After seven years of suffering the monotony of continuous and repetitive F1 Mercedes first or second position wins, and watching their driver dominating the driver’s championship, Groundhog Day has finally come to an end.
Motorsport afficionados are, once again, able to look forward to proper competitive racing and the driver to make this possible is Max Verstappen.
Verstappen is probably the best driver to have come to F1 in at least a decade. He has just taken his first F1 world championship and while mired in controversy, this will certainly not be his last.
The Dutch driver has led this year’s F1 with the most wins, 10 to Hamilton’s 8, along with most podiums, most polls, and this despite being knocked out of three races due to incidents.
It is unfortunate that race director Michael Masi’s decision to let Verstappen and Hamilton race in the last lap was allowed to overcast Verstappen’s win, putting the championship in the balance for a nail-biting two days.
I, along with a multitude of motorsport lovers, believe the decision to not to end the race under a safety car after Nicolas Latifi’s crash was the right one.
It was not just exciting to watch a hard-fought David vs Goliath battle, it was entirely in the spirit of racing.
Any naysayers (and there have been several, not least motorsport pundits), we should all do well to remember that Mercedes had the option of calling in Hamilton for a fresh set of tires, just as Red Bull did, but made a choice to keep position dominance (a strategic error in my view).
Ultimately, race fans watch F1 for the thrill of the battle, not for the monotony of a merry-go-round and I, for one, am happy Verstappen has re-invigorated the sport.