'Finally a bit of luck' – Max Verstappen relief after beating Lewis Hamilton to F1 title and wants 15 years at top

MAX VERSTAPPEN dramatically won the world championship and declared that he got the 'luck' he needed.

The safety car left Verstappen, 24, and Lewis Hamilton, 36, to race with one lap to go in a crazy finish to the season.

Verstappen had fresh tyres and renewed optimism and overtook Hamilton – who had been leading by more than ten seconds before the safety car intervened – on the last lap.

Mercedes have protested against the controversial decision to allow the safety car to release the drivers but it was Verstappen lifting the trophy on the day.

After the race, the Dutchman said: "It's unbelievable.

"I tried the whole race and kept fighting then got the opportunity on the last lap.

"It's insane – finally a bit of luck for me.

"I love my team and fans and hope we can do this for 10/15 years together."

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Verstappen is due to remain at Red Bull until the end of the 2023 season.

And he won his first world title in a breathtakingly exciting grand prix in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The safety car entered the pit lane with one lap remaining – and that freed up Verstappen for one final crack at the leader Hamilton.

And the young Dutch star grabbed his last-ditch chance to overtake Hamilton on turn five before streaking clear.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was left in tears and told Verstappen on radio "I'm so proud of you, Max".

But British star Hamilton was denied a record EIGHTH world title after an incredible season-long battle with his Red Bull rival.

And Hamilton hinted he may not return next season after the dust settles.

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