Hamilton was overtaken by Verstappen into Turn 5 on Lap 58 on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Verstappen benefitted from a controversial late Safety Car period which allowed him to switch to softs, while Hamilton remained out on his worn hards.

Initially, it looked as if Hamilton was going to take the title as FIA race director Michael Masi decided that cars couldn’t unlap themselves, meaning there were five cars between Hamilton and Verstappen.

However, last-minute, Masi allowed five of the eight lapped cars through, giving Verstappen a clear run at Hamilton to take the title.

Once Hamilton got out of his car, he showed great sportsmanship as he congratulated Verstappen, while father Anthony was quick to embrace Max and his father, Jos.

13-time F1 winner and current Channel 4 pundit David Coulthard said Hamilton’s reaction "is a fantastic example to sportsmen and women out there on how to handle defeat.

"He'll clearly be disappointed, to say the least, but you've got to try and imagine putting yourself in his shoes; he is a great racing driver, he's won multiple championships and he's overcome adversity in his racing career," Coulthard told BBC Radio Five Live.

"This is just another one of those moments that will not dilute the many great moments in his career. He is a fantastic example to sportsmen and women out there on how to handle defeat. He recognised the challenge of Verstappen and these are the moments that he lives for. Yes, he would have wanted to win but he showed his brilliance once again."

1978 F1 champion Mario Andretti described Hamilton’s behaviour after the race as a “masterclass on how to be the best in every way”.

“The Lewis Hamilton masterclass on how to be the best in every way. A champion who wins most days & shows the world how to behave & stay composed when situations aren't kind to you. LH brings his A-game even when his soul is ripped out.  Strength. Control of spirit. Role model.”

Current Red Bull test and reserve driver Alexander Albon also credited Hamilton: “Huge respect to Lewis Hamilton - a class act on & off track.”

Former F1 driver and Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok said: “Incredibly gracious words by Lewis Hamilton with Jenson Button after the race. This must be so painful for him - great example of sportsmanlike behaviour.”

The wider sporting world chipped in with their praise for the seven-time champion.

Former England footballer and current BBC presenter, Gary Lineker said: “Wonderfully generous and dignified reaction from Lewis Hamilton. He really is very special, on the track, and off it. Class act to the end.”

Two-time Olympic champion boxer Nicola Adams, wrote: “Gracious in defeat, true sportsman! But we know who the real winner is, Lewis Hamilton.”

TV presenter Piers Morgan added: “Incredibly gracious reaction by Lewis Hamilton - he’s such a class act on & off the track, and never gets the full respect he deserves for being one of Britain’s greatest ever sportsmen.”

Former Top Gear presenter, Jeremy Clarkson commented: “Very very dignified from Lewis Hamilton.”