Hamilton Verstappen and real war
Safety car, yellow flags, red flags, questionable penalties, narcissistic Masi – In Jeddah it is the far west
F1 Saudi Arabia GP 2021 – race analysis
Crazy race full of tension, in the end Hamilton wins
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“This team has put together a phenomenal campaign this year. We’ve won 10 races, we’ve taken Mercedes all the way to the final race. The Constructors’ (championship), we’re on the back foot and it will need a miracle to win that, but we have one more shot to have a go at winning this title with Max and we’ll do everything we can.”
Hamilton wins crazy Saudi GP to level with Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton won a crazy, twice-halted Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday to go level on points with Red Bull rival Max Verstappen and set up a winner-takes-all title showdown.
On a chaotic night in Jeddah, the first race in the Gulf kingdom took almost as many twists and turns as an already astonishing and enthralling rollercoaster season — and also left a bitter aftertaste.
There were crashes and collisions, safety cars, red flags, and claims of dirty driving after seven-times world champion Hamilton hit the back of Verstappen’s suddenly slowing car on the super-fast Corniche street circuit.
Extraordinary, at times angry, radio exchanges between the race director Michael Masi and the top two teamsfilled the airwaves.
With a bonus point for fastest lap, Hamilton moved alongside Verstappen at the top of the standings with 369.5 points after 21 races.
Lewis Hamilton escapes grid penalty at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has escaped a penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after the race stewards investigated two separate final practice incidents involving the Mercedes driver and decided neither warranted a drop of positions on the grid.
Hamilton was summoned to the stewards for ignoring double-waved yellow flags in the first half of the session and then for impeding Nikita Mazepin towards the end of the practice hour.
The stewards decided no further action was needed for the yellow flag incident and that only a reprimand (Hamilton’s second of the year) was sufficient for impeding the Haas driver.
Other teams had the right to appeal the decision. There was speculation Mercedes’ title rivals Red Bull would do so, but they opted against protesting.
Speaking to Sky Sports before opting against the appeal, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said:
“It feels a little inconsistent with what we’ve seen two weeks ago. We have the right to an appeal. We’ll have a look at the information we have, we haven’t looked at it that closely. These decisions are so late, the team management have to focus on the qualifying. So we’ll have a look and see. One thing that we desperately want is just consistency. The problem is, if there is an appeal, it’ll be heard here, it will be the same stewards, I’m sure it will be the same decision.”
The statement on the yellow flag incident read as follows:
“The Race Director reported to the Stewards that the double yellow flag warning on the FIA Marshalling System was activated at Light Panel Number 6 accidentally, for less than one second.
“As the on-board video of Car 44 (to be released by the Commercial Rights Holder following this Decision) clearly shows, there was no yellow flag displayed, no yellow lights were displayed to that driver and the yellow warning light was not visible on the driver’s steering wheel.
See the video here!!
Why was Verstappen given a time penalty for Hamilton clash?
Following deliberations at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Max Verstappen was given a 10-second time penalty for being predominantly to blame for the incident that saw Lewis Hamilton run into the back of the Red Bull driver.
Verstappen had held onto the lead of the race by running over the escape area at Turn 1 after an attack from Hamilton on Lap 36/50, but was told to cede position to his rival as a result.
Verstappen appeared to attempt to do this down the back straight on the approach to Turn 27, but Hamilton was seemingly confused by the situation and ended up tagging the back of the Red Bull as Verstappen slowed further.
The clash resulted in front wing damage to Hamilton’s car, as well as rear and tyre damage to Verstappen’s car, and both were summoned to see the stewards after the race to examine the contentious incident.
Verstappen was hit with a time penalty, which doesn’t alter his finishing position of second place, as well as being given two penalty points, which takes him to seven for the current 12-month period.
Why not entirely to blame?
The stewards went on to explain that Hamilton did have the option to overtake Verstappen when the Red Bull initially slowed, but they understood his desire not to do so.
“Whilst accepting that [Hamilton] could have overtaken [Verstappen] when that car first slowed, we understand why he (and [Verstappen]) did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS.
“However, the sudden braking by [Verstappen] was determined by the stewards to be erratic and hence the predominant cause of the collision and hence the standard penalty of 10 seconds for this type of incident, is imposed.”
The key point, emphasised by the stewards, was that Verstappen’s telemetry revealed a point of hard braking, as opposed to linear decleration.
“[Verstappen] braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration,” the stewards added.
LIGHTS OUT PT. III
Ocon, Hamilton and Verstappen squeeze at Turn 1!
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 5, 2021
Marko: Red Bull “not treated the same” as Mercedes by FIA stewards
The most notable incidents came in wheel-to-wheel fights between the two drivers. Verstappen twice ran Hamilton deep at Turn 1, and was asked to give the position back on both occasions. He received one five-second time penalty for gaining an advantage off-track.
READ: TYRES: WHAT IS BLISTERING AND GRAINING
Verstappen slowed to allow Hamilton through at one point, only for the Mercedes to run into the rear of his Red Bull, leaving Hamilton’s front wing with damage. The stewards are set to investigate the incident post-race.
Red Bull was also left unhappy that Hamilton was more than 10 car lengths behind Verstappen en route to the grid at the first red flag restart, as well as believing Verstappen was forced wide at the final corner having allowed Hamilton back into the lead.
Red Bull advisor Marko called it an “extraordinary race”, but said that Red Bull was “not happy and we don’t accept the decisions”.
“That was the one thing. The next thing was at the second start, Hamilton was more than 10 [car] lengths behind. [Sebastian] Vettel got penalised in Budapest when he did it. But with this manoeuvre he [Hamilton] was preparing his tyre better for the start.
“Then he pushed Max off, no reaction. So we feel we are not treated the same.”
Hamilton was summoned over two incidents in final practice on Saturday, but the stewards did not take any major action, only handing him a reprimand for impeding. “It’s a very one-side tending decision-making here,” Marko said.
Hamilton said that Verstappen was “over the limit” in his driving approach, but Marko saw no need for the Red Bull driver to make any changes heading to Abu Dhabi.
“I don’t think there is any reason why he should cool down,” Marko said.
“It’s the match between Mercedes and Red Bull, and the match between Max and [Lewis].
“And just remember what happened in Silverstone, what’s happened in Budapest. Don’t forget that.”