In what was one of the most dramatic ends to a championship season ever, Max Verstappen won the world championship by passing Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Mercedes driver was leading the race from start until the last lap but did not pit under the safety car.
Hamilton was looking to become the greatest driver of all time by winning an unprecedented eighth world championship. But it wasn’t meant to be. Many drivers, such as Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher, were consoling the 7-time world champion.
Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher were the first drivers to console Lewis Hamilton after the race ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Y9dZUa7Zd7
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) December 12, 2021
It was a nice gesture from the two drivers to go up to Lewis and wish him the best and congratulate him for his effort.
WATCH STORY: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes
Lewis Hamilton remains gracious after the race to congratulate Max
As reported by Sky Sports, the Brit was reasonably disappointed but showed pure class while congratulating his championship rival. In the race, Hamilton did not put a foot wrong and did everything to keep Verstappen at bay.
But luck was not on the side of the 7-time world champion.
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 9, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
“Firstly congratulations to Max and to his team. I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, have worked so hard this whole year, it’s been the most difficult of seasons. I’m so proud of them and I’m so grateful to be a part of the journey with them.” said Hamilton.
“This last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and never gave up,” concluded Lewis.
It was not all in vain as he guided Mercedes to an eighth constructors’ championship. The German team broke the record held by Ferrari by winning eight consecutive championships. Hamilton will look to bounce back strongly next season and break the record of Michael Schumacher.
Djokovic ‘avenger’ sails through as Krejcikova stung by Tsitsipas rule – Aus Open round-up
Barbora Krejcikova was one of the former Grand Slam champions on the women’s side to win overnight but was hit by the new bathroom break. Meanwhile, Miomir Kecmanovic continued to “avenge” Novak Djokovic with another victory.
Emma Raducanu, Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios are all out of the Australian Open but the action – and the controversies – are carrying on.
One Grand Slam champion was hit with a time violation for a long toilet break – and then claimed she had broken her necklace. And another brought her five-year-son into her post-match press conference.
Home favourite Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Rafa Nadal are all in action later.
Barbora Krejcikova is the first player hit by the Tsitsipas rule
Andy Murray complained about the Greek player taking a long toilet break during their clash at the US Open last year.
And since then a new rule has been introduced to stop players leaving the court for too long between sets.
In a battle between French Open champions, she lost the first set to Jelena Ostapenko – and then disappeared for eight minutes. On her return, she claimed she had broken her necklace.
After her 2-6 6-4 6-4 win, the Czech said: “Today’s match was very tough, I had to dig deep to get this win, so I’m very happy and proud of myself. I’m never going to leave without a fight and I’m happy to show that on the court.”
Garbine Muguruza branded Krejcikova “unprofessional” for taking a taking a medical timeout at a crucial time during their fourth round match at the US Open
She took a nine-minute toilet break against Garbine Muguruza at the US Open
Meet Leo Azarenka
The two-time Australian Open champion destroyed No.15 seed Elina Svitolina 6-0 6-2 in only 67 minutes – and gave her press conference with her son on her knee.
And the first question was to five-year-old Leo. How did mummy play today?
He replied: “Awesome”.
The former world No.1 said: “It’s definitely not a distraction, I will never say that. Being a parent is not easy. He’s full of personality. I don’t know where he gets it from obviously.
“But I always feel privileged that I’m able to have him here. These kind of moments are really priceless for me. To be able to share that with my son is pretty incredible.”
Britain’s last singles player is back on a familiar court.
Andy Murray played both his matches in the John Cain Arena – the stadium where he also lost his first-round match in 2019.
And Nick Kyrgios describes the 10,500-seat arena – which is capped at 50% capacity – his favourite in the world because of the atmosphere generated by ground ticketholders.
And British No.2 Dan Evans will face No.9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last match there tomorrow not before 5pm local time.
Miomir Kecmanovic was supposed to play his fellow Serb Novak Djokovic in the first round – but instead got to play and beat lucky loser and world No.146. Salvatore Caruso.
Today the World No.77 beat another Italian – No.25 seed Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 6-7 6-2 7-5 – for the biggest win of his career. He will now face No.17 seed Gael Monfils.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Kecmanovic. “A week ago I was supposed to play the world No. 1 and didn’t have much of a chance there, but now I’m in the last 16, so I’m happy that I was able to use this chance and that I’ve been playing some really good tennis.”
Royal Family LIVE: Horror as Meghan Markle ‘actively targeted’ by millions in £2.8m attack
MEGHAN MARKLE has been “actively targeted” by a £2.8million “hate-for-profit enterprise” viewed by millions online, according to new data.
Research compiled by data analytics service Bot Sentinel found the Duchess was a victim of three anti-Meghan YouTube channels. The report found together the channels had accumulated a total of 497 million views and an estimated £2.8million in revenue.
Bot Sentinel said: “It’s our opinion that several of the most well-known and active hate accounts were actively targeting journalists and royal commentators to boost their visibility and amplify their hate campaign; in some cases, they were successful.” In 2019 Meghan claimed she learned she had been one of the “most trolled people” in the world.
Hamilton disappointment still “very deep” – Wolff
Toto Wolff has revealed the disappointment at losing last year’s F1 drivers’ title still runs “very deep” inside Lewis Hamilton.
According to Wolff, the disillusionment felt at the time at the way the end of the grand prix in Abu Dhabi was handled by FIA race director Michael Masi remains.
With an FIA inquiry ongoing and no details due until early February as to what plans are likely to be in place for this season, and whether Masi will continue in his role, it is likely doubts around Hamilton will continue for at least another couple of weeks.
Asked in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport as to how deep the disappointment runs after losing out on the drivers’ title, Wolff said: “It’s very deep. Lewis, I and the whole team are disillusioned.
“We love this sport because it’s honest. The stopwatch never lies. But if we break the fundamental principle of fairness and the stopwatch is no longer relevant, then you doubt this sport, that all your work, blood, sweat and tears can be taken away from you.
“It’s going to take a long time to digest. I don’t think we’ll ever get over that, especially Lewis as a driver. At least we can try together with the FIA to do better in the future.”
Wolff is now expecting the FIA to come up with a positive plan of action, the results of which will not be fully ratified until a World Motor Sport Council meeting on March 18, two days before the first grand prix of a record-breaking 23-race season in Bahrain.
“I expect actions and not just words,” insisted Wolff. “In a sport that’s supposed to be a sport, we can’t freestyle like that with the set of rules.
“Before the start of the new season, there must be clarity about the rules so that every driver, team and fan knows what is allowed and what is not.
“In the end, we provide entertainment, but no decision should break the rules for the sake of the show.”
If Hamilton does return, Wolff is fully expecting him to display the qualities of a seven-time champion and take the fight to whichever driver will prove to be his main rival.
“The capacity of Lewis is often wrongly questioned,” remarked Wolff.
“Even after the events in Abu Dhabi, he immediately congratulated Max. Lewis only wants one thing – fair competition on the track. We will deliver that.”
“The capacity of Lewis is often wrongly questioned,” remarked Wolff.