F1 news LIVE: Max Verstappen penalised after Lewis Hamilton accuses rival of going too far in Saudi Arabia

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F1 news LIVE: Max Verstappen penalised after Lewis Hamilton accuses rival of going too far in Saudi Arabia
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Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to draw level with Max Verstappen in the standings with only one race to go. One of the most dramatic races of the season saw two stoppages as crashes brought out red flags, three grid starts, and a compelling battle between the two main protagonists in the title fight.

Verstappen twice had to give up his advantage after passing or holding off Hamilton illegally. With 13 laps to go Verstappen forced Hamilton off the track as the Mercedes attempted to pass, and Red Bull were instructed by race control to cede the position. Verstappen delayed, and when he did eventually slow down to do so, Hamilton was not prepared and ran into the back of his rival, damaging his front wing. Six laps later, Verstappen eventually handed the lead to Hamilton, who went on to win.

The result means Hamilton, chasing his eighth world title, is level on points with Verstappen, hunting his maiden championship of what is sure to be a stellar career in Formula 1. The pair both have 369.5 points and head to this weekend’s finale in Abu Dhabi with everything to play for. Follow all the latest news and updates below.

Read More

Lewis Hamilton beats Max Verstappen to Saudi Arabian Grand Prix victory after chaotic race

Lewis Hamilton accuses Max Verstappen of going ‘over the limit’ at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

‘We just want a clean championship’: Toto Wolff questions Max Verstappen’s driving in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Latest F1 news and race reaction

F1 recap

17:22 , Lawrence Ostlere

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are on equal points with one race to go in the F1 season. Hamilton claimed victory at the Saudi Arabia GP with Verstappen taking second.

The last race will take place on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

For all the detail and drama read our report:

Lewis Hamilton beats Max Verstappen to Saudi Arabian GP victory after chaotic race

F1 news

16:45 , Lawrence Ostlere

Heading into the final week of the season title rivals Verstappen and Hamilton are on the same points. It is all to play for in Abu Dhabi this Sunday...

F1 news

16:23 , Lawrence Ostlere

Red Bull boss Helmut Marko believes Mercedes are being favoured after Max Verstappen was handed a penalty for his crash with Lewis Hamilton.

The Dutchman had a 10 second penalty and two penalty points after being found at fault. However, Marko completely disagrees with the decision, telling Motorsport.com: “Our engineers are preparing that we can prove Max was constant with his braking, he didn’t brake test like Hamilton said,.

“Then he crashed into our car, he unfortunately put two cuts in the rear tyre. That was so severe that we couldn’t attack anymore. We had to take speed out. 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. It’s a very one-side tending decision-making here.”

Haas disappointed with Saudi GP outcome

15:55 , Sarah Rendell

Haas had a bad day at the office on Sunday as both of their drivers were involved in crashes.

Mick Schumacher hit the wall after trying to keep up with George Russell and Nikita Mazepin was caught up in the aftermath of Sergio Perez’ crash.

“A disappointing day,” said team boss Guenther Steiner, “with two crashed cars in the penultimate race of the year.

“Mick just tried to keep up with the Williams, which didn’t work out, and Nikita got himself into a position where he couldn’t do anything about it – he was a passenger of whatever happened in front of him. Unfortunate but one more to go and then we move on.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Hamilton: I feel like I’m in a boxing ring and ready to go

15:50 , Sarah Rendell

Lewis Hamilton is ready to go in Abu Dhabi with the incident in Saudi Arabia fuelling his target of beating Max Verstappen.

Verstappen and Hamilton collided after the Dutchman broke to allow the British star to overtake him.

Hamilton so it as a “crazy” tactic, telling Sky Sports: “I didn’t get the information [that Verstappen was letting him through] so it was very confusing and was he trying to play some crazy tactic? Then he hit the brakes so hard and I nearly went up the back of him.

“For him, it does not matter if we both don’t finish but for me we both need to finish. I’m personally chilled. I feel like I’m in the boxing ring and I’m ready to go.”

The pair are on equal points heading into the last race.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

How will the championship be won?

15:40 , Sarah Rendell

The 2021 Formula 1 champion will either be Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton after the pair finished the penultimate weekend on the same points.

