15:00 - What a season!

That brings down the curtain on the 2021 F1 season and what a season it was. Verstappen finishes as world champion for the first time in his career with his duel with Hamilton going down to the final lap of the final race!
There was drama in almost every race this season. Hamilton and Verstappen came to blows at Silverstone and Monza and in Saudi Arabia, among other places, but the duel has been settled. See you back for more in 2022!
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14:55 - Lewis congratulates Max

Hamilton: "Firstly, a big congratulations to Max and to his team. I think we did an amazing job this year, it's been the most difficult of seasons. We gave it everything. We never gave up and that's the most important thing."

14:49 - Verstappen celebrates!

Verstappen: "I want to stay with [the team] for the rest of my life. I also want to say a big thank you to Checo as well. He's an amazing team-mate."

VERSTAPPEN WINS!

Verstappen is world champion! The Dutch driver wins the one-lap shootout and Verstappen is a world champion! What an incredible end to the season! It went down to the final lap! Mercedes will be aggrieved about how it ended and the Safety Car controversy, but Verstappen kept his head in the game and came out on top!

58/58 - VERSTAPPEN LEADS!

Verstappen takes Hamilton! The script has been flipped in the final lap of the final race! Verstappen might have won this!

58/58 - SAFETY CAR ENDING!

We're going to have ONE lap of racing! This will decide the championship! It's a one-lap shootout!

57/58 - Lapped cars not to overtake!

Lapped cars will not be allowed to overtake when the Safety Car comes in. Verstappen isn't happy about that, but if they were to do that the Dutchman wouldn't get a single racing lap. This might actually be to his benefit, as strange as it seems.

56/58 - Perez retires

Perez is out! Red Bull have retired Perez, which is interesting. Must admit, not entirely sure what happened there. There has been a lot to focus on at the front of the pack. We're still behind the Safety Car.

55/58 - VERSTAPPEN PITS!

Verstappen on softs! Red Bull have rolled the dice again and Verstappen is now on the soft tyres while Hamilton has stayed out again! Will we get any racing to finish this race or will it end under the Safety Car?

54/58 - FULL SAFETY CAR!

Latifi has crashed! That could change the complexion of this race! Latifi is in the barriers and they're going to need a full safety car to help clean that up. We might still get some laps of racing to finish this race!

53/58 - Counting them down...

Six laps left of the Abu Dhabi GP and Hamilton still looks to be in good shape to win this race and win the world championship. Might there be one final twist? It wouldn't be unlike this season!

51/58 - Lando puncture

Norris has picked up a puncture and has had to pit. Mercedes have just been on the team radio to warn Hamilton about that. The last thing he needs at this point of the race, at this point of the season, is a puncture. Hamilton has been told to stay off the kerbs at Turns 15 and 16.

49/58 - 'We need a miracle'

Horner says Verstappen "needs a miracle" to win this race. Indeed, it feels like Hamilton might just get the job done, although Verstappen has just eaten two seconds out of the lap time. This one might still not be over! 10 laps to go of the 2021 season.

48/58 - 10 laps to go!

1) Hamilton 2) Verstappen 3) Perez 4) Sainz 5) Norris 6) Bottas 7) Tsunoda 8) Gasly 9) Alonso 10) Ocon

46/58 - Has Max stalled?

For a few laps there, Verstappen was eating up the advantage on Hamilton, but his progress seems to have stalled. It appears the Red Bull is suffering just as much tyre degradation as the Mercedes in front.

43/58 - Watch the clock

The gap between Hamilton as the race leader and Verstappen is now down to 14 seconds. Have Mercedes misjudged this? Hamilton will have to look after his tyres at some point. How is he going to do that when Verstappen is pulling out a second on him a lap?

41/58 - Interesting...

"I won't be able to keep this pace up for the whole way," says Hamilton. There's more tension in his voice now...

40/58 - Lewis is worried!

"Bit of a risk leaving me out, no?" says Hamilton to Bono on the Mercedes team radio and he's right to be worried. There are now nerves on the Mercedes pit wall because Verstappen looks to have found some fresh pace!

38/58 - Verstappen has pitted!

