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There Are Lessons To Be Learned From the Last Formula 1 Race of 2021
Just shy of a week ago, I wrote a preview for the last Formula 1 race of the 2021 season. I expected it to be a nerve-racking race, and my intuition was correct. What I did not foresee was how the race would effectively end and what would happen afterward.

There Are Lessons To Be Learned From the Last Formula 1 Race of 2021

Red Bull Racing's Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 car2021 Brazilian Grand Prix startLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton after Monza crash with Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton after Monza crash with Max VerstappenMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealLewis Hamilton Final RaceLewis Hamilton Final RaceMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleRed Bull Racing's Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 car2021 Brazilian Grand Prix startLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Sergio Perez during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixMercedes-AMG F1 team principal Toto WolffMax Verstappen Abu Dhabi Grand Prix WinAbu Dhabi Grand Prix WinMax Verstappen Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Win
Long story short, Max Verstappen started from the first position, with Lewis Hamilton right behind. The Dutch driver missed the perfect start, while Lewis managed to launch his Mercedes right into first. From there, the two drivers kept fighting for the first position, and it did not take long for the first controversial incident of the race.

As the laps went by, it looked like Lewis had the title in the bag, while Max was about to learn a life lesson on the need to improve his starts. As you already know, things did not turn out that way. Instead, Max won the race by passing Lewis and then went on to become the 2021 Formula 1 World Champion.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team forwarded two appeals to the decisions made by the race administration. Neither was successful. It appeared that the German team would go even further with its appeals, but, on the day of the FIA Prize-Giving Gala, Mercedes-AMG Petronas issued a statement and announced the retirement of their appeals.

I must admit, I was waiting for a decision to be final before drafting another article on the matter. The idea here is that I am not going to analyze the FIA's rules or contest the decisions made by the race administration.

I am confident that both institutions are aware of their rules, and the humans who have to follow them are doing so. When someone does not follow the rules, there are penalties, and it appears that that was not the case here.

I am slightly disappointed that the final race of the season ended with controversy but happy that we got a chance to see the best racers in the sport doing their thing. With that being written, there are a few things I want to underline here.

First, Lewis Hamilton has demonstrated that he has the advantage of experience over Max Verstappen. That was demonstrated in the better start, but also in the tire management plan that the British driver had to apply because the calculations made by his team estimated that he would have lost time and positions if he went for a pit stop.

As some have said, it was Lewis's title to lose, and that happened even after he led most of the race. There is a life lesson here, and hopefully, Lewis will explain this in his class. Motorsport reflects life, and luck is a part of every success story. Leading a race does not ensure a win. As they say in rallying, "to finish first, first you have to finish."

Some say that you can "adjust" your level of luck through work, but talent plus work does not always equal success because there are unforeseen obstacles along the way, and some can be overcome with the right amount of luck.

In Lewis' case, he was fortunate enough not to have a puncture or a crash because of the aged tires that his racing car was fitted with but lacked a few remaining drams of luck to win the race. Could he have won it? Absolutely.

Lewis then had the power to congratulate his opponent, as well as his father. Lewis's dad (and former manager) did the same thing. Eventually, the Mercedes-AMG F1 team did the same, and they congratulated Max for his racing this year and for the win in the last race of the season.

While they were not happy with the result, Lewis especially, he and his team did the right thing and congratulated the winner. Lewis managed to do it without any backhanded compliments, insults, or anything else. That may be one of the reasons why he was knighted this week.

This is the second life lesson to learn from this race, as both winning and losing must be done with dignity, respect for your opponents, and without regret. Knowing how to behave after you win, or after you lose, will determine other things in life, and Lewis proved he is a champion here.

Meanwhile, there are lessons to be learned from Max's side of the story. While it is nice to be the underdog, the Dutch racing driver must leave his “Mad Max” reputation behind him.

That means keeping his cool on and off the racetrack. While Max is fast and talented, he must now race like the Formula 1 World Champion that he has become.

In other words, Max Verstappen will have the arduous task of proving himself yet again, just to underline the fact that his title was not just a stroke of luck.

While the latter might have helped just enough, Max does have talent and has worked for his result. You cannot win that many races with luck alone. And the Dutch racer managed to face the most successful Formula 1 driver currently involved in racing and won, despite being 12 years younger than him.

It might be fair to say that Max Verstappen has a lot of work to do, and some of it involves being better at things that are not related to driving. Before criticizing him for previous incidents, ask yourself how you behaved before you were 24, and imagine how you would have been if your dad had over 100 Formula 1 starts in his career?

Any honest person would say that having that kind of background would build up their confidence to a level that some might find disturbing. Sadly, this frequently happens when a famous person's child goes on to pursue a career in the same field as their parents.

While always being in the shadow of the person who they will be compared to their entire career until they manage to accomplish something their parents could not achieve, those people still have to deal with personal problems along the way. A little empathy goes a long way.

Another life lesson to learn from this event is that madly siding for one athlete or a particular team and then arguing with people on the internet about it will not improve one's life. Be sure to take note of that, regardless of the sport you are following.

Fortunately for us, next year's season will change the configuration of F1 race cars, which means that both drivers and teams start from a clean slate of paper with design, handling, and experience with the new kind of vehicle.

If both leading teams this year, Mercedes-AMG and Red Bull, manage to develop reliable cars to race next season, Lewis and Max will get another chance at fighting for the title.

The winner will look back and say that the trouble encountered along the way was worth it, and they will be right, no matter who they are.

 
 
 
 
 

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