'F***ing crazy': Lewis Hamilton blasts Max Verstappen in F1 mayhem

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·Sports Reporter
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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are even on points heading into the Formula One season finale.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen's F1 championship battle will go down to the season finale after a controversial Saudi Arabian GP. Pictures: Getty Images

Formula One championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will enter the season finale in Abu Dhabi level on points after a highly controversial Saudi Arabian GP overnight.

Hamilton crossed the line first ahead of Verstappen at the new Jeddah circuit, in a race which will result in a spotlight being firmly placed on the increasingly tense rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull.

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Valtteri Bottas was able to edge past Alpine's Esteban Ocon in the dying stages of the race for third place, while Daniel Ricciardo capitalised on the carnage to finish fifth after starting outside the top 10.

The catalyst for the controversy between Hamilton and Verstappen came after the first of two race restarts, after Verstappen took the lead from Hamilton after cutting part of the first corner and overtaking the Brit off track.

The race continued until Hamilton attempted to make a move for the lead on lap 37, only to be met with some stiff defence from Verstappen - with the Red Bull gaining an advantage after going too deep on the brakes and having to cut the corner.

Soon afterwards, Red Bull instructed Verstappen to hand first place back to Hamilton, concerned by his earlier move - however the told their driver to hand the place back 'strategically'.

Confusion seemed to reign as Hamilton, who was unaware Verstappen had been told to give him the lead, approached the slowing Red Bull driver.

Verstappen continued to slow, but Hamilton stayed behind the Dutchman unsure of what was going on, and with only marginal space on either side to get past.

This resulted in Hamilton colliding with Verstappen and sustaining some minor damage to his front wing - leading a furious Hamilton to accuse his championship rival of 'brake-testing' him.

“That guy is f***ing crazy man," Hamilton told his team.

“He just brake tested me. It was just dangerous driving dude.”

Soon afterwards, Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty by race stewards for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, while the contact between he and Hamilton was still under investigation well after the race had concluded.

Controversy erupts after Hamilton, Verstappen clash in Saudi Arabia

Hamilton's damaged front wing ultimately didn't impede the seven-time world champion, who was overtake Verstappen on lap 43 to draw level with the Dutchman on points heading into the final round of the F1 championship.

However a tense race will no doubt set up a thrilling season finale in Abu Dhabi, with Hamilton less than impressed with Verstappen's driving.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton described Verstappen's driving as 'dangerous', again accusing his title rival of brake testing him.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided under controversial circumstances during the Saudi Arabian GP.
Confusion reigned with. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was ordered to let championship rival Lewis Hamilton past during the Saudi Arabian GP, resulting in the pair colliding. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

“I really had to try and keep my cool out there, which was really difficult to do,” Hamilton told Sky Sports after the race.

“I’ve raced a lot of drivers through my life, in the 28 years I’ve come across a lot of different characters and there are a few at the top who are kind of over the limit. Rules kind of don’t apply [to them], or they don’t think of the rules.

“Today I just tried to do my talking on the track, keep the car between the white lines and do it the right way. So many things were sent at us.

“We got the pole then we lost out then we got back past then he passed over the kerb. There were just so many different, crazy curveballs.

“Then he obviously brake-tested, I think, to try and get the DRS into the last corner to overtake me again back into Turn 1. I thought that I lost my wing.”

Verstappen, booed by some of the crowd, said: "It was eventful, a lot of things happened that I don't fully agree with.

"I slowed down, I wanted to let him by, I was on the right but he didn't want to overtake and we touched."

With AAP

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