Max Verstappen says "finally a bit of luck for me" after securing his first ever Formula One championship in dramatic circumstances in Abu Dhabi.
The Red Bull driver clinched his first world title in a one-lap shootout against Lewis Hamilton just minutes after it looked like the championship had slipped out of his grasp.
But in one of the most dramatic endings to a Formula One race, the 24-year-old was ecstatic to realise a lifelong dream by becoming a world champion.
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The drama continued well after the race as Mercedes launched an appeal, unhappy with the decision to allow some cars to unlap themselves, ultimately aiding Verstappen. However, this was eventually dismissed by the stewards, confirming the Dutchman's historic maiden title.
"It's unbelievable," he said immediately after his victory.
"Throughout the whole race I kept fighting and to have an opportunity on the last lap, it's incredible. I'm having cramp. It's insane.
I don't know what to say. My team and Honda, they deserve it. I love them so much and I really really enjoy working with them. This year has been incredible.
"Finally a bit of luck for me. I also need to say a big thank you to Checo. He was driving his heart out today, it was great team-work and he's an amazing team-mate.
"My team know I love them and I hope we can do this for 10-15 years together. There's no reason to change ever, I want to stay with them for the rest of my life. I hope they let me.
"Christian [Horner] and Helmut [Marko] trusted me to be in the team in 2016, our goal was to be world champion and now we've done that."
Hamilton credited his rival for winning the championship and has thanked his Mercedes team after one of the most dramatic Formula One seasons in history.
"Firstly congratulations to Max and to his team," he said.
"I think we did an amazing job this year. My team, everyone back at the factory, have worked so hard this whole year, it's been the most difficult of seasons.
"I'm so proud of them and I'm so grateful to be a part of the journey with them.
"This last part of the season we gave it absolutely everything and never gave up."
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