Max Verstappen was full of disbelief after he made history by being Formula 1 world champion for the first time. Emotions were on display with the 24-year-old Dutchman after an unprecedented close to the race in Abu Dhabi, outpacing Lewis Hamilton on the last lap.
It’s unbelievable. Sometimes miracles happen,” Verstappen stammered afterwards. Nervous? Of course you’re nervous, but you also have to do what you have to do. I’ve been fighting the whole race, I’m jerky. I don’t know what to say. My team, everyone deserves it. This has been our big goal since 2016 and this year has been amazing. My big goal has been to become a Formula 1 driver, so that the national anthem will be played for you. Being world champion is unprecedented.”
In the last round we had one chance and we took advantage of it
Verstappen didn’t want to say anything else about the start, as Hamilton passed the Dutchman: “Things went a bit wrong, like so often this season. Damn that start, we won and that’s what matters. In the last round we had a chance. One and we tapped. Unbelievable. There was a huge release. He said in Ziggo Sports†
Verstappen went back in time in his mind: everything goes back. All travel for one purpose. You are now here with all of your payment. My team, my family, my friends: almost all of them are here. This is unbelievable and it is strange to see all orange here. Not only here, but all over the world during this season. I hope to be able to continue doing this for a long time.”
The unprecedented apotheosis, with Verstappen only overtaking Hamilton on the last lap, was too strange for Verstappen for words. Finally, a bit of luck for me. I would also like to thank Checo (editor of Sergio Perez), because he is a great teammate. Checo didn’t do it naturally, and because of him I became a hero. I think my team knows I love them. I want to be with this team for the rest of my life, do it with them for another ten or fifteen years. That was our goal and we’ve done it now! “
“You’re welcome,” Perez replied. Everything was under Lewis’ control. I was at the end of my life, I was dying. It was very important to keep him, so I am very happy for Max and Red Bull, the team that has succeeded now.”
Moments later, Verstappen looked back a little intensely, as he praised Hamilton: “Lewis is a great driver and a great opponent. He made it very difficult for us. Everyone wants to win, emotions are part of it. We’ll be back next year and try to do it again.”
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