Ohhhhhh this has got interesting now. Verstappen used the VSC to pit and get a fresh set of tyres. The gap between the Dutch driver and Hamilton is now 17 seconds. Can he make that up? Hamilton has already expressed concern that his tyres are degrading fast?

37/58 - Toto's message...

"Michael, please no safety car. It will interfere with the race," says Wolff to Masi. Mercedes are nervous that this VSC could flip the race back in favour of Verstappen and Red Bull. Let's see how this one ends...

36/58 - Virtual Safety Car!

Giovinazzi's race is over! It's not been a good day for Alfa Romeo who have now had both drivers retire from the race. It should also be noted that Russell's race is over and that brings down the curtain on his time with Williams. He will be at Mercedes next season.

35/58 - Alonso v Gasly

Obviously our focus is on what's happening at the front of the pack, but the battle between Alonso and Gasly for fourth place is a good one at the moment. What a season Gasly has had!

33/58 - Planning ahead

"If we were to stop under safety car, would you prefer medium or hard?" asks Bono on the team radio to Hamilton. Mercedes are planning for all eventualities, which is probably a wise thing to do.

32/58 - Five-second gap!

With Verstappen getting involved in some traffic, the gap between the Red Bull contender and Hamilton is now up to five seconds. Verstappen is going to have to try something different here.

30/58 - Lewis concern

"It's a long way for these tyres," says Hamilton on the Mercedes team radio. He is clearly a bit worried that he has a lot of this race to complete on the hard compounds. Interestingly, Red Bull are also asking Verstappen for a front wing update. Are they thinking about another stop?

28/58 - Gloves off!

Raikkonen has turned off the engine on his car in the pit lane and the legendary Finn gets a standing ovation from the main stand at the Yas Marina Circuit. What a career he has had!

27/58 - Kimi spins!

Might that be Raikkonen's F1 career over? The Finn has ended up in the barriers and he is now limping back to the pits. Surely Raikkonen's long and illustrious career isn't going to end like this?

25/58 - Duel continues

Hamilton and Verstappen are now 20 seconds ahead of the rest at the front of the pack. The standard they have set in F1 this season has been incredible. Nobody else has been able to match their brilliance.

22/58 - Max is thankful!

Verstappen knows how important that contribution from his teammate could prove to be...

20/58 - Perez v Lewis!

What a duel! Perez is doing an exceptional job of frustrating Hamilton with the Mexican ducking and diving around a full lap. The two drivers swapped position more than once and by the time Hamilton makes it stick the gap on Verstappen behind him has been reduced to under two seconds!

18/58 - Verstappen into P3!

Verstappen makes that move down into Turn 7 once again and this time it gets him a place over Sainz and the Dutch driver is now chasing down Hamilton.

17/58 - Max runs wide!

Verstappen is pushing hard to get ahead of Sainz as quickly as possible, but he runs wide at Turn 15 and that has probably cost him a lap on the Ferrari. Meanwhile, Perez is trying to hold Hamilton up to get Verstappen back in the race.

16/58 - Perez leads

This is the only thing that could benefit Red Bull. Perez is now in the lead of the race and he has been told 'Plan B' over the team radio. Who knows what that actually means, but Red Bull are clearly switching up their tactics.

15/58 - Hamilton comes in!

"Box, box," comes the message over the Mercedes team radio and in comes Hamilton for a 2.4-second pit stop. This is the benefit Mercedes now have. They can just copy whatever Red Bull do.

14/58 - VERSTAPPEN PITS!

Verstappen on to hard tyres! Red Bull had to do something because Hamilton was pulling out a second on Verstappen per lap and so Verstappen has been moved on to the hard compound tyres. What difference will that make?

12/58 - Fastest lap!

Hamilton has just set a new fastest lap and there is a sense that the seven-times world champion is stretching his legs here. The gap between Hamilton and Verstappen no stands at over three seconds. How will Red Bull respond?

10/58 - How it stands...

1) Hamilton 2) Verstappen 3) Perez 4) Sainz 5) Norris 6) Leclerc 7) Tsunoda 8) Bottas 9) Ocon 10) Ricciardo

9/58 - Tyre news!

