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Teary-Eyed Max Verstappen Revisits Abu Dhabi F1 Wins as He Sheds Light on Painful Leg Cramp

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The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix produced what is arguably the most eventful Formula One races of all time; After a poor getaway at lights out, the chances of lifting the world championship title began to diminish for Max Verstappen, as his rival, Lewis Hamilton embraced the power of Mercedes to extend his lead to a rather unreachable level.

However, just when everyone was starting to realize that Hamilton winning his eighth championship title was almost certain, the Dutchman gained a miraculous second chance in his title pursuit.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race and the world championship on the podium with a Netherlands flag Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

A late safety car (thanks to Nicholas Latifi) followed by a bizarre call by Michael Masi, the race director, led Verstappen, with shining new soft tires, to tailgate Hamilton with a mere lap to go.

Of course, we all know how the battle turned out in the end. However, quite interestingly, Verstappen admitted that he could have lost the championship on the last lap owing to an untimely discomfort which caused a load of pain.

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What did Max Verstappen say?

During a Dutch interview, Verstappen opened up that he suffered a leg cramp just when the lights went green on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi GP. Hence, the Red Bull driver endured unbearable pain throughout the lap whenever he had to open up the throttle.

Yeah, yeah… But, I had a cramp! I had a cramp from turn 1 onwards in my leg. So, every time I went full throttle, it hurt so much. So, in the last lap, I was of course fighting the battle and I had a massive cramp in my leg, so...,” Verstappen said.

The interviewer then asked whether he had the pain under the safety car. But, Verstappen denied and reckoned that it probably had something to do with ‘the nerves’.

No, with the restart. Maybe, it was the nerves,” Verstappen concluded. Overall, despite the cramp, Verstappen managed to keep his cool and breezed past Hamilton around turn 5, and went on to clinch his first-ever world championship title. The Dutchman is now also the first distinct world champion since Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Read More: Why do F1 Drivers Train Their Necks?

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The post Teary-Eyed Max Verstappen Revisits Abu Dhabi F1 Wins as He Sheds Light on Painful Leg Cramp appeared first on EssentiallySports.

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