Christian Horner explains why fans will forget Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen finale

Verstappen wins 2021 F1 world championship

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Christian Horner believes F1 fans will forget all about the way Max Verstappen clinched his maiden world title in 2021, despite the historic and controversial circumstances surrounding the way the race finished. The Red Bull boss said people have “short memories” before reiterating his stance that his driver fully deserved the title.

Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the title in Abu Dhabi, with the two racers having gone toe-to-toe throughout the season.

The Dutchman opened a sizeable lead with just a few races to go, but Hamilton showed his experience and class to close that gap and set up a tense finale.

It looked as though the Briton would win it after leading for much of the race, but a late safety car opened the door for the Red Bull racer.

And race director Michael Masi’s controversial call to end the safety car period early and allow racing to resume for the final lap changed the course of the title race at the very last moment.

Instead of Hamilton cruising across the line for his eighth title, it was Verstappen who roared past on fresher tyres to become champion for the first time.

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Mercedes were up in arms and officially protested, before their complaints were waved away by the stewards.

The team threatened to take their appeal further, though they eventually backed down.

But that hasn’t stopped fans from eagerly discussing the situation to this day, almost a month after it all happened in Abu Dhabi.

Despite that ongoing discussion, Horner believes it won’t be long until the circumstances are forgotten by most, who will only remember that it was Verstappen who prevailed.

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“People in this business have such very short memories,” said Horner, as quoted by GPFans. “We’ve even forgotten what happened [earlier in the year]. It was such a long racing season.

“Max is absolutely a deserving world champion.

“When you look at the championship as a whole, of course, the events in Abu Dhabi drew an awful lot of comment but that happens in sport.

“We had a lot of bad luck last year, we got fortunate with a safety car, we made the right strategic calls, great strategy, great teamwork and great execution by Max, and we won the race.

“Time will move on. Max is a very deserving world champion, we are incredibly proud of that, and the history books will always show he is the 2021 world champion.”

While not everyone would agree with that assessment, Horner’s star driver has backed up that point of view.

Verstappen believes people in the future will look back on the footage with nostalgia rather than any lingering sense of injustice.

“Even with championships won 30 years ago or whatever, there has also been controversy,” he said.

“Nowadays, when people look back at the footage they enjoy it. It’s just part of the sport.”

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