Verstappen is gunning for his first title with Hamilton aiming for his eighth. But what exactly does each driver need to do in order to lift the trophy?

We’ve put together a piece that explains every permutation of how Abu Dhabi will play out.

What do Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen need to do to win F1 title?

Red flags were “good”, says Ricciardo

15:30 , Sarah Rendell

Daniel Ricciardo has said the red flags were good for his race at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. The driver finished fifth in the race after starting at P11 and he was happy with how it turned out.

“The red flags in a way were good because the starts were good so I was able to always move forward pretty much, in two out of three starts,” Ricciardo told the F1 website. “But I started on the first start with the hard and I think that was the tyre, so once it was a red flag it was a little too used to go again and we were forced to do the rest of the race with the medium and it wasn’t as fast as the hard.

“Potentially I could have challenged Esteban at least a little more with the hard, but in any case happy to get a top five and definitely it’s nice moving forward, so no complaints.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

What’s in store in Abu Dhabi?

15:20 , Sarah Rendell

We all know Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen will take the title but we don’t know how each team will get their hands on it.

It’s rare for two drivers to be on the same points heading into the final weekend and we have taken a look back to see when it has happened before. As well as that we discuss what it would mean to each driver if they won the title.

Give the piece a read here:

What can we expect from Formula One’s title decider in Abu Dhabi?

Ocon’s podium miss “hard to swallow"

15:11 , Sarah Rendell

Esteban Ocon became emotional when speaking about how close he came to making to podium at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.

Valterri Bottas pipped Ocon to the line on the last stretch and he was overwhelmed in his post-race interview. He told Sky F1: “Don’t push me, I’m going to cry.

“It’s hard to swallow – the competitor inside me is frustrated and very sad, but if you had told us we would finish fourth I would have been happy.”

And he added on the F1 website: “We are getting there, we are getting where we want. We extract the maximum out of the car and once we have the pace the others have, we will be dangerous.

“That’s what we are working towards, so I am extremely proud of all the staff, all the decisions we took. Everything was mega spot-on, but it’s a difficult end obviously.”

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(Getty Images)

Verstappen “lucky” to finish second

15:00 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull chief Christian Horner says Max Verstappen was “lucky” to finish second after sustaining damage following his crash with Lewis Hamilton.

The second place finish and Hamilton coming first means the pair head into the final weekend on the same points. And while this has set out a tense ending, it nearly wasn’t to be according to the Red Bull boss.

He said: “We were probably lucky to come away with second, especially given the amount of damage we had to the back of our car.

“I don’t know what Lewis was doing because Max was trying to give the place up as instructed by Race Control, he lifted and you can hear that, it was clear we were trying to give the place up and we’d informed Race Control.”

Full story:

Max Verstappen prepared for ‘straight-out fight’ for F1 title says Christian Horner

Bottas says last race for Mercedes will be “emotional"

14:50 , Sarah Rendell

Valtterri Bottas will be involved in his final race for Mercedes on Sunday as the F1 season draws to a close and he heads to Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season.

Bottas is currently third in the driver standings and is likely to help Mercedes win the constructors’ title. The Finnish star has spoken about the prospect of leaving the team.

He told the F1 website: “Obviously with Lewis and Max [Verstappen] now on equal points, it’s going to be a pretty exciting race in Abu Dhabi. I feel good. One more to go with the team. I think it’s going to be emotional, even for a Finn, so looking forward to it.”

Schumacher “pushed a little too much” before crash

14:41 , Sarah Rendell

Mick Schumacher has admitted he pushed a little too much which meant he crashed at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix.

It was one of many incidents at the race but this one came down to driver error, according to Schumacher. He told the F1 website: “Unfortunately it seems like I was pushing a bit too much trying to get back into the DRS window from George, and I lost it going into Turn 22.

“The pace seemed to be there, we were comfortably keeping up with the Williams and I think that’s really what we weren’t anticipating. Therefore, obviously [I was] highly motivated, and maybe a bit too much in that case.”

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(Getty Images)

A look from drivers perspective

14:30 , Sarah Rendell

Ferrari teammates Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were in an incident after Sainz demanded Leclerc give him a position.

The pair look close to crashing in the footage but escape without colliding.

