THE SAUDI Arabian Grand Prix was marred in controversy last night as both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were involved in a number of incidents and penalties. Hamilton got the better of his rival and now moves level with Max Verstappen on 369.5 points in the race for the drivers' championship.
The final race will occur in Abu Dhabi and will see Hamilton secure an eighth world title if he wins on Sunday.
Hamilton's win wasn't plain sailing, a collision on turn 27 gave Max Verstappen a 10-second penalty, plus two penalty points.
😱 Oh. My. Word. 😱
Max Verstappen was told to let Lewis Hamilton past and he slowed but then Hamilton ran into the back of him!! His front wing is damaged!
🗣 "He just brake tested me!" says Hamilton
📺 #SaudiArabianGP live on Sky Sports F1pic.twitter.com/w46AVVTkHO
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) December 5, 2021
The title protagonists were again embroiled in a bizarre incident on Lap 37 of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when Verstappen, who was asked to return the lead to Hamilton having been deemed to gain an advantage going off track earlier at Turn 1, slowed to let his rival pass.
Red Bull's driver was instructed to give Hamilton the lead, but he did not heed the instructions given. The Mercedes driver hit his rear and would not take the lead until a further six laps.
Hamilton could be heard on his radio saying,
That guy is f***ing crazy man. He just tested me. It was just dangerous driving dude.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes sporting director could be seen on TV losing his mind after the incident.
Hamilton's rival did not see the issue and said after the race
I slowed down, I wanted to let him by, I was on the right but he didn't want to overtake and we touched. I don't really understand what happened there.
"It was eventful, a lot of things happened that I don't fully agree with but it is what it is,” he began.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added to Sky Sports:
"Max was trying to give the place up.
“We informed race control that we were going to give the place up and Max was lifting off. I think Lewis was lifting off. I don’t know if [Hamilton] was messing around looking for the DRS line. It was clear that we had given the place up.
“It’s weird because Lewis is slowing down behind him, it sounds like he’s lifting off. It was like [Hamilton] didn’t want to pass him because of the DRS. We were trying to give the place up and Lewis then drove up the back of Max’s car. We’ve picked up quite a bit of damage from that. Very, very frustrating.”
The final round of racing takes place in Abu Dhabi next weekend.