Honda has been waiting for a long time. Sweet farewell gift.


Max Verstappen screamed with joy as he crossed the finish line and established himself as the season's champion. The race at the Yas Marina Circuit, Sunday (12/12/2021) will certainly not be forgotten by the Red Bull Racing Honda team racer.

Verstappen broke Lewis Hamilton's domination right in the final series and on the last lap. Verstappen, the first Dutch rider to win a world title, can't believe he made it through the drama-filled race in Abu Dhabi.

Verstappen, who started from pole, was immediately overtaken by Hamilton straight after the start. The two then collided at Turn 7. Hamilton went wide and cut the corner but was not punished despite being asked by the FIA ​​Stewards to reduce Verstappen's margin of advantage.

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On Lap 53, Hamilton was still in the lead and had a margin of about 11.5 seconds over Verstappen. However, Nicholas Latifi hit the dividing wall and invited the Safety Car. Red Bull also asked Verstappen to make a pit stop on Lap 54 to change the hard to soft tires. 

On Lap 57, Hamilton and Verstappen were side by side. The Safety Car then went into the pits, and the green flag was flown at the start of Lap 58. Verstappen then overtook Hamilton and took the lead at Turn 5. They almost collided on the straight, but Verstappen could hold on to first place until the finish flag was flown. Thus, Verstappen became the world champion.

Winning the world title at 24 years and 73 days, Max Verstappen became the fourth-youngest world champion in history, behind Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso. All four will compete in F1 2022.

Max Verstappen also became the first non-Mercedes driver to win the title since 2013. In addition, he also became the first Red Bull Racing driver to win the title since Sebastian Vettel, also in 2013.

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This is also the first driver's world title for Honda in F1 since 1991. At that time, they won the title through Ayrton Senna, who defended McLaren Honda. It is also Honda's sixth driver's world title in F1 history.

Verstappen collected 18 podiums, 10 victories, six fastest laps, and 10 poles throughout this season. Although Verstappen won the drivers' world title, Red Bull Racing Honda failed to win the constructors' world title. They had to settle for being runners-up behind Mercedes, with 28 points behind.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, missed his eighth world title, keeping his and Michael Schumacher's record equal to seven world titles.

Honda's farewell

Verstappen's success in winning the 2021 F1 season is a sweet story for the Honda manufacturer. Verstappen is the sixth rider to win the title with Honda. Finally, the late Ayrton Senna won the 1991 season.

Toyoharu Tanabe, the head of the Honda Racing F1 team, said that Honda had already gotten the most out of it, whatever the results were. This achievement is a testament to the entire team's hard work in England and Japan to develop the best engine in the world's toughest competition.

"Honda started this project in 2015 and has been aiming for victory in every race from the start. Our Formula 1 challenge has now finished with this race, but I firmly believe that all the experience we have gained will feed through to Honda's future technologies," said Tanabe in his statement. 

"Honda will continue taking on new technological challenges in many areas in the future. To everyone in Formula 1, a final thank you." 

Masashi Yamamoto, General Manager of Honda Racing F1, said Honda will now concentrate on the next challenge, namely creating a carbon-neutral engine, developing technologies that advance human life based on Formula 1.

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"Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri will continue to use a power unit developed by Honda, while our company starts a new chapter, and I hope the fans continue to support us. Once again, I'd like to thank everyone involved in this F1 project and the fans," said Yamamoto.

Honda had previously revealed its intention to withdraw from Formula 1 in October 2021. When it first came to McLaren, Honda experienced difficulties developing a hybrid engine and energy recovery technology.

In 2018, Honda teamed up with Toro Rosso and won five race wins. Cooperation then continued with Red Bull. As already stated, Honda will focus on non-emission engines, aka the development of electric car technology. Honda's exit means Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault are the only manufacturers left in F1 today.


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