Take a look:

Verstappen doesn’t want to “make headlines” out of discussing penalties

14:22 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen may have disagreed with decisions that went against him in the Saudi Arabia GP on Sunday but he isn’t keen on talking about them to the press.

Verstappen has been penalised after being found at fault for his collision with Lewis Hamilton. He was also handed time penalties during the race and ordered to let Hamilton take the lead.

He said: “This (sport) is more about penalties than racing: In general lately it is the trend in F1, that is not how I grew up watching Formula One. We just have to deal with it.

“Emotions were running high at the time and it is what it is. I don’t agree with the decisions but I don’t want to waste too much time on it because we don’t need to make headlines out of it – they (Mercedes) don’t deserve that.”

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(Getty Images)

Wolff: This is the best championship for 10 years

14:12 , Sarah Rendell

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the current challenge for the world title means this season has been the best championship for ten years.

The lead has exchanged hands between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen multiple times before the Red Bull man started to pull away. However, Hamilton has come back into the title race well and is now equalling Verstappen on points with one race to go.

Wolff told Sky Italia: “This morning when I woke up I thought we can all be happy to see such a championship. I don’t remember in 10 years such an intense and great championship. I hope to win but we are already beyond my expectations.”

Hamilton says 'overtaking rules don’t apply to one of us’

14:01 , Sarah Rendell

Lewis Hamilton had a jibe at Max Verstappen after the Dutchman twice ran wide when the British star attempted to overtake him.

Verstappen saw penalties in the race and afterwards but Hamilton commented on the incidents post-race.

“I don’t think I’ve changed the way that I race,” he said, per Autosport. “I think we’re seeing multiple incidents this year where even with Brazil we’re supposed to do our racing on track in between the white lines and the rules haven’t been clear from the stewards, that those things have been allowed, so that’s continued.

“From my understanding, I know that I can’t overtake someone and go off track and then keep the position but I think that’s well known between all us drivers - but it doesn’t apply to one of us, I guess.”

F1 overtaking rules 'don’t apply to one of us', Lewis Hamilton claims

A thrilling season

13:50 , Sarah Rendell

This F1 campaign has had a lot of subplots and twists but Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s rivalry has breathed life back into the sport. The exhilarating season has kept fans on the edge of their seats and having heated discussions - especially when the pair crash.

They collided again at the Saudi Arabia race which was the third incident that has occurred between them on the track. The first two took place at the British GP and Italian race.

Here’s a closer look at how the rivals have got in each other’s way on the track.

From Silverstone to Saudi Arabia, this season’s clashes in F1 title race

Red Bull overrule Marko

13:41 , Sarah Rendell

Helmut Marko is said to have wanted to elicit a penalty for Lewis Hamilton after the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix but his team Red Bull has overruled him.

Marko was aggrieved that Hamilton had not kept 10 car lengths from Max Verstappen after the first restart. However, race director Michael Masi has said there’s no case as that wasn’t a formation lap and so Red Bull will not proceed with an appeal.

Marko had told Sport 1 after the race: “We hope there will be a re-assessment with the officials when we can back up our view with facts – and hopefully there will then be a punishment for the Hamilton side.”

Verstappen did receive a penalty after stewards ruled he was at fault for his collision with Hamilton. The Dutchman was given a 10 second penalty and two points on his licence.

The title will be decided in the next race in Abu Dhabi as both drivers are on the same amount of points.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Hamilton on a roll

13:31 , Sarah Rendell

Lewis Hamilton’s fightback this F1 season has been remarkable and it only gets more impressive when you look at the stats.

The Saudi Arabia Grand Prix was the third race he has won in a row - the first time he has done so in 2021. The new track, which debuted in the F1 this season, is the 31st circuit which Hamilton has won on.

However, a stat that goes against the British star and will be music to his rival Max Verstappen’s ears is that he has never won a championship when not leading this far into the season.

He is on the same points as Verstappen with just one race to go, this Sunday is going to be a cracker!

Verstappen equals podium record

13:21 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen may not have got the result he wanted at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix but he did equal an F1 record.

He took the podium after finishing second behind Lewis Hamilton which was his 17th podium finish of the season. Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have all reached 17 podiums in a single season but no driver has ever had 18.

The Dutchman is set to break that record in Abu Dhabi where he will also target his first world title. He faces stiff competition from Hamilton though who is seeking his eighth championship which would see the Brit claim a record of his own.

