Lewis Hamilton won a dramatic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to move level with Max Verstappen on 369.5 points in the race for the drivers' championship.
The 24-year-old Red Bull driver enters the final round in Abu Dhabi as championship leader on win count back, so Hamilton will have to beat Verstappen to secure an eighth world title.
Yet, an incident on lap 37 in Saudi Arabia that prompted Hamilton to bark “that guy is f***ing crazy man” over the radio could change the complexion of the final round with both racers summoned to the stewards.
Formula 1
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Hamilton attempted a pass, and appeared first into the corner. However, he was forced wide and both went off track. Red Bull told Verstappen to cede the lead and he did slow down, but the Mercedes driver ran into the back of him, meaning Verstappen retained the lead for a further six laps until he ceded.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident Hamilton said over the team radio:
That guy is f***ing crazy man. He just break tested me. It was just dangerous driving dude.
However, after the race, the Belgian-Dutchman did not see the issue.
"It was eventful, a lot of things happened that I don't fully agree with but it is what it is,” he began.
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.
Red Bull team principle 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 drives 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.
Formula 1
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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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