Max Verstappen has revealed that he received congratulatory messages from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen claimed his first Drivers' Championship in dramatic fashion, passing rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Yas Marina Circuit to deny the Mercedes driver an eighth world title.
It was a victory secured controversially, with Mercedes confirming an intention to lodge an appeal after the race was restarted in its final moments after a period under a safety car, allowing Verstappen to snatch a remarkable victory.
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Despite the sour finish, both Mercedes and Hamilton have been respectful in defeat, Verstappen revealed, though the Red Bull driver understands why Hamilton may be aggrieved by the climax.
"Toto [Wolff] sent me a text - congratulations on the season and that I deserved to win, that was very nice," Verstappen said.
"Lewis came up to me and congratulated me. It must have been very tough in that last lap. It also shows the respect we have for each other.
"Of course we had our tough times through the season but we respect what we're doing and we were pushing each other to the limit and it has been very enjoyable racing against him.
"Of course it helps if you have already seven titles.That comforts him a bit.
"I think if it was the other way around, it would have been more painful for me because I didn't have one."
Race stewards have already rejected two protests lodged by Mercedes during the race against the way that race director Michael Masi took charge of the concluding laps.
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The team has until Thursday evening to decide whether to lodge a further appeal, arguing that had the rules been followed correctly the race would not have begun again and Hamilton would have claimed both Grand Prix and overall victory.
Verstappen is insistent that the manner of his final triumph did not diminish the achievement of his first world title.
"I think it's a bit of a part of the whole season - it's been like that already a few times, with protests or whatever," Verstappen explained.
"It is what it is. That's racing sometimes. For me, nothing really changed. We were still celebrating and we did win it on track.
"We didn't do anything wrong. We just raced when there was a green light. That made it enjoyable for us."
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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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