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George Russell

Russell slams 'unacceptable' end to Abu Dhabi GP

George Russell has hit out at the way in which the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ended, after Max Verstappen snatched the title away from Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen Abu Dhabi
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To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool/Getty Images

George Russell has described the conclusion to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as "unacceptable", with Max Verstappen stealing victory - and the world title - away from Lewis Hamilton in controversial circumstances.

Hamilton grabbed the lead from Verstappen at the start and controlled the majority of the race, only for Verstappen to close back in through a Virtual Safety Car and full Safety Car period.

Verstappen took advantage of the VSC to pit for a second time, bolting on a fresh set of Hard tyres and emerging the best part of 20 seconds behind Hamilton.

This gap slowly came down to around 12 seconds before the crucial moment when a late Safety Car was deployed to cover Nicholas Latifi crashing his Williams.

Verstappen pitted for fresh Softs, coming out with several cars between himself and Hamilton, as the Mercedes driver didn't pit. When the Safety Car withdrew, and lapped cars overtook, there was one racing lap remaining, with Verstappen latching onto and passing Hamilton into the hairpin on the final lap.

Verstappen crossed the line moments later to clinch the win and the World Championship, with a disbelieving Hamilton resigned to second.

"That's absolutely unacceptable!"

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was heard complaining to FIA Race Director Michael Masi over the radio as to why lapped cars were allowed to overtake just before the Safety Car peeled in, which meant Verstappen arrived on Hamilton's tail.

Russell, who will join Hamilton at Mercedes in 2022, was watching from the sidelines after retiring from the race amid a loss of power, and took to social media to express his frustration at how the situation unfolded.

"Max is an absolutely fantastic driver who has had an incredible season, and I have nothing but huge respect for him, but what just happened is absolutely unacceptable," wrote Russell on Twitter, adding: "I cannot believe what we've just seen."

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F1 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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