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Verstappen admits he felt sorry for Hamilton after taking the title

Max Verstappen has offered more comments over the circumstances in which he secured the 2021 F1 title in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen says there was part of him that "felt for" Lewis Hamilton after he snatched the title from his rival's grasp in the dying moments of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton led the majority of Sunday's race but lost out amid a late Safety Car period, with Verstappen taking the opportunity to pit for fresh tyres and pouncing on the one-lap dash to the finish - after the lapped cars sitting between the pair were allowed to overtake. Verstappen's dramatic win sealed the championship, after the pair had entered the finale level on points.

"Of course, I felt for Lewis"

Asked by RacingNews365.com to reflect on the outcome in an interview with selected media on Monday, Verstappen said: "It could have gone either way. Lewis and I, we had an amazing season, both pushing each other to the limit." Pushed on whether he had any sympathy for Hamilton, Verstappen added: "I mean, one side was incredibly happy, and one side was disappointed. "Of course, I felt for Lewis, he did everything right throughout the whole race, but F1 can be very unpredictable. It can go either way. "It could have been the other way around as well, where I would be controlling the race and then I would lose it in the last lap."

Verstappen tips Hamilton to fight back

Verstappen has no doubt that Hamilton will be back stronger than ever in his efforts to win what would be a record-breaking eighth world title. "I mean, Lewis is a great sportsman," said the Dutchman, when asked what he is expecting from Hamilton in 2022. "It is what it is. Like I said before, you know, it's racing and we all have to deal with it, if it's positive or negative. "But he will come back again very strong, because he is an amazing driver."

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