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Max Verstappen reveals Toto Wolff congratulations for F1 title and salutes ‘sportsman’ Lewis Hamilton


Max Verstappen, speaking the day after the dramatic night before, reveals a text message from Toto Wolff after the Abu Dhabi GP and praises Lewis Hamilton; “Of course we had our tough times through the season but in the end we were respectful”

Last Updated: 13/12/21 5:17pm


Max Verstappen has revealed he received a congratulatory text message from Toto Wolff in the wake of his dramatic Formula 1 title win in Abu Dhabi.

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Max Verstappen has revealed he received a congratulatory text message from Toto Wolff in the wake of his dramatic Formula 1 title win in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen has revealed he received a congratulatory text message from Toto Wolff in the wake of his dramatic Formula 1 title win in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen has revealed that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff congratulated him for his maiden Formula 1 world title and told him that he deserved to win it, while the Dutchman has praised “sportsman” Lewis Hamilton for how he handled the agonising defeat.

Mercedes have lodged an intention to appeal the Abu Dhabi GP result after a chaotic and controversial end to the most incredible F1 championship battle and have yet to comment publicly on the race or the aftermath.

But Verstappen, reflecting on a remarkable 24 hours, said on Monday that he had heard from Wolff, who was furious on the pit-wall following the late race events which helped Verstappen pass Hamilton for the championship.

“Toto sent me a text [saying] congratulations on the season, I deserved to win it,” said Verstappen. “That was nice of him of course, emotions ran very high through that last lap from both sides of both teams.”

Martin Brundle says he cannot see how the final result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the F1 driver's championship could be changed by further appeals or court cases.

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Martin Brundle says he cannot see how the final result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the F1 driver’s championship could be changed by further appeals or court cases.

Martin Brundle says he cannot see how the final result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the F1 driver’s championship could be changed by further appeals or court cases.

Verstappen is due to be officially crowned champion at the FIA Awards Ceremony on Thursday night, which is also the end of Mercedes’ 96-hour window to lodge an official appeal against the stewards’ verdicts from Sunday.

Verstappen insisted the controversial climax to the race did not take the shine off his achievement, while he also spoke of his admiration for Hamilton, saying he did not believe there would be a protest if it was up to his great rival.

“Of course it helps that you also have seven titles, I think that comforts him a bit,” Verstappen told Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater on the same media call.

“I think if it was the other way around, it would have been more painful for me, because I didn’t have one!”

He added of Hamilton, with whom he endured an epic and often fierce season-long battle: “Lewis has been a great sportsman in general.

Max Verstappen reacts to the news that Formula 1 stewards rejected both of Mercedes' protests to confirm him as world champion for the first time. Warning: These pictures contain flash photography

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Max Verstappen reacts to the news that Formula 1 stewards rejected both of Mercedes’ protests to confirm him as world champion for the first time. Warning: These pictures contain flash photography

Max Verstappen reacts to the news that Formula 1 stewards rejected both of Mercedes’ protests to confirm him as world champion for the first time. Warning: These pictures contain flash photography

“He came up to me, congratulated me and it must have been very tough in that last lap. It also shows the respect we had for each other, in general.

“Of course we had our tough times through the season but in the end we were respectful of what we were doing and we were pushing each other to the limit the whole season. It has been really enjoyable racing against him.”

‘I could have left Red Bull, but this means more’

After the race, an emotional Verstappen on team radio said he wanted to stay at Red Bull “forever” after finally clinching a title he has proved he is capable of in recent years. After being linked with a move away on several occasions, Verstappen is grateful he has been rewarded for his loyalty.

A stunning performance by an extraordinary talent, and an outstanding season of racing: Max Verstappen wins the 2021 F1 World Championship.

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A stunning performance by an extraordinary talent, and an outstanding season of racing: Max Verstappen wins the 2021 F1 World Championship.

A stunning performance by an extraordinary talent, and an outstanding season of racing: Max Verstappen wins the 2021 F1 World Championship.

“I have a really good relationship with all of them and I was really trusting the process and being loyal, because they gave me the opportunity to get to Formula 1 at such a young age,” said Verstappen, who was brought into F1 by Red Bull – initially with their junior team – as a 17-year-old in 2015.

“Everything they did to me I really appreciate that a lot.

“Sometimes I might have had an opportunity of course to go somewhere else and I could have got a championship earlier, or whatever. That doesn’t matter now but it does reward this one a lot more, to do this together having gone through all the years together.”





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