Verstappen reacts to ‘insane’ F1 title triumph

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has dubbed his last-gasp Formula 1 world championship success “unbelievable” after the most dramatic of deciders at Abu Dhabi.

The 24-year-old is now the first Dutchman in history to win the F1 drivers’ title, having made a splendid last-lap overtake on archrival Lewis Hamilton at Turn 5.

There was controversy amid procedures under the late Safety Car period triggered by Nicholas Latifi’s crash, future Mercedes driver George Russell labelling the decisions of race control “unacceptable”.

Until that point, Hamilton had appeared in total control and en route to a record eighth championship.

Nevertheless, the Mercedes star was gracious post-race as Verstappen and his Red Bull team burst into celebrations.

“It’s unbelievable,” Verstappen reacted.

“I mean, throughout the whole race, I kept fighting and then of course, that opportunity in the last lap.

“It’s incredible. I’m still having a cramp. But it’s insane. It’s insane.

“I mean, I don’t know what to say, these guys here, my team, and of course, Honda as well, they deserve it. I love them so much. And I really, really enjoy working with them already since 2016, but this year has been incredible.”

Verstappen reserved special praise for team-mate Sergio Perez, who had successfully thrown everything mid-race at trying to back Hamilton into the #33 Red Bull.

Now, he’s looking to establish a juggernaut partnership akin to Hamilton/Mercedes and Michael Schumacher/Ferrari, as an overhaul of technical regulations await the field for 2022.

“To my team, I think they know I love them, and I hope we can do this for 10, 15 years together,” said Verstappen.

“There’s no reason to change ever. I want to stay with them for the rest of my life. I hope they let me but yeah, it’s insane.

“I’m so happy and also you know, Christian [Horner], but also Helmut [Marko], trusting me to be in the team in 2016. Our goal of course was to win this championship and now we have done that.”

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