of sport and emotion."

Hamilton said: "A big congratulations to Max and his team. I think we did an amazing job this year. My team worked so hard this whole year, it's been the most difficult of seasons.

"We gave it everything and never gave up and that's the most important thing.

"I've felt great in the car in the past couple of months. We're still in the pandemic and I just want everyone to stay safe and spend Christmas with their families and we'll see about next year."



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