“Some people will never forget that moment” - 12 months on from Abu Dhabi 2021

F1 TV pundit Martin Brundle has reflected on the events of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, saying that “some people will never forget that moment”.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 and Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 and Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull

It’s roughly 12 months on from Max Verstappen’s controversial title triumph over Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap after getting a clear run at the Mercedes driver following the Safety Car period.

Remote video URL

FIA race director Michael Masi only let a handful of cars unlap themselves - conveniently for Verstappen - giving the Dutchman an easy opportunity to overtake and ultimately take the title.

Even after a year, the events of Abu Dhabi still linger on and continue to dominate the media.

Ahead of this weekend’s F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Brundle spoke about what happened last year on Sky Sports F1.

“Well it’s the story that’s going to run for a very long time in F1,” he said. “Controversial, dramatic, emotional. Some people will never forget that moment. They feel that Lewis was denied a championship that was his. 

“Others saw it in a different way. Clearly the regulations weren’t applied and however much we talk about, however hard we try and find reverse gear, and whatever people’s perspectives are, it’s not going to change but we are certainly going to have to talk about it next weekend.” 

Another ongoing Red Bull-related story line is their team orders fiasco which dominated the post-Sao Paulo GP reaction.

Verstappen rejected Red Bull’s team order request at Interlagos, leading to a mini-falling out with teammate Sergio Perez.

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme. Formula
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with team mate Sergio…

Both drivers have since insisted that they have moved on from it, with Red Bull issuing a statement defending Verstappen’s actions.

Giving his view on it, Brundle added: : “He (Verstappen) refused due to some historical reason that had apparently already been discussed. I believe this to be over antics during qualifying back in Monaco.

“Max will also no doubt remember how Sergio held up Lewis [Hamilton] in Abu Dhabi last year, which played a key role in Lewis not being able to pit for fresh tyres under the Safety Car, and how he fought Lewis so hard in Baku along with other examples which helped Max seal the 2021 title. I believe he called him a ‘legend’ back then.

“This is not a popularity contest, it’s the brutal world of F1, but you still need friends and respect, and giving Sergio a meagre sixth place when the championship is already in his pocket would have cost Max nothing.

“It’s the second boomerang in two races which has come back to hit Max pretty hard.”

Read More