F1: What happened in the Abu Dhabi GP? Who won the Formula One World Drivers' Championship title in 2021? Why did Mercedes appeal? How have people reacted?

THE explosive final race of the Formula One season has come to an end in dramatic fashion.

Sunday, 12th December 2021, 7:44 pm
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 11, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Picture: Lars Baron/Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 11, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Picture: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were level on points going into the last Grand Prix of the year.

It means that the race was a straight shoot-out between the drivers – and of course the stakes are extremely high.

If you have been avidly following every twist and turn of the season, or just want to see how it ends, you will be wondering how to watch.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Who has won the Formula One Driver’s Championship in 2021?

Max Verstappen has won his first title after taking the win on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – but it was a race full of controversy.

F1 driver George Russell tweeted: ‘THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

‘Max is an absolutely fantastic driver who has had an incredible season and I have nothing but huge respect for him, but what just happened is absolutely unacceptable. I cannot believe what we’ve just seen.’

But will the result stand?

Mercedes have since lodged two protests.

Formula 1’s official account tweeted: ‘Mercedes have protested "against the classification established at the end of the Competition", relating to alleged breaches of Articles 48.8 and 48.12 of the FIA Sporting Regulations.’

What was the decision?

FIA rejected both of Mercedes appeal – meaning Max Verstappen is the champion.

However Mercedes could take the protests to the court of arbitration for sport.

Was the final F1 race on TV?

Yes the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be televised this weekend in the UK – the same as all the other races during the 2021 season.

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Will it be on free-to-air TV or just Sky?

Sky Sports have been airing the Formula One throughout 2021 – and even have a dedicated F1 channel.

But a deal has been struck with Channel 4 to allow it to also show the Abu Dhabi GP, so if you aren’t a Sky subscriber you will still be able to watch.

However qualifying will still be exclusive to Sky.

What time does the coverage start?

Channel 4 will have coverage from 12.55pm today – with a special reaction show continuing from 4pm to 5pm following the dramatic conclusion.

Sky’s coverage of the Grand Prix itself will start at 11.30am with On the Grid, followed by the race, on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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