"Rears are starting to struggle a little bit," says Verstappen on the team radio. That's not the news Red Bull wanted to hear! That could be a factor in the rest of this title-deciding race!

8/58 - Hamilton stretching lead

Hamilton has now built up a lead of over two seconds over Verstappen. Red Bull aren't letting this one lie, but they need to get their focus back because Mercedes are streaking away and this is a crucial part of the race.

7/58 - Red Bull fury!

"Incredible," says Verstappen on the Red Bull team radio in response to the news that Hamilton will face no investigation for the Turn 7 incident. "What are they doing here?"

3/58 - NO INVESTIGATION!

Hamilton keeps the place! The stewards have decided that no investigation is necessary and apparently Hamilton gave back the advantage he gained by taking the escape route across Turn 7. Red Bull won't be happy about that!

2/58 - Drama!

Verstappen lunged down the inside of Turn 7, so how will the stewards view that one? Hamilton took the escape route in the run-off and he still has the lead.

13:05 - LIGHTS OUT!

Hamilton leads! The Red Bull got off slowly from the line, Hamilton took advantage, but then Verstappen goes for Hamilton into Turn 7. They touch! Hamilton still has the position, but will he have to give it back?!

13:00 - Here we go!

How are your nerves, people? The 20 drivers are about to embark on their formation lap around the Yas Marina Circuit, but let's be honest... we're only looking at two of them! Verstappen looked a bit nervous before putting his helmet on. Haven't seen that before!

12:55 - Tyre battles!

Hamilton is on the medium tyres from the start with Verstappen on the softs. Will that be a factor in this race? Who is writing this script? Both these drivers have been neck-and-neck all season long and that has continued into the final race!
One last showdown. What will the Abu Dhabi GP produce and who will take the chequered flag and the 2021 title?

12:50 - Star power

The celebrities are out in force on the grid ahead of the start of the Abu Dhabi GP! Stormzy, Patrice Evra, Usain Bolt... they're all here!

12:45 - Thanks, Kimi!

The focus might be on the front of the grid, but this will be Kimi Raikkonen's final race in F1. The Finn, a former world champion, is a legend of the sport and everyone in F1 will miss him!
What an incredible career Raikkonen has had!

12:40 - How they start...

1) Verstappen 2) Hamilton 3) Norris 4) Perez 5) Sainz 6) Bottas 7) Leclerc 8) Tsunoda 9) Ocon 10) Ricciardo 11) Alonso 12) Gasly 13) Stroll 14) Giovinazzi 15) Vettel 16) Latifi 17) Russell 18) Raikkonen 19) Schumacher 20) Mazepin

12:35 - This is it!

One of the most epic F1 seasons in memory will come to an end today and it's all on the line between Hamilton and Verstappen.
Hamilton has the momentum of winning the last three races in Brazil, Qatar and Saudi Arabia while Verstappen is on pole position after pulling out an incredible lap yesterday! It's poised for one last captivating duel!

12:30 - All on the line!

Good afternoon and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the final race of the 2021 Formula season - the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
There's only one story on the agenda and that's the title duel between Hamilton and Verstappen with the two rivals tied on the same number of points - 369.5!
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Verstappen takes pole from Hamilton in Abu Dhabi

Max Verstappen produced a blistering lap in qualifying to take pole from Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Red Bull pulled off a tactical masterclass in Q3, as the team sent out Sergio Perez in front of Verstappen and he was given a crucial bit of slipstream.
It may have made the difference, as he crossed the line in a time of 1:22.109.
“Great teamwork, great job,” Red bull chief Christian Horner said on race radio.
Verstappen said: “It is an amazing feeling. It has been a bit on and off so far, so incredibly pleased with it. I am now looking forward to tomorrow.”
The lap left him 0.371 clear of Hamilton, who will start the race in second.
"Max did a great lap, we could not compete with that," Hamilton said. "We are in a good position with our tyres tomorrow. The last lap was nice and clean, I just could not go any quicker.
I am still on the front row, so we can navigate things from there.

