In Abu Dhabi, Max Verstappen became champion in a nerve-wracking way after a nerve-wracking year. Due to the controversial way in which that happened, it took a while before his title was also officially confirmed, as Mercedes protested on Sunday and when that was rejected they announced they were considering taking it even higher.
That ultimately did not happen, after which Verstappen’s title was 100% certain on Thursday, four days later. For the Red Bull driver himself, however, that was already the case on Sunday, he says on the Austrian TV channel ServusTV when told that he actually took the title three times in a week.
“For myself, in the end I only became champion once. Of course you had to wait a few hours after the race for the outcome of the protest, but in the end we won the title on the track. That is the most important,” said the Dutchman .
Party animal Verstappen enjoys it
More than three weeks after winning the world title, Verstappen was still spotted partying, but he also went wild immediately after the race, he says.
“Of course I partied! On Sunday during the day I accelerated in Abu Dhabi, but on Sunday and Tuesday evening too,” he winks. “After that I was ready for a while”, he bursts out laughing.
Beautiful Red Bull welcome
After recovering from all the partying in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen went to the Red Bull factory three days after the race, where he was welcomed in a wonderful way. All employees together formed a beautiful orange honorary hedge and celebrated Verstappen’s title en masse.
It put a big smile on Verstappen’s face, he recalls. “Obviously it was very special. I often come to the Red Bull factory to work in the simulator and stuff. But when I got there and everyone, the whole team, was there, yeah… that was really special.”