Pole of the Dutchman in the last GP of the 2021 F1 World Championship. And in the race he will be head to head for the title with Hamilton. Lewis: “Different tire strategy, in my opinion we have the best ones”
Tension at the same but only on the track. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton challenged each other “in the starter” of the Abu Dhabi F1 GP Qualifying, the last of the 2021 World Championship: for now, Max has won, but the duel starts at par in the standings and the race will be everything for everything. But the tone of the words seems more relaxed than a few hours before. Respect between giants is back the dominant philosophy after the risk derives from recent days.
Verstappen relieved not a little from the monstrous pole printed in Yas Marina: “The team did a fantastic job, this pole is a wonderful feeling”. Tenth of the season for him, yet even in Q2 alone he didn’t seem within reach: “The car has improved gradually, we’ve had a weekend of ups and downs so far but the pole is fantastic. Even if the most important thing is the race: I have friends and family with me, the best I could hope for, I will concentrate on the race but I will not do anything different than usual. In FP3 I changed something on the rear to improve the balance, it went well ”. But it is on the relationship with Hamilton that the calm seems to be back: “Possibility of accidents in the race? I’ve always said that we drivers race to go as fast as possible. The relationship with Lewis? We have pushed each other to the limit this year, we have two very strong teams and each has given their all. I think some controversies are also defensive strategies, they are different and they are fine. This season, the fight between us, will be remembered for many years, I’m sure ”. Lewis also echoes his rival on this aspect: “I completely agree with Max, it’s a great battle and I’m grateful to be able to play it. I have a great team behind me, we pushed each other to the limit and I hope there will be more seasons like that in the future. 2021 like 2016? No, they are completely different situations, I have more experience and everything is different. The tension is not comparable ”.
tires and wakes
Even if the tones seem relaxed as if the World Championship had already been decided, in reality Verstappen and Hamilton still have to compete in the race, where anything can still happen. The tires, for example, could be decisive. Verstappen will start with the soft, Hamilton with the medium. Max: “I felt good with both of them, in the end we chose the soft in Q2; it wasn’t the original plan but we changed and that’s okay ”. Lewis replies: “For me, Max’s lap was unbeatable; but I’m second and with medium tires, in my opinion they are the best compounds, maybe you will be able to do a long run even with the soft ones but for me the yellow ones are the best choice. We will see in the race, it will be interesting to understand how they will behave ”. And finally the other central topic of the discussion, Perez’s trail to Verstappen in the lap that decided the pole: “I thank Sergio, he is the best teammate I have had”, Verstappen underlined, “it was a fundamental pole, he helped me and it is a pleasure to work with him “. Because Mercedes didn’t adopt the same strategy: “Well, we haven’t talked about it,” explained Lewis, “with Bottas or the team we had decided and we went our own way. I’m not starting on pole, Verstappen was unstoppable, but I’m still in a good position for the race ”.
December 11, 2021 (change December 11, 2021 | 17:29)
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