Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton reached the last race of the season with the same number of points, specifically 369.5, something not seen in Formula 1 since 1974, the year in which Emerson Fittipaldi and Clay Regazzoni were the protagonists.
Despite this equality, the Red Bull driver led the drivers’ standings having achieved one more victory than his closest rival during the season (9-8). For that reason and after seeing the superiority of Mercedes in recent weekends, many were the voices that warned of a possible Prost and Senna-style accident in 1990, something that has finally happened.
After a qualifying in which Verstappen shone with his own light, Hamilton started in second position behind the Dutchman and knew that he had to risk the most in the first few meters if he wanted to get to the head of the race and try to endure a A position that, if maintained until the checkered flag, would give him his eighth Formula 1 world title.
At the start, Hamilton reacted and pulled much better than his rival and took the race lead into the first corner, but Verstappen tried to give it back to him at the end of the first long Yas Marina straight at Turn 5 and the two came very close to touching. .
Despite the British Mercedes driver gaining an advantage by going out to avoid the collision and speeding through the loophole, race management decided that the investigation was not necessary and everything continued as is, a decision that angered the energy drinks team wall .
After this controversial first action of the day, Hamilton took the lead of the race with Verstappen and Pérez behind on softer tyres, a situation that could benefit Red Bull at the time of pit stops and strategies.
With more than 50 laps to go, nothing has been decided yet and anything could happen in this more than interesting 2021 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.