Final results: What a finish. Lewis Hamilton took the lead in lap one and looked like he would cruise to victory, but a late accident gave Max Verstappen a wild victory on the final lap. Nicholas Latifi crashed on Hamilton and Verstappen’s lap 54 to set up a race to the finish. The safety car came off at the end of lap 57 to set up a restart of one final lap. Verstappen had changed his tires while Hamilton remained out giving the Dutch driver the edge. Hamilton could not hold him off and Verstappen got the win and the points title in an unbelievably dramatic finish.
Lap 48 update: Hamilton decided to stay out and finish with his existing tires while Verstappen made a change. Verstappen has gained back some ground but he trails by double digit seconds. It’s a one-two race and it will come down to if Hamilton is able to finish out with his existing tires. His team says he can, but there is still some drama to be had.
UPDATE: Hamilton immediately jumped into the lead on turn 1 of the first lap. Verstappen appeared to take the lead shortly after on the lap, but it didn’t hold up. Sergio Pérez moved into second at one point, but Verstappen is back in second 24 laps in. He’s trailing Hamilton by slightly under three seconds.
Well, here we go. Formula 1 wraps up the 2021 season on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is as dramatic as they come. The race gets underway at 8 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
By the time the winner crosses the finish line, either Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton will have claimed the season-ending points title. They are tied atop the board with nobody else competing for the title. If both drivers finish in the top eight, whomever finishes ahead of the other is guaranteed the points total. If the drivers finish ninth and tenth, it will come down to if either claims fastest lap. If they both finish outside the top ten and neither has the fastest lap on the day, Verstappen wins due to overall wins tiebreaker. One has to wonder if he spins out Hamilton to secure the title or not.
Verstappen and Hamilton are co-favorites to win at DraftKings Sportsbook, each installed at -105. Verstappen claimed the pole on Saturday and the pole-sitter has won the race six straight years. However, Hamilton is on a roll with three straight wins, so this is anybody’s race.
Sergio Pérez, Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas are all next in the odds list at +2800. The only thing the 18 other drivers will be watched for is in case one creates an accident with Hamilton or Verstappen. Otherwise, this is all about those two drivers. It should be an exciting day of racing!
2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, final results
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|3||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team|
|4||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Racing|
|5||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||Scuderia Ferrari|
|6||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|7||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari|
|8||Yuki Tsunoda||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Alpine F1 Team|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren F1 Team|
|11||Fernando Alonso||Alpine F1 Team|
|12||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team|
|16||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing|
|17||George Russell||Williams Racing|
|18||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN|
|19||Mick Schumacher||Uralkali Haas F1 Team|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Uralkali Haas F1 Team|