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Man’s Life F1 2021 Awards

Max Verstappen with F1 2021 trophy
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The 2021 F1 season will forever be remembered for one of the most memorable title fights in history between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, with the Dutchman eventually coming out on top by just eight points. Although the season’s grand finale was marred by controversy, there were plenty of iconic moments throughout the 22 races in 2021.

Here are our Man’s Life F1 2021 awards, looking back at some of the top performances from this one-of-a-kind season.

▶ Driver of the Season – Max Verstappen


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Although almost nothing separated Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen throughout the season, the Dutchman finally ended up on top of the standings after producing some sublime performances in 2021. Max finished the season with the most race wins, poles and laps led, eventually winning the Driver’s Championship by 8 points. Verstappen showed extraordinary consistency in 2021, finishing either P1 or P2 in 17 of the 18 Grand Prix’s he completed this season.

▶ Drive of the Season – Lewis Hamilton (Sao Paulo Grand Prix)


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The drive of the season belongs to Lewis Hamilton, who produced one of the best performances of his career to win the race. After going from 20th to P5 in the Sprint, Hamilton was handed another five-place engine penalty before the race. Nevertheless, the Briton produced an excellent recovery to take the victory, overtaking Max on Lap 59 to emerge in the lead.

The racing gods seemed determined to deny Hamilton a victory in Interlagos, but the 7-time champion channelled the spirit of Ayrton Senna to secure the win and shift the momentum in the title race towards Mercedes.

▶ Race of the Season – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix


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From the season opener in Bahrain to the chaos in Monza & Hungary to the rain in Russia, there were plenty of memorable races in 2021. However, the race of the season belongs to Saudi Arabia, with the maiden Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah filled with controversy and drama. From red flags to brake tests to high-speed crashes, this race had it all.

In the end, after plenty of wheel-to-wheel action and words exchanged across the radio, Hamilton won from Verstappen with Valtteri Bottas charging home to steal third place from Esteban Ocon in the final few metres before the chequered flag. 

▶ Surprise of the Season – McLaren getting a 1-2 in Monza 


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From George Russell ending up on a podium to Ferrari taking back-to-back poles in Monaco and Baku, the 2021 F1 season threw up plenty of surprises. However, the shock of the season came at Monza, when McLaren secured their first 1-2 finish since Canada in 2010 at the Italian GP. Ricciardo took the lead on lap one from Max Verstappen with Norris in third, and after a crash between Max and Lewis, the two papaya cars sailed home to give McLaren the only 1-2 finish of the season.

▶ Overtake of the Season – Lewis on Max in Brazil


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Lewis Hamilton pulled off plenty of extraordinary overtakes in Sao Paulo, but the best of the lot came on lap 59 when Lewis passed the Red Bull of Verstappen into the outside of turn four to take the lead. Hamilton tried a similar move on lap 48 but was pushed off the track and into the gravel by the Dutchman. However, 11 laps later, the Briton got the pass done before arriving at the corner with the aid of DRS and Mercedes engine power.

▶ Battle of the Season – Hamilton and Perez in Abu Dhabi


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The battle of the year came in the season finale in Abu Dhabi, where Sergio Perez used all his experience and racecraft to become the ultimate teammate to Max Verstappen. With Lewis looking to retake the lead after making his stop, Perez defended expertly on much older tyres to frustrate the 7-time World Champion. Perez made Lewis wait for an extra lap before eventually making the move, and that crucial defence wiped out Hamilton’s lead over Verstappen, allowing Max to get within only two seconds of Lewis.

Although Hamilton eventually pulled ahead, his gap over Verstappen wasn’t large enough to pit for fresh tyres during the two safety car periods, something that eventually cost him the World Championship.


[Featured Image Credit: Sergio Perez]