After a poor start off the line in an inferior car to his rival, Max Verstappen didn’t seem like the likely winner in Abu Dhabi. In a race in which he went level on points with Lewis Hamilton in the world championship standings, the driver needed to be at his best right from the very start.
A miracle is what was needed by Verstappen, and a miracle is what he got. Regardless of how things happened in the very last lap, everything started when a safety car was introduced some laps earlier, giving the team from Milton Keynes a sliver of hope.
This is something that the 2021 champion’s father, Jos Verstappen, also agrees on.
He said, “We found ourselves in a position to be able to attack because of the safety car.”
The former F1 driver also described how Red Bull pulled off an impromptu strategy that really put their driver in a position to overtake, the crucial pass that eventually saw him emerge as the winner.
“But the overtaking had yet to materialize. I think the team has worked out a good strategy, calling him immediately to the pits. They did a lot of very good actions over the course of the season.” (Translated via Google Translate)
Fighting is in the DNA of Max Verstappen
Jos Verstappen has no second doubts as to which rival deserved the prize more – “I think Max was the rider who really deserved the title.” He explained how his son is a fighter, who will always fight through hardships because “this is in his DNA.”
Max Verstappen has spoken of the cramp problems he was facing in the last few laps of the race that could’ve been the ‘make or break’ for his season. His father also described how Verstappen was pushing it on every single lap.
“He confessed to me that he was pushing hard every lap, and that he was driving hard. In the end, he had a chance, which he took full advantage of on the last lap.”
The final lap incidents at the Yas Marina Circuit were inarguably controversial and probably unfair to an extent.