Max Verstappen Wins F1 World Championship on Last Lap Pass

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Max Verstappen Wins F1 World Championship on Last Lap Pass

It started with an officiating controversy. Lewis Hamilton jumped past pole-sitting Max Verstappen on the start, but Verstappen made his diving lunge from what seemed like seconds back five laps later. Verstappen was ahead at the apex and made the corner, but he forced Hamilton off the road in the process. Hamilton then accelerated out of the next corner chicane while off the road, coming back in the lead anyway. Officials called it unworthy of a penalty for either driver and the race went on. For the first 50 laps, that was going to be the conversation of the race. When it ended under an officiating controversy, that moment was forgotten in an instant.

The race itself must be discussed first. Lewis Hamilton was far faster than Max Verstappen today, about 4/10ths of a second a lap throughout the race. Red Bull, however, made the right move at every turn. Verstappen and Hamilton both pitted around lap ten, but Red Bull chose not to pit Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez. Hamilton had a seven second gap on Verstappen when he caught Perez, who brilliantly blocked Hamilton throughout a battle that saw the position change hands on track three times and brought the gap down to an astounding single second in just two laps.

Hamilton pulled away again.

Then, a virtual safety car for the stopped Antonio Giovanazzi. Hamilton chose not to pit with a significant gap, so Red Bull went the opposite direction and pitted Verstappen for a new set of hard tires for the second half of the race. With Hamilton unable to stop without losing the lead, Verstappen seemed to be in position to chase down Hamilton for the title in the closing laps.

For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.

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