“That’s What Real Sportsmen Do” – Max Verstappen Waxes Lyrical of Lewis Hamilton

Published 12/16/2021, 1:27 AM EST
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after finishing first and second respectively in the sprint race qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to become the 2021 world champion. The Briton was certainly disappointed not to take home his eighth world title but graciously congratulated the Red Bull driver on his accomplishment.

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Often rivals push each other to the limit, but there is a certain amount of respect between them. That was the exact case when Verstappen stole the title in the closing laps of the Abu Dhabi GP, and Hamilton congratulated him for winning his first title.

Max Verstappen appreciates sporting behavior from Lewis Hamilton

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Both Hamilton and Verstappen have thrown everything at each other this season to come out on top. In the end, it was the Red Bull prodigy who emerged victorious at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, claiming his first F1 title.

Hamilton had to settle for second place which saw him lose out on a historic eighth title. However, Hamilton didn’t hesitate to congratulate his arch-rival. Speaking on this, Max said to Sky Sports, “What was very nice was that, Lewis came straight up to me after he was out of the car, and he congratulated me. That’s what real sportsmen do, and especially you know from Lewis to see that was very nice, and also Lewis’ dad, (Anthony) by the way.”

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A dramatic end to the title-deciding race in Abu Dhabi

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The Dutch driver was starting on pole position for Sunday’s race, but as soon as the lights went out, it was Hamilton who got the lead. However, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez defiantly prevented the Mercedes driver to overtake him, so that his teammate could catch up.

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 with the Netherlands flag on the podium REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

After Hamilton passed Perez, it seemed like only a matter of time before he took the win. Max’s title hopes were fading away, until Nicholas Latifi crashed, bringing out a safety car. A controversial decision by the FIA saw both title contenders neck-and-neck for the last laps of the race.

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Lewis did his best to keep Verstappen in his rearview mirrors, but failed; resulting in Max taking the lead of the race to the chequered flag. With such an intense end to the season, the Formula One community can’t wait to see what the 2022 season has in store for them. What are your predictions for next year? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

1279 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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