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Formula 1: Max Verstappen officially crowned 2021 F1 world champion.

After winning a dramatic Abu Dhabi GP and his his first ever title, Mark Verstappen finally got his hands on the Drivers’ Championship trophy he has long dreamed in Paris on Thursday night.

Max Verstappen was officially crowned Formula 1 champion in 2021 after receiving his trophy at the FIA ​​awards ceremony, which Lewis Hamilton did not attend following the season’s controversial decision.

“Becoming world champion is my life goal achieved. Everything that comes next is a bonus,” said the 34th and fourth-youngest world champion.

“Of course I’ll continue pushing and I’ll be in F1 for a few more years. While it’s nice to be called the world champion, I think more about the long trip and all the hours I spent working with my dad to be here. It has been a long and difficult season and I feel amazing that I have finally reached my goal.”

“I hope I can do it several times. It was an incredible battle with Lewis, one of Formula 1’s greatest drivers. We really pushed each other. At the end of the day, we can look each other in the eye and respect each other, which is really important.”

Neither Hamilton nor Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff were in attendance.

The event took place hours after Mercedes withdrew their appeal of the race conclusion last weekend, although Wolff said they remain “disillusioned” and that it will “take a long time to digest”.

Mercedes, which still won a record-breaking eighth constructors’ title on Sunday, also failed to send its championship-winning F1 and Formula E cars to Paris, and were represented by technical chief James Allison.

“I won’t be there because of my loyalty to Lewis and because of my own personal integrity,” Wolff explained earlier Thursday.

New F1 world champion Max Verstappen said Lewis Hamilton had “no reason” not to return to Formula 1 next season after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he couldn’t guarantee that Hamilton would race next year.

It’s unclear whether Hamilton will face consequences for skipping the event, as Article 6.6 of the F1 Sporting Regulations states that “the drivers finishing first, second and third in the Championship must be present at the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony”.

Outgoing FIA President Jean Todt said he did not want to discuss controversial topics at a celebratory event, adding that he was “sorry” Mercedes was not there on a larger scale as they deserved “a lot more awards” for their last win in the constructors’ championship.

In a news conference earlier on Thursday, Wolff had admitted that both he and Hamilton felt “disillusioned” following the events of Abu Dhabi and offered no assurances that the latter would definitely return to F1 for 2022.

“I think he should just go back on what he’s already accomplished. It should give him a lot of comfort and should also be that motivation to keep going because he’s still trying to fight for that eighth title and he can definitely do it again next year.”

“So I don’t see any reason to give up or stop now.”


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