Lewis Hamilton accuses Max Verstappen of going too far in his driving after another race of clashes and acrimony; Both drivers facing stewards in Jeddah after race in bizarre incident when the Mercedes hit slowing Red Bull up the back
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 05/12/21 10:10pm
Lewis Hamilton described Max Verstappen’s driving as “over the limit” of acceptability after the F1 title rivals’ latest on-track controversies – and collision – in a heated and chaotic Saudi Arabian GP.
At the end of a race of dizzying incident ultimately won by Hamilton, the title contenders were summoned to the stewards to explain a bizarre collision on lap 37 when the Mercedes hit a slowing Red Bull up the back exiting the final corner.
Red Bull said that Verstappen was slowing down to let Hamilton past on instruction from Race Control as a result of an earlier incident at Turn One; Mercedes said they were not told of that plan from the FIA’s race director Michael Masi until the collision happened, with an unaware Hamilton suggesting his Dutch rival had performed an illegal “brake test” on him.
Wheel-to-wheel incidents and clashes have been commonplace for the duelling title rivals all season, with Hamilton often accusing Verstappen of being too aggressive in defence and attack, whereas the Dutchman has defended his driving as hard but fair.
Reflecting on the astonishing events of the 50-lap race which have ultimately moved him level on points with Verstappen for next week’s Abu Dhabi finale, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: “I really had to just try and keep my cool out there which was really difficult to do.
“I’ve raced a lot of drivers through my life in the 28 years [of racing] and I’ve come across a lot of different characters and there are a few at the top which are kind of over the limit. Rules kind of don’t apply, or don’t think of the rules.”
Asked if Verstappen fell into that category, Hamilton replied: “He’s over the limit, for sure. I’ve avoided collision on so many occasions with the guy and I don’t always mind being the one that does that because you live to fight another day, which I obviously did.”
More to follow…