The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will go down in history as the best car racing on the last lap of the last race of 2021, that is if you are a Max Verstappen and Red Bull fan 😀
What happened is that Redbull played a smart hand using the safety car facilities and then they ended up on far better tyres and Max lunged beautifully into turn 5.
It has been five years in the making and finally, Max Verstappen is the formula one world champion after a cracking, somewhat controversial year of racing against Lewis Hamilton and his dodgy Mercedes team.
There were so many twists and turns and dirty tactics throughout the year mostly by Lewis Hamilton and his team, but when it came to the crunch with one lap remaining, Max Verstappen showed the world what he has been about for the past five years. (Aggression and determination).
I am surprised Lewis left the door so wide open, the pass at turn 5 was epic and Max held his nerve all the way down the back straight even when Hamilton was millimetres alongside him. It was the best way to end an action-packed year.
Was the last car racing lap outcome fair?
Depending on who you ask this question to there will be one hundred thousand different opinions. In my opinion, it was somewhat fair and here are the reasons why I think that:
- The first turn incident, Lewis Hamilton left the door wide open and Max sneaked in. What did Lewis expect Max to do in that situation? Lewis gained a massive advantage cutting the corner and got away with it after the stewards deemed Max was at fault, despite Max staying within the white lines. Martin Brundle, an ex-F1 driver also thought the decision was wrong. The stewards inconsistancy here was terrible. A few races back they penalised Max 5 penalty points and he had to give the position back to Lewis, for the very same move.
- Both drivers had the opportunity to change tyres during the Virtual Safety Car and Safety Car incidents. Red Bull brought Max in and changed his tyres while Mercedes kept Lewis on the track because they didn’t want to lose track position. That is where they lost the race in the end in my opinion.
- The stewards inconsistancy of decisions throughout the 2021 year made the last race what it was. It shouldn’t have surprised anyone when Michael Masi made that decision on the penultimate lap regarding lapped cars. It was the type of decisions he had made all year, which in a way played into Red Bulls hands after they had pitted Max for those soft tyres. Mercedes should have anticipated an outcome like that.
Everyone knows who Michael Masi is now!
The first time I heard of Michael Masi was the night of the Romain Grosjean crash in Bahrain. Michael Was filmed standing trackside organising the barrier replacement. I saw him again on a video at the Netherlands track. He seemed to be popping up everywhere. Then throughout 2021, he became a key player in every race. Skysports would often cut to the steward’s room and we would see or hear Michael Masi making decisions or telling us the decisions that had been made. It was almost like F1 wanted him to be the face behind the decisions. In previous years all decisions went to Charlie Whiting and I don’t ever recall bidding wars between Toto Wolff and Christian Horner on what decisions should be made. It has been quite a bizarre year.
However, this year has been unlike any previous year in terms of wheel to wheel racing and off the track action, and for all of Michael Masi’s inconsistent decisions, he and the stewards have certainly made Formula 1 exciting again. For once Red Bull gave Max a car that could challenge Mercedes and Lewis. It is a shame though they didn’t give the same car to Perez.
If we can get a couple more drivers and teams into the mix, and have the close racing we’ve had this year then I would very much favour more of the same thing. If it means throwing some of the antiquated rules and regulations out the window for more on-the-spot decision making like they did this year to make it more exciting, then Michael Masi should get the support he needs.
The best moment of the race.
- Albon and Verstappen on the radio at the end of the race.
- Christian Horner and Adrian Newey on the pitt wall. Their reactions are fantastic.
- Toto Wolff being a total arse in the garage.
- The crew in the Redbull garage.
The second best moment of the race – Toto Wolff being told off by Michael Masi.
Michael: Go ahead, Toto.
Toto: You need to reinstate the lap before, that’s not right.
Michael: It’s called a motor race okay!
Michael: We went car racing.
Another clip of it from Twittersphere!