He’s only gone and bloody done it! On the last lap of the last race of the 2021 Formula One World Championship, Max Verstappen crossed the line in first place, not only winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but also his maiden Driver’s Championship.
It’s been a long time coming for the feisty Dutchman. Seven years in the sport and a lifetime of hard work, high emotions and intense training has finally paid off for the 24-year-old. That Verstappen managed to beat rival Lewis Hamilton – seven-time World Champion and arguably the Greatest Of All Time – is testament to his skill as a driver. That the race came right down to the wire is incredibly fitting, too.
Speaking of fitting things, Verstappen was wearing perhaps the most perfect watch an F1 driver can hope to wear when one’s lifting a gold trophy: a TAG Heuer Monaco. Specifically, Verstappen was wearing his limited-edition Monaco Titan (ref. CAW218B.FC6496) – a high-performance variant of the famous watch that’s perfect for such a high-performance guy.
First introduced in 1969 and named after the legendary Monaco Grand Prix, the TAG Heuer Monaco is easily one of the most distinctive watches on the planet thanks to its chunky, square case and chronograph subdials. It’s also famous as the watch worn by Steve McQueen in the iconic 1971 motorsports film Le Mans.
Verstappen’s Monaco Titan, as the name implies, features a unique titanium case, silver sunburst dial and retro ‘Heuer’ logo, as well as a crown mounted on the left-hand side (like vintage models). It was actually given to Max as a gift after his win at the Monaco Grand Prix this year, and he’s gone on to wear it at every podium ceremony since. Guess it’s a bit of a good luck charm.
Verstappen’s win in Abu Dhabi was a dramatic end to what’s been one of the most exciting seasons in F1 history. The title fight between Red Bull’s Verstappen and Mercedes’ Hamilton was incredibly tense: the pair were dead even on points heading into this last race – and for much of the race, Hamilton looked set to bring home a record eighth title.
A safety car deployment with only a handful of laps to go saw Verstappen make a canny pit stop for soft tyres, which gave him the speed necessary to pull ahead of Hamilton in the final, green flagged lap. It was a controversial race and a controversial win for many reasons, but we’re not going to get into that here. We’d just like to thank both Hamilton and Verstappen for putting on one hell of a show. Both men deserved the win.
Check out the watches that Formula One drivers wear when they’re ‘off-duty’ below.