Complaints down the radio, chaotic restarts and THAT collision in Jeddah… how Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix rivalry unfolded lap by lap
- Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were in a thrilling Saudi Arabia GP contest
- The Briton managed to edge the Red Bull man after swapping top spot in Jeddah
- Hamilton crashed into Verstappen on lap 42 as he tried to take the lead
- The pair were also at the heart of some chaotic standing starts after red flags
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s thrilling Formula One rivalry this season reached new heights on Sunday during the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
In a thrilling contest in Jeddah, the two F1 title chasers shared the Grand Prix lead, controversial moments and thrilling standing start moments as the Briton levelled the drivers’ standings ahead of next weekend’s finale.
Sunday’s race saw two red flags, multiple virtual safety car interventions and five drivers dropping out before Hamilton reached the chequered flag ahead of his Dutch rival, who had suddenly dropped off.
Lewis Hamilton (front) edged Max Verstappen (back) in Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
The Briton (right) managed to level the F1 drivers’ standings ahead of next week’s finale
From rants down the team radio to a stunning collision in the most bizarre of circumstances, Sportsmail looks at how Verstappen and Hamilton’s rivalry unfolded on Sunday…
With Hamilton leading and Verstappen third, Mick Schumacher hits the wall hard and the yellow flag is waved. Both Mercedes drivers pit for tyres but Verstappen stays out, allowing him to take the lead.
The debris takes too long to clear and the race is red-flagged, meaning Verstappen can change tyres without needing a pit stop — a huge break for the Dutchman. As they prepare for a standing start, Hamilton complains on his radio that Verstappen has done a practice start in the pit lane, which isn’t allowed — but the Brit is accused of leaving too much space on the warm-up lap to heat his tyres.
A chaotic restart saw Verstappen start in front but Hamilton and Esteban Ocon fought hard
After a 20-minute delay, Hamilton flies into the lead on the first corner — but Verstappen gets the place back by cutting the second corner. Hamilton fumes and is down to third. Then multiple cars crash and the red flag is waved again.
During another 20-minute stoppage, the stewards force Verstappen back two places for his corner cutting. Esteban Ocon now leads with Hamilton second.
From the third start, Verstappen charges into the lead and makes it stick, with Hamilton third — but the Brit overtakes Ocon a lap later.
Ocon (right) drifted ahead of Hamilton (middle) after Verstappen had emerged in front
Hamilton finally gets into DRS range and charges into the lead on the pit straight, but Verstappen takes it back by cutting the second corner again. Verstappen is told to give the place back but does so by stamping on his brakes out of a corner, and Hamilton collides with the back of the Red Bull. The Brit’s front wing is damaged and Mercedes are furious — team principal Toto Wolff throws his headphones in disgust.
Race control again order Verstappen to give the place back — but he waits two laps, causing confusion about whether he is aware of the instruction.
Hamilton goes past but Verstappen takes the lead back immediately, dipping through on the inside. Then seconds later, the Dutchman is hit with a five-second time penalty — to be added after the race — for how he overtook Hamilton on lap 37.
Hamilton (right) ran into the back of Verstappen who was ordered to let the Briton go ahead
The FIA aren’t amused with how Verstappen gave the place back and for a third time, Hamilton is allowed to take the lead.
Hamilton holds on and takes victory with the extra point for fastest lap, leaving the title rivals level on 369.5 points ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
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