5 talking points you may have missed as Max Verstappen wins world title

It was billed as the most anticipated F1 race in history, and it didn't disappoint.

In a climax wilder than any F1 fan could have hoped for, Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be crowned world champion – for now at least.

The controversial ending, which saw race officials backtrack on their original instructions after a safety car came out and give Verstappen the chance to pass Hamilton at the death, has dominated the post-race talk.

A protest from Mercedes was later dismissed by FIA officials, and the 'Silver Arrows' now have until Thursday to launch an appeal.

But while the debate over who should have been crowned the rightful champion rumbles on, here's five other major talking points that may well have been missed amongst the chaos.

Vettel confirmed as the overtake King

It was gone 11pm in Abu Dhabi when Verstappen was finally confirmed as F1 drivers' champion, but there was at least a clear winner in the other individual title up for the grabs.

For the first time ever, 2021 has seen the introduction of the Crypto.com Overtake Award, won by the driver who makes the most successful passes over the 21 Grand Prix races.

Things were on a knife-edge going into Sunday afternoon, with Sebastian Vettel on 127 – just two more than fellow former world champion Fernando Alonso on 125.

Vettel added more five overtakes to his tally in Abu Dhabi, while Alonso could only improve his number by three, meaning the popular German driver prevailed 132-128.

The retiring Kimi Raikkonen was third with 127.

Vettel, 34, responded to the news with his usual good humour, asking his Aston Martin team over radio if his prize could be a "million jellybeans."

Kimi's farewell falls flat

Missing out on the newly created prize wasn't the only disappointment for the departing Raikkonen.

The 2007 world champion was bowing out from F1 after a career spanning two decades and 349 race starts, and fans were craving a fitting finish for the Finn in his Alfa Romeo.

It didn't materialise with Raikkonen, 42, only qualifying 18th on the grid before bowing out from the race early with technical problems.

There was one consolation though, with Raikkonen topping the leaderboard in the formula1.com 'Driver of the Day' poll, as viewers contrived to vote sentimentally in a show of respect for one of the sport's most popular figures.

George Russell rants on Twitter

George Russell will join Mercedes for the 2022 season, but if he failed to impress his future bosses on the track in Abu Dhabi – he wasn't shy to show where his allegiances were off it.

The young star was unable to sign off in style at Williams as like Raikkonen, he was forced to retire early, but unlike other drivers he wasn't tentative about weighing in on the late controversy.

He wrote on Twitter "THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!" before clarifying his words with a more detailed explanation, "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."

The 23-year-old now has the challenge of living up to Toto Wolff's expectations on the track, but he'll certainly leave Abu Dhabi sharing his opinions off it.

Mercedes take the Constructors' crown

The celebrations at Mercedes after being confirmed Constructors' champions weren't so much anti-climatic as they were completely non-existent – but it is a statistic worth nothing.

Hamilton being placed second, complimented by Valtteri Bottas coming sixth and Red Bull driver Sergio Perez failing to finish, was enough to see the 'Silver Arrows' take the title by 28 points.

It meant an eighth successive team crown for Toto Wolff and co, although given the demeanour of the German as he left the track following the afore-mentioned unsuccessful protest, you would never have guessed it.

Mazepin goes missing with Covid

It's not unusual for Haas driver Nikita Mazepin to fail to complete a race, but this time around it had nothing to do with his driving skills or even the reliability of his car.

The Russian, who has failed to notch a single point in an often torrid debut season, would have at least been hopeful of completing all 58 laps despite starting in his customary spot of 20th – and last – on the grid.

The 22-year-old didn't even get the chance, ruled out of the race after testing positive for Covid-19 after qualifying.

It doesn't rain Nikita, it just pours.

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