Speaking to CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies on Wednesday, Verstappen said he looked forward to the moment when his title win started to kick in.
“I especially think that once you get out of the season a bit, you have a little time to relax, so it will be even better,” he said.
“It was a lot more intense than I could imagine, with the pressure on the whole year but also the way the last race went.
“I think if you had told me the day before I probably wouldn’t have slept so yeah, really, really crazy.”
Verstappen explained how, as the crowds got mad on a chaotic final lap, he tried to stay focused and struggled with a leg cramp which made it difficult to drive at full throttle.
He said watching the return race was an intense experience.
“The first few times it was quite moving to look back, just to realize that you had won the championship,” he said.
“Especially this way, on the last lap, everything just happened, it was really intense.”
The decision of the race director Michael Masi to allow the race in the last lap infuriated Mercedes, who filed two protests Sunday evening which, after hours of talks, were rejected by the authorities.
The team had said they intended to appeal the decision but announced on Thursday that they had voted against it.
“In Sunday’s race, many felt, including us, that the way things turned out was not correct.”
“We congratulate you and all your team”
He added: “We made an appeal in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since had a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules by which they run and how they will be enforced.
“Thus, we welcome the decision of the FIA to set up a commission to analyze in depth what happened in Abu Dhabi and to improve the robustness of the rules, governance and decision-making in Formula 1. We we also congratulate that they invited the teams and the riders to take part.
“We will hold the FIA accountable for this process and hereby withdraw our appeal.”
Despite his dramatic loss, which saw a record-breaking feat wrested from him at the last moment, Hamilton had been exercising after the race and congratulated Verstappen on his victory.
His Mercedes team had been significantly calmer but praised the Dutchman and his team in Thursday’s statement.
The two teams had been at war for most of the year during one of the most competitive seasons in F1 history.
“To Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing: we would like to express our sincere respect for your accomplishments this season,” the statement continued.
“You made this Formula 1 title fight truly epic. Congratulations Max to you and your entire team. We look forward to fighting you on the track next season.”
While a world title escaped him, Hamilton celebrated his knight on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old Briton was named to the New Year’s honors list in December 2020 and received the title of Knight of the Prince of Wales for his services to motorsport in an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle .
Published twice a year, the awards list recognizes those who have accomplished excellence in a range of endeavors, including celebrities and non-famous faces.
“Lewis, you are the greatest driver in Formula 1 history and put all your heart to the test in every lap of this incredible season,” said Mercedes.
“You are a flawless athlete on and off the track and you delivered a flawless performance.
“As a true competitor and as a role model for millions of people around the world, we salute you.”
F1 will now take a break before the drivers return to the track next year for what promises to be a fascinating season.