Partying to the Max! Inside the new F1 champion’s Abu Dhabi afterparty as Verstappen toasts his controversial last-lap win over Lewis Hamilton with girlfriend Kelly Piquet, as team Red Bull celebrate until 7am on a yacht

After 22 high-octane races, countless dramatic moments and a finale that has left a bitter taste, Max Verstappen finally let his hair down following his world championship triumph and partied until the early hours in Abu Dhabi. Verstappen, 24, snatched the world championship from rival Lewis Hamilton in the final lap of their shootout in the desert, although the manner of his victory left Mercedes fuming with FIA race director Michael Masi. BILD says that the celebrations truly kicked off three hours after the race’s conclusion in Abu Dhabi, when at 11.03pm local time Verstappen had been confirmed as the new world champion after Mercedes’ two complaints were thrown out by the FIA. Red Bull chief Christian Horner relayed the news to Verstappen himself, at which point the duo embraced after a tireless campaign together. Mercedes lodged two complaints with the FIA after the race, but both were rejected to confirm Verstappen’s place at the top of the sport. Red Bull chief Christian Horner described Mercedes’ complaints to the FIA as ‘a little desperate’ following the controversial finale in Abu Dhabi.

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