The Dubai (VG) Formula 1 race in Saudi Arabia was quite dramatic – and Lewis Hamilton (36) is pitted against World Cup rival Max Verstappen (24). Hamilton won the race – so the two are completely on points ahead of the final World Cup round.
However, Verstappen is ahead of Hamilton in several victories.
“This guy is crazy,” said Hamilton of Verstappen’s driving.
13 laps from the goal, the Mercedes driver collided with Verstappen from behind after the Dutchman slowed sharply.
– This was just a dangerous drive, says an angry Hamilton on Mercedes’ internal radio.
Verstappen’s comment on the crash after the race is:
– I slowed down, I wanted him to drive my car, but there was a call. I don’t understand what happened there.
“I have no idea why he (Hamilton) hit you from the back,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner says on the indoor radio.
Only one race left from the 2021 World Cup. It will take place in Abu Dhabi in a week.
– Everything is decided there, says Max Verstappen.
Our team has done very well here, and we will continue to do so in Abu Dhabi, says Hamilton.
Former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean was among those who responded to what happened in the race:
Hamilton ran to the finish line as the winner. Verstappen received a five-second penalty, but still had a good margin for Valtteri Bottas in third. Esteban Ocon had to settle for fourth.
Verstappen was named “Driver of the Day” – which made him say this:
Fortunately, fans have a clear idea of the race. For me, this is not Formula 1, says Verstappen.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a parody of Formula 1. Team leaders Toto Wolff (Mercedes) and Christian Horner (Red Bull) were both in the mood during the more than two-hour race.
“This has to be the craziest race I can remember,” Hamilton’s chief engineer Peter Bonnington told Team Radio.
First, Mick Schumacher hit a wall hard by Haas. The alleged yellow flag was shown for the first time – and Mercedes thought they were cheating when they sent Lewis Hamilton to the warehouse for a tire change, while Max Verstappen stayed on the field and thus took the lead.
But then the jury chose the so-called red flag, i.e. stopped the race, meaning that Verstappen became the biggest winner after the Schumacher accident. The Dutch player can calmly change tires and start on the best starting track.
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It was a dramatic comeback, as Hamilton passed Verstappen, but the Dutchman overtook – but in a highly controversial way.
So when Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez and Nikita Mazepin crashed into Haas and Williams’ George Russell – raising the red flag again – the jury decided Esteban Ocon should have the best starting track, followed by Hamilton and Verstappen. With medium tyres, Max Verstappen had a great start and took the lead – but failed to get a proper lead to Hamilton, who then came on hard tyres.
On lap 37, there was new drama when Hamilton had to overtake Verstappen, which slowed sharply, and drove the Mercedes driver into Verstappen from behind. Hamilton’s front wing was damaged, but he kept doing it.
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The new course in Saudi Arabia was a big topic of conversation beforehand, there were accidents, communications and drama throughout the race – and the drivers almost disappeared like flies: Schumacher, Mazepin, Perez, Russell and Vettel.
Former World Champion Fernando Alonso on Indoor Radio offered harsh criticism of the course along the way:
– We need a safety car, the track is in the worst condition this weekend. We drive at 300 km/h on a track like this.
The Formula 1 season ends in Abu Dhabi in a week.
World Cup standings:
1) Verstappen 369.5, 2) Hamilton 369.5, 3) Bottas 218, 4) Pérez 190, 5) Leclerc 158, 6) Norris 154, 7) Sainz 149.5, 8) Ricciardo 115, 9) Gasly 100, 10) Alonso 77.
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