Hamilton is currently tied for most world titles with Schumacher with both drivers having seven.

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(Getty Images)

Wolff “doesn’t know” how title race will play out

13:13 , Sarah Rendell

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he “doesn’t know” how fast Lewis Hamilton will be in Abu Dhabi.

Wolff had predicted Hamilton would be faster than Max Verstappen in Saudi Arabia, which he was in the race, but the Dutchman was faster in qualifying. The unpredictable edge of the latest round of the F1 has meant he is unsure if Hamilton will have speed on his side.

Wolff told Sky Italia: “I don’t know, because we arrived here (Saudi Arabia) thinking this track suited our car better. Instead, we saw in qualifying they were half a second faster.

“In the race our car was faster than theirs, we have to understand why. For Abu Dhabi, it’s the same thing. I don’t know if we will be fast or not. It’s important we are equal with the points – we didn’t think we could be in this situation.”

The title race comes down to the final race on Sunday as Hamilton and Verstappen are on equal points.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Verstappen has bad “sportsmanship"

13:04 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen didn’t join in on podium celebrations with Lewis Hamilton after coming second at the Saudi Arabia GP on Sunday.

BBC commentator Sulaiman Folarin has said he has bad sportsmanship: “Max Verstappen just confirmed he is a bad sportsman. He walked off the stage without celebrating as customary. Where are his apologists?”

But the Dutchman says without real champagne the celebrations weren’t the same. He said of why he walked away: “Because there was no champagne. It wasn’t fun.”

Hamilton’s win in Saudi Arabia means they are equal on points with just one race left of the season.

 (AP)
(AP)

F1 news: Red Bull chasing ‘prestige'

12:58 , Lawrence Ostlere

More from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: “Constructors, we’re on the back foot, we need a miracle to win that. We’ve got one more shot to have a go at winning this [driver’s] title with Max.

“Somebody, either Lewis or Max, will come out on top after next weekend. The driver’s is where the prestige is. It’s not where the money is but it’s where the prestige is. That’s the one people remember.”

Full story:

Red Bull ‘need a miracle’ to overhaul Mercedes at Abu Dhabi, Christian Horner admits

Verstappen unhappy with stewards’ decisions

12:55 , Ben Burrows

Verstappen is unhappy that key moments in the title race are being decided off the track.

“In general lately it is the trend in F1, that is not how I grew up watching Formula One,” he said. “We just have to deal with it.

“Emotions were running high at the time and it is what it is. I don’t agree with the decisions but I don’t want to waste too much time on it because we don’t need to make headlines out of it - they (Mercedes) don’t deserve that.”

 (AP)
(AP)

F1 news: Red Bull focused on Verstappen vs Hamilton

12:42 , Lawrence Ostlere

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says they “need a miracle” to beat Mercedes to the constructors’ title and that their focus is entirely on the drivers’ championship.

“Constructors, we’re on the back foot, we need a miracle to win that,” Horner said. “We’ve got one more shot to have a go at winning this [driver’s] title with Max.

“Somebody, either Lewis or Max, will come out on top after next weekend. The driver’s is where the prestige is. It’s not where the money is but it’s where the prestige is. That’s the one people remember.”

Verstappen went ‘over the limit’, Hamilton claims

12:41 , Ben Burrows

Lewis Hamilton believes Max Verstappen’s tactics in Saudi Arabia were “over the limit”.

“I’ve raced a lot of drivers through my life. In the 28 years I’ve come across a lot of different characters,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.

“There’s a few at the top which are... kind of, yeah, over the limit. Rules kind of don’t apply, or don’t think of the rules,” added the Briton.

Hamilton said Verstappen, who leads Hamilton on race wins 9-8 and will be champion if neither scores another point, was one of those who fell into the category.

“He’s over the limit, for sure,” he said of a youngster who has earned plenty of admirers for his speed and talent while acquiring a reputation for aggressive and uncompromising racing.

“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.”

Hamilton said he was not informed that his rival had been told to give the lead back after he went off and gained an advantage while defending against Hamilton in an earlier wheel-to-wheel clash.

“I didn’t get the information so I didn’t really understand what was going on,” said the champion. “It was very, very confusing. All of a sudden he started backing up and then kind of moving a little bit.

