Looking back, Formula One has indeed provided its fanbase with intense championship battles along with numerous stories and controversies to discuss about. The competitive nature of rival drivers such as Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in 1988, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill in 1994, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in 2010, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in 2016, and now, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in 2021, has made the sport thrilling and exciting to watch.
Since every major sports event scheduled last 2020 has been postponed, 2021 has served as a sort of release valve for both athletes and fans, and everyone saw it as the opportunity to see how all of the stories in each sport unfold. The 2021 F1 season is no exception. With the expected conflicts between different drivers and constructors ahead, this would definitely create new tales and make for exciting stories. But every now and then, a rivalry emerges that stands out from the rest of F1’s history, defining not only F1 in that era, but also the sport as a whole.
This was exactly what the 2021 season was all about. The build-up of tensions between the two from past seasons has led to an intense, dramatic, and controversial season that can be said to be one of the greatest rivalries in history. Furthermore, the 2021 season is also the longest in F1 history, so it is no question that it has earned its spot in every sporting article’s headline. The 2021 season started races with controversy and it has also ended in controversy with the pair continuously fighting on track repeatedly.
Clashes and collisions were to be expected, similar to what happened in the British, Italian, and Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. These incidents only added to the tension between the two teams. As the season progressed, battles and tensions intensified, and in an unexpected last race and last lap fiasco in Abu Dhabi, where everyone was expecting Hamilton to clinch his eight world title, Verstappen reigned victorious and became F1’s new World Champion after a “miraculous” and perplexing Safety Car incident turned in the RedBull team’s favor.
Overall, the 2021 stood out because it was the best title fight/rivalry fans have seen with a serious amount of controversy in a very long time. No kidding, a very long time. The hype grew even more as both championship contenders and their respective teams aggressively fought for first place. As David Tremayne would say, “it’s as if they were literally at one another’s throats”. Like what would people would call it, the fight we saw in 2021 made this year-wide even as the “season like no other”.