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After winning the F1 world title in the most dramatic fashion in Abu Dhabi, Max Verstappen could be forgiven for celebrating lavishly until the early hours.
Especially given the stressful wait he then had to endure to see if his moment of glory would be taken away from him, as Mercedes launched two separate protests following a highly controversial finish at the Yas Marina circuit.
The development kept the champagne in the Red Bull garage on ice, and it wasn't until 11.03pm local time – more than four hours after the Dutchman took the chequered flag – that he was finally confirmed champion.
Even then came a further twist, with Toto Wolff's team immediately serving notice of their intent to appeal the FIA's decision, and the 'Silver Arrows' will now have until Thursday to implement further proceedings.
But a potential appeal appeared the last thing on Verstappen's mind as he embraced Red Bull boss Christian Horner, before 'We are the Champions' by Queen was heard blasting out of the garage, with the 24-year-old joining staff members in wearing specially-designed t-shirts and caps to mark his win.
There were ample cans of beer, and red bull, being banded about and according to German newspaper Bild, the celebrations then spilled onto the race track before Verstappen headed for the hospitality section at the Yas Marina.
It was here where he was joined by girlfriend Kelly Piquet and close friends Stan Pex and Gianpiero Lambiase.
What did you make of Verstappen's dramatic title win in Abu Dhabi? Let us know in the comments section.
And it was from the yacht that Piquet, that daughter of former three-time world champions Nelson Piquet, took to Instagram to upload photos of the wild celebrations.
According to Sky Sports, Verstappen, who after hearing the news of the protest being dismissed jokingly told reporters he would be having a 'small drink', remained with party goers until 7am before the celebrations finally ended.
However, while the 24-year-old's euphoria is unlikely to die down anytime soon, neither will the post-race fall out following a dubious conclusion to one of the most anticipated races in F1 history.
Lewis Hamilton appeared to be cruising to an eighth world title when he led Verstappen by 11 seconds in the closing laps, only for Williams driver Nicholas Latifi to crash, prompting a safety car.
Verstappen duly pitted and after race director Michael Masi changed his mind on the regulations over the safety car, he found himself on Hamilton's tail for a final lap shootout.
On worn tyres, the British driver was no match for the young protege, as Verstappen took victory to huge roars from the crowd.
- Max Verstappen
- Red Bull Racing
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