“I was like ‘Is he trying to play some kind of crazy tactic?’

“Then all of a sudden the message started coming through just as he hit the brakes so hard and I nearly... took us both out,” he added. “It doesn’t matter for him if we both don’t finish. For me we both need to finish.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

F1 news

12:24 , Lawrence Ostlere

Lando Norris says a rule allowing work to be done on cars during red flags is dispensing ill-deserved fortune during races and having a huge impact on their outcome.

The McLaren driver had already pitted at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when the flags came out on Sunday, with others who had not yet been in then undertaking a tyre change, meaning they didn’t lose any time in the race itself.

Norris labelled it a “crap” ruling, even as he acknowledged his team benefited from it with the other driver, Daniel Ricciardo, boxing during the red flag to finish fifth - while Max Verstappen also took advantage of the situation to boost his hopes of victory, ultimately finishing second behind Lewis Hamilton.

“Probably the worst rule ever invented by someone, being able to change tyres under red flag,” Norris said to Sky F1.

Full story:

Lando Norris slams ‘worst rule ever invented’ that benefited Max Verstappen

F1 title race set for thrilling finale

12:21 , Ben Burrows

After 21 races, the championship battle is tied as F1 screams into its title-deciding season finale in Abu Dhabi.

It’s the first time since 1974 the championship leaders have been level going into their final Sunday drive, which will be a head-to-head battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. First driver across the finish line will be crowned champion. A Hamilton title would be his record eighth championship, breaking a tie with F1 legend Michael Schumacher.

A win for Verstappen would be his first title, a crowning achievement his taskmaster father, Jos, never achieved in his own F1 career, which included a stint as Schumacher’s teammate.

 (AP)
(AP)

Hamilton makes dig at Verstappen

11:55 , Sarah Rendell

Lewis Hamilton made a dig at rival Max Verstappen after the Dutchman was penalised five seconds during the race after gaining an advantage from being off track.

It turned out to be a frustrating race for Verstappen who could have sewn up the title battle. Instead the two drivers head into the final race weekend on the same points.

Hamilton said: “I don’t think I’ve changed the way that I race. I think we’re seeing multiple incidents this year where even with Brazil we’re supposed to do our racing on track in between the white lines and the rules haven’t been clear from the stewards, that those things have been allowed, so that’s continued.

“From my understanding, I know that I can’t overtake someone and go off track and then keep the position but I think that’s well known between all us drivers but it doesn’t apply to one of us, I guess.”

 (AP)
(AP)

Verstappen penalised

11:46 , Sarah Rendell

Something fans may have missed overnight is Max Verstappen’s penalty after being found at fault for the crash with Lewis Hamilton.

He was given a 10 second penalty and two points on his licence which luckily for him didn’t impact his finishing position.

For all the details, here’s the full story:

Verstappen handed penalty for Lewis Hamilton crash at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

A recap on the Saudi Arabia race

11:39 , Sarah Rendell

If you are just joining us and have no idea what is going on, Lewis Hamilton won the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on Sunday to take the title race down to the wire.

He is now on the same points as rival Max Verstappen with just one race to go on Sunday. There were two red flags in the race and the title rivals crashed themselves.

For a recap on all the action read out report:

Lewis Hamilton beats Max Verstappen to Saudi Arabian GP victory after chaotic race

Is this the moment that decided a championship?

11:32 , Sarah Rendell

Verstappen had to give up his lead to Hamilton in the Saudi Arabia GP but it led to the pair colliding. The Dutchman then let Hamilton pass and he didn’t recover his lead after that point. If Hamilton goes onto win the title it could be the moment that changed his fortunes.

If Verstappen won the Saudi race he would’ve sealed the title win with Hamilton too far behind on points.

So here’s a look at that crucial moment:

Injury update on Fittipaldi

11:24 , Sarah Rendell

Enzo Fittipaldi collided with Theo Pourchaire in the F2 race in Saudi Arabia and an injury update on both drivers has become available.

Fittipaldi fractured his right heel and Pouchaire is “fine” but there are doubts on whether the 18-year-old will race in the final clash of the season.

