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Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, clinches F1 championship with last lap move

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/racing/top-stories/max-verstappen-wins-abu-dhabi-grand-prix-to-clinch-his-maiden-formula-one-world-championship/articleshow/88242072.cms

 

 

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen took his first Formula One title, denying rival Lewis Hamilton a record eighth, with a last lap overtake to win a season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that started and ended in drama and controversy.
Hamilton's Mercedes team secured the constructors' championship for an unprecedented eighth successive year but Verstappen, 24, ended a run of double dominance dating back to 2014
 
 
 
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"It's insane," said the first Dutch world champion who had started the day on pole position and level on points with Hamilton and whose hopes sank and rose as the stewards intervened.
 
"This is unbelievable guys! Can we do this for another 10-15 years together," he had said over the radio.
"We needed a bit of luck and we got it," said team boss Christian Horner.

NO COLLISION
The race at Yas Marina started and ended in controversy but without the collision many had feared.
There were tears of joy at Red Bull and rage at Mercedes, whose fury was directed at Australian race director Michael Masi as the drivers' title disappeared so close to the chequered flag.
Red Bull, whose partners Honda are now departing the sport, had said during the race that they needed a miracle to win as Hamilton made the most of a quicker car to head towards the title.

A late safety car intervention, after Canadian Nicholas Latifi crashed with five laps to go, provided hope and it was game on when Masi decided not to let all lapped cars pass the safety car before resuming racing.
That allowed Verstappen -- on fresher, faster tyres after strategic stops -- to close and go wheel-to-wheel with Hamilton for the lead.
At one point it had seemed the race could finish behind the safety car as marshals took time to remove Latifi's stranded Williams.

"We were screaming at the end to let them race," said Horner. "It is unheard of to leave the cars unlapped. They wanted to get the race going again. They absolutely made the right call."
Hamilton, who had been heading for a fourth successive race win and 104th of his career, congratulated the new champion.
 

"I think we did an amazing job this year. The team, everyone back at the factory, all the men and women we have, worked so hard all year in a difficult season," he said.
"I am so proud of them, and so grateful to be part of the journey with them. We gave it everything this last part of the season and never gave up, that's the most important thing."
 
 

MORE POLES
Verstappen ended the season with 10 wins to Hamilton's eight, having also led more laps and taken more poles and podiums.
After 22 a record races, Verstappen had 395.5 points to Hamilton's 387.5. Mercedes scored 613.5 to Red Bull's 585.5.
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz finished the race in third place, with AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda fourth and team mate Pierre Gasly fifth.
 

Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas was sixth in his last race for the team, ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris and the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took the final point with the Italian team ending the season third overall.
Verstappen's Mexican team mate Sergio Perez, hailed as a "legend" by the Dutch driver for slowing Hamilton significantly while leading earlier in the race, was retired by Red Bull in the pits.

The race hit immediate controversy on the opening lap when the title rivals almost collided after the Briton had taken the lead.
Hamilton was pushed wide, cutting a corner as he came back still in front of Verstappen who had made a lunge on the inside and seemed to be ahead at the turn, and stewards decided no investigation was needed.
"That's incredible. What are they doing here?," said Verstappen when informed.
Horner told Sky Sports television from the pitwall that there was "a total lack of consistency" in the stewards' decision and his team now had to "do it the hard way".
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Ver is a deserved winner.
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F1 title decider hits immediate controversy

Reuters / Dec 12, 2021, 19:19 IST
 
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(AFP Photo)
Formula One's title decider in Abu Dhabi hit immediate controversy on Sunday when Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen almost collided on the opening lap, with the Mercedes driver pushed wide and cutting a corner to keep the lead.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton had taken the lead from the start with Red Bull's Verstappen slow off the mark from pole position but making a move on the inside into turn seven.
The two drivers are level on points with Verstappen ahead 9-8 on race wins.
Verstappen was quick on the radio to tell his team that Hamilton needed to give the place back while the Briton told Mercedes he had been pushed off track.
Stewards decided no investigation was necessary, with race director Michael Masi saying Hamilton had slowed enough to give back the time advantage gained.
"That's incredible. What are they doing here?," said Verstappen when informed.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports television from the pitwall that there was "a total lack of consistency" in the stewards' decision and his team now had to "do it the hard way".
His team manager Jonathan Wheatley continued the debate with Masi, saying Verstappen had done everything right and he did not understand the logic.
"Jonathan, the stewards have reviewed it and determined that all of the lasting advantage was gained and that Max forced that position there. They have said they have review it and are not investigating."
Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, said he was also struggling to understand the regulations.
"Obviously, in Brazil there was no penalty, but they both drove off the circuit. Max stayed on the track this time," said the Briton, referring to a similar incident at Interlagos last month.
Hamilton's former team mate Nico Rosberg agreed: "Max was a little bit too lungy and too aggressive, forcing Lewis out too strongly, even though he had a right to the corner there," said the German.
"Then I would also say Lewis didn't give back everything that he gained."
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    Here’s how Upstox turned the dreams of 22 customers into a reality; offers opportunity to play cricket at the Dubai International Stadium

