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Martin Brundle

Brundle praises Verstappen and Hamilton: I wish they could share the title

Formula 1 pundit Martin Brundle wishes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton could share this year's World Championship.

Verstappen Hamilton Abu Dhabi 2021
Article
To news overview © Michael Potts / RN365

Formula 1 pundit Martin Brundle feels Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton both deserved to win this year's title, following a controversial ending to the season.

Verstappen beat Hamilton by overtaking the Mercedes driver for the lead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the final lap, having looked set to miss out on the championship.

A late Safety Car caused by Nicholas Latifi gave Verstappen the opportunity to pit for Soft tyres and F1 Race Director Michael Masi controversially decided to let the five cars in between the Dutchman and Hamilton unlap themselves, before giving the notice that there would be one more lap of green flag running.

A late braking manoeuvre into Turn 5 saw Verstappen take the lead, and he held off Hamilton down the next two straights to become champion.

"Does Max deserve the championship? Of course he does," wrote Brundle in his column for Sky Sports.

"He led 652 laps compared with Lewis' 303 laps. He departed 15 of the 22 races leading the championship, including the last seven. He won 10 races compared to eight for Lewis, and it was 18 podiums playing 17. And he didn't have the best of luck along the way, until the last few miles, of course.

"Lewis would equally have deserved his eighth title. I wish they could share it to be frank. His raw speed, consistency, determination, style, class and stamina, particularly in the closing stages, was outstanding as he delivered another blistering start in his 288th GP at approaching 37 years old."

F1 confused the fans

Verstappen's victory came under scrutiny due to the Safety Car procedure in the final laps of the Grand Prix.

Mercedes protested two separate articles of the FIA's Sporting Regulations, with one protest against Verstappen specifically and the other against the classification of the race.

The latter was the most controversial because not all of the lapped cars unlapped themselves and the rules state the Safety Car should not pit on the same lap when cars have unlapped the race leaders.

Brundle believes changes need to be made before the start of next season so that fans are not confused.

"The final few laps in Abu Dhabi, when the world's eyes were on us in staggering numbers, were not our finest moment, and some things have to change this winter," said Brundle. "We certainly confused our fans on Sunday."

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F1 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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