The Dutchman sealed his first drivers’ championship in astonishing fashion by overtaking seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton on the very last lap in Abu Dhabi
Max Verstappen clinched his maiden Formula One championship with a sensational last-gasp victory in Abu Dhabi.
On the very last lap of the final race of the season, the Red Bull racer overtook Lewis Hamilton to steal the title in astonishing fashion.
But the win was controversial to say the least with the safety car deployed towards the latter stages of the race. It was then removed for the final lap.
It led to a scintillating finale, with Verstappen overtaking Hamilton midway through the final lap to claim the victory.
Mercedes officials could be heard on the radio lambasting the decision.
And now George Russell, who will be teammates with Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022, has taken to social media to criticise the way the race was handled.
Posting on Twitter, Russell wrote: “THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!”
He then quickly followed it up with another post, saying: “Max is an absolutely fantastic driver who has had an incredible season and I have nothing but huge respect for him, but what just happened is absolutely unacceptable.
“I cannot believe what we’ve just seen.”
Speaking after sealing the most dramatic of championships, Verstappen was clearly emotional.
He said: “It’s unbelievable. Throughout the whole race I kept fighting then there was the opportunity in the last lap, it’s incredible.
“I don’t know what to say. My team and Honda deserve it.
“Finally a bit of luck for me. I also want to say thank you to Checo, he’s been a brilliant team-mate.
“My team know I love them I hope we can do this for 10, 15 years together. I don’t want to change ever. I want to stay with them for the rest of my life, if they will have me.
“I’m so happy. Our goal was to win this championship when we came together and now we have done that.”
As for Hamilton, he remained in his car following the race for a couple of minutes just staring straight ahead and showing little emotion.
He was then consoled by father Anthony after the race as Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was in disbelief as he remonstrated with the race stewards.
Hamilton eventually spoke to Sky Sports, saying: “Firstly, congratulations to Max and to his team.
“I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, have worked so hard this whole year, it’s been the most difficult of seasons. I’m so proud of them and I’m so grateful to be a part of the journey with them.
“This last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and never gave up.”