AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has congratulated Max Verstappen for taking his first F1 title – in a season when he saw him as the fastest driver.
In perhaps the most dramatic conclusion to a title decider in F1 history, Verstappen passed his rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the pair having gone into the final race tied on points.
Hamilton had controlled much of the race, but a late Safety Car and tyre change brought Verstappen right back into play, setting him up for that last-lap overtake to become Formula 1 World Champion for the first time in his career.
In AlphaTauri’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix review, he said: “What an unbelievable race for the final round in Abu Dhabi.
“Congratulations to Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Honda for winning the World Championship title. They did an incredible job during the year and Max really deserved this. This year he was the fastest driver and the team did a fantastic job.”
AlphaTauri also ended the season on a huge high with Yuki Tsunoda crossing the line P4, comfortably his best result and performance of the season, while team-mate Pierre Gasly followed in P5.
“We are also happy from our side because we brought home a very good race result, the best of the year, and collected 22 points with Yuki in P4 and Pierre in P5, having started the race in P8 and P12,” Tost reflected.
“We mixed up the strategy with Yuki starting the race on the mediums, while Pierre was on a new set of hard tyres. Both of them did a very clever first stint and managed their tyres very well.
“Pierre got caught up behind [Fernando] Alonso. I think he could have been much faster but nevertheless, thanks to the Safety Car and very good strategy decisions, the team managed to cross the chequered flag with both drivers in the top five.”
AlphaTauri ended the season P6 in the Constructors’ Championship but with their strongest haul of points in the team’s history, scoring 142 across the season.
And with new regulations coming for 2022, Tost hopes that can be a springboard for further success next season.
“We finish the season on 142 points, the highest we have ever scored in the history of the team and only 13 points behind Alpine,” he said.
“The team made a big step forward in all areas and I’m now really looking forward to next year with hopefully a competitive new car to fight for strong positions.”