By: Scott Way
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the final race of the 2021 F1 season, and the spectacle surrounding it is the biggest in powersports. Abu Dhabi is synonymous with extravagance in its own right, which makes it a fitting place to send F1 cars hurtling down side streets while superyachts host crews and distinguished guests in the harbour.
The 2021 finale was a mess, all things considered, but the celebration made up for it.
A late race caution sparked a questionable finish in which Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen overcame rival Lewis Hamilton on the final lap. A sudden rule change regarding lapped cars allowed Verstappen to line up behind Lewis for a one lap shootout, which was unsurprisingly protested by Lewis and others, and resulted in an hours long delay to determine the rightful winner. Both teams engaged in a 90 minute arguing session with F1 officials immediately after the race. The buildup was at fever pitch by the time the official decree was made, but Verstappen and his team wasted little time starting the afterparty.
Verstappen and his Red Bull teammates were staying on a private yacht in Yas Marina for race week, and naturally that became the epicenter for the post-race celebration. Verstappen's crew included team principal Christian Horner, as well as his wife and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell Horner, not to mention the squad of engineers and mechanics that make up a typical F1 race team. According to Evening Standard, Verstappen and the team indulged in the customary "We Are The Champions" singalong before winding things down sometime around 4:30 am.
Earlier this year, Verstappen purchased a 120-foot superyacht named Bagheera for an estimated $6 million (which seems like a steal). The yacht was first commissioned in 2005 and then refitted in 2020. The boat includes accommodations for nine guests, an infinity jacuzzi, and $100k weekly rental rate. There's no word yet if the party boat in Abu Dhabi was Verstappen's Bagheera, but there's little reason why it wouldn't be. If you're curious, 'bagheera' is the Hindi word for 'tiger,' so that should tell you something about both Verstappen's modus operandi towards life and his approach to afterparties.
Congrats to Max on both the good taste in yachts and his first F1 championship.