Lando Norris believes Max Verstappen won the Drivers' Championship without having the best car this year.
Verstappen won his first title after a hard-fought battle against Lewis Hamilton over 22 races which went down to the final lap of the season.
He had the most pole positions, wins and led the most laps on his way to the championship but Norris feels Mercedes had the car to beat for the majority of 2021.
"I congratulate him [Verstappen] for what he's done this season because I don't believe he's had the better car this season," Norris told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I think the Mercedes has been the better car throughout the majority of the season and Max has been more unlucky and I think made less mistakes as a driver.
"Lewis has a lot more experience, won many more championships, and so on.
"I'm very happy for him [Verstappen]. He's a good friend of mine. I congratulated him earlier, but I also congratulated Lewis because he's also had an amazing season and done many things very, very well to go for a championship."
Norris surprised about controversial Abu Dhabi restart
Verstappen's title was won controversially because of the decision to let some, and not all, drivers unlap themselves behind the Safety Car.
The five drivers in between Verstappen and Hamilton were waved by, but other lapped cars were not allowed to overtake the Safety Car.
Mercedes dropped their intention to appeal the race classification of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Norris says he was surprised about the late call to let some cars through.
"They said they weren't going to let us pass, but then to suddenly [decide] do it for the final lap was a bit of a surprise," said Norris.
"It was obviously made to be a fight. It was for the TV, it was for the result. Whether or not it was fair is hard for me to decide.
"I just have to say congratulations to both drivers. It's been a lot of fun to watch."
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