Max Verstappen says he felt sorry for Lewis Hamilton after he passed the Mercedes driver on the last lap to win the Title.
Hamilton was moments away from winning his 8th World Championship at the Abu Dhabi GP. That was until Nicholas Latifi’s crash brought the safety car out. Verstappen pitted for soft tyres under the SC but came out of the pits with 5 lapped cars between himself and his title rival.
A controversial order from Michael Masi saw the lapped cars overtake the SC, which put Verstappen right behind Hamilton’s W12 when racing resumed. With just one lap to go, Verstappen who was on fresher and softer tyres, passed Hamilton to win the race and his maiden Championship.
When speaking about the outcome, the 24 year old admitted that he felt for the Mercedes driver. He also said that he was very lucky to stand tall that evening and that the result could have gone either way.
“It could have gone either way. Lewis and I, we had an amazing season, both pushing each other to the limit.” said Max Verstappen.
One side was happy and the other was disappointed, says Max Verstappen
The Dutchman said that he sympathized with Hamilton for the way in which the latter lost. However, he also added that F1 is an unpredictable sport where things may or may not go one’s way.
“I mean, one side was incredibly happy, and one side was disappointed.” he said.
“Of course, I felt for Lewis, he did everything right throughout the whole race, but F1 can be very unpredictable. It can go either way. It could have been the other way around as well. Where I would be controlling the race and then I would lose it in the last lap.”
— ESPN (@espn) December 12, 2021
The 2021 season finale was heartbreaking for Hamilton who gave his all. However, Verstappen expects the Briton to come back next year with all guns blazing.
“I mean, Lewis is a great sportsman.” the F1 Champion said.
“It is what it is. Like I said before, you know, it’s racing and we all have to deal with it, if it’s positive or negative. But he will come back again very strong, because he is an amazing driver.”