Lewis Hamilton was one lap away from winning the eighth Formula 1 world title. That level, which would have made him the most successful driver of all time, was not reached because of a controversial race restart that included overtaking the decisive and definitive dessert of Max Verstappen to proclaim the Dutch as the new king of Formula 1.
The Briton conceded the toughest defeat of his career, beating that of the 2007 World Cup against Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen and that of 2016 at the hands of Nico Rosberg. “Congratulations to Max and his team, they have done a great job this year. Everyone has worked very hard in our factory. It has been the most difficult season and I am proud of them. We have given absolutely everything in this final part of the season and we have never given up, which is the important thing, “said the Mercedes leader, who took it much better than his boss Totto Wolf.
Luck did smile on Hamilton in the last race in 2008 and 2014, beating Massa and Rosberg respectively and, at 36, he sees himself with enough energy to return next year with renewed strength despite the change in regulations. “Now, to have a good Christmas with the family and we will see next year ,” he warned.
The Mercedes driver had won the last three races of the season to tie Verstappen at 349.5 points. Hamilton , however, could not finish his run after leading the race from the first lap after a controversial decision by the judges.
Now the seven-time champion will seek to have a car competitive enough to take revenge against a Verstappen who has ushered in a new era in Formula 1 by triumphing at just 24 years old. The Dutchman has a long way to go in the Great Circus , but without a doubt this end of the season will be remembered for years for the emotion and also the final sportsmanship of the contenders.