Former McLaren and Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger said Max Verstappen “did what he had to do” in order to win his first World title, coming out on top against Lewis Hamilton in one of Formula 1’s most dramatic seasons in 2021.

Verstappen received criticism through the year for his defensive and offensive tactics, which were seen by some as being too aggressive – for example when he appeared to force Hamilton off track while defending against him in Brazil last season.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff claimed his level of defending was “far away” from the standards expected as a Formula 1 driver, and Hamilton was heard over team radio in Saudi Arabia labelling Verstappen as “f****** crazy” after the Red Bull driver ran too deep in the braking zone at Turn 1 while alongside each other, and they almost collided.

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