In case you hadn’t heard, we’re on the brink of one of the most exciting Formula 1 season finales in years. On Sunday, lights will go out on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will race for the 2021 drivers’ championship.
For the first time in decades, the two protagonists are tied on points as we go into the final race. Both Verstappen and Hamilton have amassed 369.5 points over the past 20 and a half races. And that means that whoever finishes ahead on Sunday will be crowned 2021 Formula 1 World Champion.
But, and there’s always a but, there is a chance the two drivers could finish the race and remain on equal points. If they crash into each other and are forced to retire from the race, for example.
In that case, the 2021 title would be given to Red Bull’s Verstappen as he has won more races than Hamilton so far this year. But don’t worry, there’s no chance he would ever crash into Hamilton on purpose to force the win. At least, that’s what Red Bull’s team principal wants you to believe.
That’s right, ahead of the season finale, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said to The Times newspaper that the team has had “numerous discussions” about the possibility of a collision on Sunday.
“Max wants to win this championship on the track,” Horner said to The Times.
“It’s as simple as that. He’s a hard racer but a fair racer, and I expect no different this weekend. Nobody wants to win this championship in a gravel trap or in a stewards’ inquiry.”
“To finish first, first you’ve got to finish. That’s been our mantra throughout this season. Remember, it wasn’t Max who crashed into Lewis at Silverstone. The stewards found Lewis guilty of driving into Max. They’ve both had their moments this year.
“Inevitably the reverse was found at Monza. They’ve been hard races. They’ve gone wheel to wheel. But I think, for all the fans, you want to see a fair and clean fight in this last round and may the best team and best driver win.”
See, Verstappen definitely won’t crash into Hamilton on purpose. He absolutely would not do it in an attempt to win his first world championship, we promise. How dare you even think such a thing.
In an attempt to calm your nerves as you worry about the prospect of the championship rivals colliding into turn one, Horner also offers a glowing character assessment of Verstappen that should silence any naysayers.
Horner assures readers that Verstappen is the best of the best, better than all the rest.
He believes that if the Red Bull driver and his Mercedes rival were both in the same car, “I have no doubt who would come out on top.” I assume he doesn’t mean Hamilton?
In the article, Verstappen is also likened to four-time-world champion Sebastian Vettel, who won each of his titles in a Red Bull car.
Horner also praised Verstappen’s ability to get up to speed at the new circuits F1 has visited this year. Specifically, he cites Max’s performance in Jeddah where he was quickly “clear of anybody else.”
Presumably, Horner must have missed the fact that Hamilton won the race and that Max crashed in qualifying. And, I guess, Hamilton’s record of winning at every new track F1 visited this year must have slipped his mind as well.
But don’t worry, if you were worried that Horner’s high praise and Red Bull’s equally high paychecks were going to the young Dutchman’s head, the article also quells those concerns.
Horner is sure to let distressed readers know that Verstappen hasn’t become “a diva,” but is he suggesting that his climate change-fighting, equality-campaigning rival Sir Lewis Hamilton has?
“After a race he just wants to get back on his Fifa game with his mates,” he says. “He hasn’t become some kind of diva. Money has obviously become a factor in his life but he still has the same principles.”
Good to know that despite his newfound position as an ambassador for F1, Verstappen is still against kneeling to show your stance against inequality and can still make misogynistic jokes about buying his girlfriend.
Thanks for clearing all that up.