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Verstappen's safety car miracle 'first good luck' of season - Horner

Verstappen's safety car miracle 'first good luck' of season - Horner

Verstappen's safety car miracle 'first good luck' of season - Horner

Verstappen's safety car miracle 'first good luck' of season - Horner
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed the controversial end to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the "first time" Max Verstappen had experienced any luck all season.

Verstappen made the most of a late safety car and a free pit stop to charge past Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the campaign, taking a maiden world title in the process.

The procedures taken by the FIA to initiate a final-lap shootout has come under fire, not least by Mercedes who lodged two protests and an intent to appeal having seen those protests thrown out by the stewards at Yas Marina.

There was controversy at the start of the race that favoured Mercedes, however, where Hamilton was let off the hook despite keeping his position by cutting across the turn six and seven chicane run-off area.

Asked if there were lessons to be learned by the governing body ahead of a new season after a series of inconsistencies in 2021, Horner replied: “I think that there are always lessons you can learn as a team and in life generally, but I think we felt that the decision at the beginning of the race went against us.

"We obviously felt that the decision at the end of the race was right and it's been a season like that.

“There have been marginal calls and some we’ve benefitted from, some, the majority of which we have lost out from.

“Max was finally due a bit of luck and Latifi causing that safety car just gave us the opportunity and it felt, after Silverstone and Budapest and Azerbaijan, he felt that his luck wasn’t with him.

“For the first time, he had a bit of luck and it came at the right time but he had to make it happen."

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