Verstappen Adds the Dutch to the F1 Champions List
by Martin Armstrong
Formula 1 has a new champion. For the first time in the history of the sport, Max Verstappen, a Dutchman, is world champion of the world's highest motorsport class - preventing Lewis Hamilton from winning a record eighth title. At 24 years and two months, Verstappen is the third youngest champion in F1 history behind Sebastian Vettel (2010: 23 years, 4 months) and Hamilton (2008: 23 years, 10 months).
The two rivals fought a neck-and-neck race throughout the season. The tension culminated in the 22nd and final race at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Before the start of the Grand Prix, Verstappen and Hamilton were tied on points in the overall standings - so whoever finished the race ahead of the other would receive more points and thus be crowned world champion.
Hamilton took the lead from pole setter Verstappen right at the start. In the end though, Verstappen was able to take back the lead on the final lap and set his first world championship title in stone. The decisions of the race organizers, meanwhile, were often criticized. The Red Bull driver's victory not only broke Hamilton's winning streak, but also that of Mercedes. The racing team headed by Toto Wolff had won the world championship seven times in a row - but Mercedes still managed to secure world championship title number eight in the constructors' championship.
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