F1 Title Victor Max Verstappen Mocks His Botched Abu Dhabi GP Start

Published 12/12/2021, 11:58 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after the start of the race REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah


It was an eventful beginning to the Abu Dhabi GP; Lewis Hamilton got a dream start as he lead the Abu Dhabi GP going into Turn 1. Further, his rival’s race car started a tenth of a second slower than his. Pole-sitter and eventual race winner, Max Verstappen, now laughs about his slightly disastrous start.

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Now a Formula 1 champion, Max Verstappen looked back at what could’ve been an easier race start for him. With the track advantage of being the pole sitter, his race start was less than ideal. However, in hindsight, it has become a minor detail in the larger storyline of the Abu Dhabi GP.

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When asked about his start, Verstappen mocked himself. “It couldn’t have been more beautiful. You couldn’t have written it better!”

Clearly not on the champion’s mind anymore, the Dutch Lion has more to celebrate, yet more to be worried about; as Mercedes protest the driver’s maiden title, it may be a while before Verstappen can fully celebrate.

Max Verstappen counts his blessings

In the dying moments of the race, Christian Horner made a strong statement on the airwaves: Red Bull needed a miracle to win the race. Little did the team principal know, Nicholas Latifi would hand it to him.

Having gone into the barriers in Turn 14, the Canadian brought out the Safety Car with five laps remaining; crucial for Red Bull and a nightmare for Mercedes. The Milton-Keynes team took advantage of the situation and pitted Verstappen for soft tires.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Further, as the traffic ahead of him parted to bring him closer to his rival, Verstappen was quicker, and he had the racing line to quickly overtake him. As the controversial miracle worked out for him, Verstappen was grateful.

“Throughout the whole race, I just tried to keep on pushing; tried to keep believing in it even though it didn’t look like it, and sometimes, miracles happen.”

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Miracles do happen as Verstappen is now the leading man in Formula 1’s historical narrative in Abu Dhabi. With lots of champagnes and a long break ahead of him, we can’t wait to see more of the 2021 champion on the Formula 1 track.

Watch this story: 5 F1 Crashes Which Stunned the World

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Shreya Sanjeev

760 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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