Abu Dhabi, Dec 12 (IANS) Max Verstappen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the Formula One world championship title for Red Bull after passing the Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the last lap in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton finished second as the race ended in a nail-biting one-lap sprint, which saw Valtteri Bottas finish sixth and Sergio Perez retired from the final race. The Mercedes, however, clinched a record eighth consecutive constructors’ championship.
Hamilton jumped Verstappen at the start, while the Dutchman came back in Turn 6, nudging him wide and over the run-off, but the Mercedes driver continued in the lead. Stewards decided not to investigate. The pit window opened when Verstappen came in on Lap 13, Hamilton a lap later, leaving Sergio Perez in the lead with the mission to hold off Hamilton.
Perez did exactly that, on Laps 20 to 21 – being dubbed a “legend” by his team mate as he let him past to continue the chase, before pitting on Lap 22. The podium looked certain until he retired on Lap 56 under a Safety Car, which was brought out for a Nicholas Latifi crash.