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Max Verstappen takes F1 title from Lewis Hamilton on final lap after late controversy

Max Verstappen takes F1 title from Lewis Hamilton on final lap after late controversy

Max Verstappen has become Formula 1 world champion for the first time after an extraordinary, controversial finish to the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP which saw him overtake Lewis Hamilton on the final lap after a dramatic late Safety Car.

Hamilton appeared to be heading for his record eighth crown after overtaking the pole sitting Verstappen at the start but a crash for Nicholas Latifi in the Williams brought out the Safety Car with five laps to go and created all manner of drama to end an absolutely incredible season.

While there were initially five lapped cars between the contenders in the queue behind the Safety Car, Race Control instructed that pack to join the back of the queue on the penultimate tour and that recreated the Hamilton-Verstappen one-two for a blockbuster final-lap restart.

Amid protestations from an angry Mercedes pit wall to FIA race director Michael Masi, the race resumed on the 58th and final lap of the race - and gripping season - and Verstappen overtook Hamilton down the inside at Turn Five to take the win and the crown away from his Mercedes rival.

Verstappen becomes the first Dutchman to win the title and the second champion for Red Bull after Sebastian Vettel, the last non-Mercedes driver to take the championship in 2013.

Source: F1

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