Lewis Hamilton has been beaten to the 2021 Formula One world championship, in what was his first chance to win his record eighth title.
Hamilton led the majority of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but was overtaken by his title rival Max Verstappen on the final lap following a controversial decision by race control.
Verstappen and Hamilton had entered the final race of the season on equal points, setting up a dramatic winner-takes-all battle.
Victory for Hamilton would have seen him break Michael Schumacher’s record to become the first and only driver to win eight F1 world championships, with the British driver already holding the record for the most race wins and most pole positions in the history of the sport. It’s Verstappen’s first world title.
In an interview following the race, Hamilton called it ‘the most difficult of seasons,’ adding ‘this last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and we never gave up.’
Despite the result, Hamilton’s team, Mercedes AMG Petronas, won the constructor’s world championship ahead of Verstappen’s team, Red Bull Racing.