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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2nd position, congratulates Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, in Parc Ferme
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Analysis

How Abu Dhabi’s finale helped F1 transcend its normal news cycle

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix's final few laps elevated the 2021 Formula 1 finale from a run-of-the-mill formality for Lewis Hamilton to a last-second title triumph for Max Verstappen. But although the FIA's late-race decisions plunged the race's end into controversy, it sent shockwaves beyond F1's usual reach in the media

The Formula 1 bubble has, historically, posed as a parochial environment at the best of times. Its biggest stories – surprise driver transfers, on-track controversies and crashes – have rarely transcended anything other than the specialist news sites and the sports pages of the national papers.

Although Netflix's Drive to Survive has pushed F1 more towards the mainstream, it's still rare to see any kind of motorsport receive top billing in national news stories. That's what makes the aftershock of 2021's Abu Dhabi season finale so seismic.

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