Hamilton fastest in FP3 in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton showed blistering pace, with the prospect of more in hand, to top the timing sheets in final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
With the title race between Hamilton and Max Verstappen to be decided this weekend, the signs suggest the Mercedes driver has a pace advantage over his Red Bull rival.
Mercedes ran a practice session in keeping with setting up for qualifying later in the day, when the Yas Marina Circuit will be significantly cooler.
Red Bull, in contrast, took to the track looking to find solutions for the race - after Verstappen’s car did not look perfectly balanced in FP2.
Verstappen ran a series of long runs on medium tyres, while the engineers also tinkered with his rear wing during the session.
The Dutchman switched to soft tyres for the final 15 minutes and was able to get within hailing distance of Hamilton by posting a time of 1:23.488.
For all Hamilton’s searing pace, he topped the timesheets with a lap of 1:23.274, the game’s not up for Red Bull as the Mercedes had issues with the rear tyres overheating - which could come into play in the race itself.

'I feel great' - Confident Hamilton comfortably beats Verstappen in FP2

Lewis Hamilton produced a confidence-boosting drive to comfortably top title rival Max Verstappen in Free Practice 2 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver recorded a time of 1:23.691 to out-pace all drivers at the Yas Marina Circuit, with the Dutchman only able to finish fourth and six tenths of a second slower than Hamilton.
Though Verstappen had been faster in FP1, with night falling and the conditions more closely resembling those in which the drivers will race, Hamilton's supremacy was perhaps a first telling blow of the decisive weekend in the race for the Drivers' Championship.
Having produced a strong drive around a redesigned track, Hamilton admitted that he felt in good shape heading into the weekend.
"I feel great," said Hamilton, who is hoping to win a record-setting eighth world title.
"[It is] still a bit of a bit of unknown in terms of pace but I'm sure it's going to be super close."

'A narrative has been pushed' - Horner says Verstappen is 'treated harshly' in Hamilton duel

Christian Horner has defended Max Verstappen's driving style and agreed that the Dutchman has been "treated harshly" by officials this season.
The Red Bull team principal echoed the thoughts of his driver, who said ahead of the season-concluding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he felt he had been treated differently to other drivers by stewards during the season.
Verstappen's aggressive style has caused the 24-year-old to be more regularly entangled in incidents than most, but Horner does not want him to change as he looks to claim a first world title.
Indeed, Horner believes that Verstappen's manner on the track has helped attract fans to Formula 1.
"I think on occasion he has been treated harshly," Horner explained. "He has come under scrutiny that we haven't seen applied consistently in other incidents. The problem for Max is that scrutiny is on him.
"He is running at the front, competing against a seven-time world champion. There has been a narrative that has been pushed to put pressure on him.
Max drives in a manner that ignites passion and has brought fans into the sport. We do not want him to change. We want him to drive in exactly the manner he has to put him in this position.

Verstappen tops Hamilton and sets fastest time in FP1

Verstappen struck the first blow of the final weekend of the Fomula 1 season, setting the fastest time in Free Practice 1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Dutchman overcame early steering bother to top title rival Hamilton, who was pushed into third by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
The drivers were able to get their first run on a redesigned, quicker Yas Marina Circuit, with lap times significantly faster than at last year's race in the United Arab Emirates.
Verstappen was the victor in 2020, and adapted well to the remodelled circuit, showing particular speed in the final sector, which seems set to favour Red Bull.
His best time of 1:25:009 was sufficient to lead the field at the conclusion of the hour-long session, with Bottas two tenths of a second slower and Hamilton close behind his teammate, and Sergio Perez (Red Bull) also within touching distance and completing the top four.

Hamilton wins drama-filled Saudi Arabian GP to set up thrilling season finale

Hamilton and Verstappen will race in Abu Dhabi level pegging on 369.5 points after the current world champion won an incident-strewn Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to set up an incredible end to the F1 season.
The race was suspended twice and saw multiple incidents between the title contenders.
The Saudi Arabian GP was the first time Verstappen could have won the drivers' championship. He had, with one race after the Jeddah round - the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - an eight-point advantage and, thus, could have fashioned an unassailable lead.
However, after a series of controversial incidents the pair go to the last round level at the top of the standings. The 24-year-old leads the championship because he has won more races this season, so Hamilton will have to beat the Red Bull driver to win an eighth world title.
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