    SPOTLIGHT / Dec 12, 2021, 09:38 IST
     
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    In India, cricket is more than just a sport. It is an unofficial religion that brings together an interestingly diverse country. For years, it has been a big unifier, where every citizen irrespective of who they are and where they come from enjoys a good game of cricket with immense zeal and enthusiasm. Thus, it isn’t surprising to see cricketers being idolized and every young child dreaming of becoming one when they grow up.
    One of the biggest reasons why cricket enjoys this popularity in India is because the sport welcomes everyone with open arms, there are no barriers, and the sport instils a sense of inclusion throughout the nation.
    Such is the synergy that cricket shares with Upstox, one of India’s leading investment platforms. Just like the game of cricket, Upstox is driven towards revolutionizing the financial landscape in India. It is the company’s aim to achieve complete financial inclusion where no citizen is deprived of access to financial services. It is with this vision that Upstox associated with the ICC T20 World Cup as an official sponsor.
    Upstox ensures that investing is easy and accessible to all Indian investors by offering online investments in stocks, mutual funds, derivatives, and ETFs. Being a customer centric organization, Upstox has been going an extra mile for its customers by encouraging users to take the first step in their investing journey and has constantly aspired to become a medium for its customers to achieve their dreams and fulfil what they have always striven for.
    Upstox launched the phenomenal Upstox Cricket Fever, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which was open for 7M+ Upstox customers to participate in. From 3000+ entries, 22 winners were shortlisted by an independent 3rd party selection committee, and they got a chance to play a T20 Match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium - the same venue where the ICC World Cup T20 Final took place. This was a first-of-its-kind event to be run by an official ICC sponsor at this scale and magnitude and a first for a financial centric brand like Upstox.

    Upstox Cricket Fever 2021 | Key highlights


    The selection
    In order to make Upstox Cricket Fever truly engaging, the contest was open to Upstox’s whooping 7M+ customer base. It received an overwhelming response from all across India after which a neutral third-party selection committee was set up to select the players. Coming with deep cricketing experience, the committee shortlisted 40+ players based on their passion for cricket, their performance, and their playing strategy. This was further shortlisted to 22 players to create two well-rounded teams - The Roaring Bulls and The Daring Bears!
    Match highlights
    The 22 players from the two teams- were in for an amazing experience after the selection. The players got the opportunity to experience and share the same dressing rooms that Australia and New Zealand used during the World Cup T20 finals. Further, they also warmed up on the same ground, saw their names up on the scoreboard and also heard their names on the on-ground commentary system when they entered the field and played. With all this and more, Upstox brought to its users the unique opportunity to experience cricket like the true-blue Indian cricketing fans always dream of.
    Testimony by the players
    For the 22 lucky players who got the chance to experience this lifetime’s opportunity, the memories of the game are likely to linger forever. Pushkar Raj Thakur, a business coach, based out of Gurgaon who was one of the players chosen by Upstox, says, “Playing on the same ground where champions play would be a dream for most of us. It is because of Upstox, a company which always over delivers that I got to play a game at the Dubai International stadium! I bowled three overs, took two wickets and one maiden wicket. The overall experience was unbelievable and unexpected, and can’t be described in words. Magic truly happens when you go with the flow of the situation, in this case- the game!”
    Gourab Nandi, a YouTube creator based out of Nabadwip, West Bengal, who was chosen for the event says, “I never dreamt of playing cricket in an international stadium! It became a reality on November 16, 2021- all thanks to Upstox. It was one of the best days of my life. It was awesome to bat on the ground and play both seam and spin bowling. I certainly want to thank Team Upstox for giving me this opportunity.”
    Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of Upstox by Times Internet’s Spotlight team
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    Max Verstappen is aggressive but mature Lewis Hamilton is favourite: Karun Chandhok

    TIMESOFINDIA.COM / Updated: Dec 12, 2021, 12:14 IST
     
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    GLOVES OFF: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after the qualifying race in Abu Dhabi. (AFP Photo)
    NEW DELHI: Indian racing driver Karun Chandhok expressed his excitement as Max Verstappen seized pole position for Formula One's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday.
    In his column for the Times of India, Chandhok wrote, "After 47 years, we head to the final round of the World Championship with the two title contenders equal on points. It's been an extraordinary season with drama and controversy, crashes on track and a war of words off it, high quality driving but also some incidents which have marred the campaign. After 21 races, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton head to Abu Dhabi equal on points in a "winner takes all" contest reminiscent of the final at Wimbledon or the Cricket World Cup."
    Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen are level on points in the standings, with Verstappen ahead 9-8 on race wins -- meaning he will be champion regardless of where he finishes if Hamilton fails to score for any reason.
    "For the past few days, most people have asked me two questions: (a) who do I think will win the title? (b) will Max and Lewis crash into each other? My answer to (a) is, I think Lewis is the favourite because the Mercedes does seem to be a faster car in race trim at the moment and (b) I hope not!" Chandhok added.
    Verstappen was 0.371 of a second quicker than Hamilton, who had been more than half a second adrift after the first flying laps of the final session and could not find enough to close the gap.
    "Hamilton has shown calmness and maturity in the heat of the title battle. The experience of seven previous title contests must be beneficial, especially when the pressure ramps up towards the end of the season. Verstappen is an extraordinary young man who has more talent to drive a race car in his little finger than most people can ever dream of. He's only 24 years old while Lewis has been racing for 28! In terms of pure speed, there's nothing to choose between them. In terms of mentality, personality and experience, they are poles apart. What connects them is their pure desire to win," Chandhok opined.
    The pole was Verstappen's 10th of the 22-race season and the two fiercest of competitors on track showed there was still plenty of mutual respect with a fist bump after parking up their cars. Hamilton, 36, is chasing a record-breaking eighth title, while Verstappen, 24, seeks his first. They have had a number of incidents, including crashes in the British and Italian Grands Prix.
    "The clashes on track this year have shown a very different style of racing between the two drivers. Max is clearly the more aggressive and is willing to place his car into gaps which most people will perceive as being risky and even unfair," Chandhok concluded.
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      Copyright © 2021 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

       

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