“For the moment I don’t know if it’s already the end of the season for me,” Pouchaire said. “But the most important is not that, that was a really big one and Enzo is injured. I wish him the best recovery possible!”

 (Getty)
(Getty)

Norris disappointed with race finish

11:18 , Sarah Rendell

Lando Norris had a frustrating drive at Saudi Arabia and didn’t want to leave as he knew he could’ve done better.

The British star claimed a point with P10 and he told Sky F1: “I feel like I could go again right now. Obviously I don’t want to, I want to leave.

“It was a tough race, just hot, didn’t really have time to cool down. You’re constantly focusing and working hard, especially from being in last place.

“I mean it’s still enjoyable, it’s still a fun circuit to drive, but when you feel like you have put that much in to get one point again, I think it’s like my fourth consecutive one or two-points finish. So it’s hard to take.”

Hamilton explains why he didn’t overtake Verstappen

11:12 , Sarah Rendell

There has been a lot of discussion around Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s collision at the Saudi Arabia GP.

Verstappen had slowed down to let Hamilton past but instead the British star crashed into the back of the Dutchman. Hamilton has explained why he didn’t overtake Verstappen at that point.

He said: “One, it wasn’t clear. Two, I didn’t get the information [that he had to let me by]. Then it became apparent he was trying to let me past, which was what he had been asked to do, but before the DRS zone.

“That would mean he would just DRS back past me. That was the tactic. The worst part was the heavy braking that happened at one point. That’s when we collided. That was the dangerous part.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Horner says F1 is “over-regulated"

11:04 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the F1 is “over-regulated” after Max Verstappen was penalised for his collision with Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen was handed a 10 second penalty and two points on his licence after slowing down to allow Hamilton to overtake. The action meant the British driver hit the back of the Dutchman’s car.

Horner says incidents like these is when the F1 misses F1 race director Charlie Whiting, who died in 2019.

“I’ve said it for too long – we’re over-regulated,” Horner said as per Motorsportweek.com. “There’s rules about 10 car lengths but the formation lap isn’t a formation lap if it’s a restart. It feels like there are too many rules.

“It felt like today that the sport missed Charlie Whiting. I am sorry to say but the experience he had…”

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(Getty Images)

Who will win the F1 title?

10:58 , Sarah Rendell

The beauty for fans is no-one will know the answer to that until the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi race.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have had a close battle all season and it’s quite fitting the two drivers will have to go toe-to-toe in the final race.

They are on equal points with just one race to go. It’s the tightest end to a season since 1974 and with their rivalry heating up on the track this year is set to go down in F1 history.

Various bends made Leclerc “dizzy"

10:53 , Sarah Rendell

The Saudi Arabia track made its debut in the Formula 1 on Sunday and it hasn’t got the title of favourite circuit among drivers just yet.

Charles Leclerc said it made him “dizzy”: “The VSC of – I don’t know how many laps, for the debris – oh my god, this was horrible.

“As a driver just to turn left, right, left, right, left, right for 10 minutes, I was feeling honestly very dizzy in the car.”

Has there been unfair treatment?

10:47 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull chief Helmut Marko believes his team aren’t treated the same as Mercedes.

This comes after Max Verstappen was penalised following being found at fault for his collision with Lewis Hamilton at the Saudi Arabia GP.

“Our engineers are preparing that we can prove Max was constant with his braking, he didn’t brake test like Hamilton said,” Marko told Motorsport.com. “Then he crashed into our car, he unfortunately put two cuts in the rear tyre. That was so severe that we couldn’t attack anymore. We had to take speed out.

“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.”

Mercedes getting special treatment from F1 stewards, Red Bull boss claims

Leclerc speaks on Saudi Arabia crash

10:38 , Sarah Rendell

Charles Leclerc has said he was “lucky” there was no bad damage to his car after crashing with Sergio Perez.

The pair collided after the first restart at the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on Sunday which saw Perez retire from the race.

Leclerc told Sky Sports: “I was on the left and had not enough space, and I don’t think he saw me. I was very lucky to get out of it without big damage....

“We lost positions at every restart, and then I tried to come back towards the end with those hard tyres, but it wasn’t enough. So seventh place, I’m not very happy with that. But overall, the pace was very positive.”

Todt reacts to thrilling race

10:31 , Sarah Rendell

FIA president Jean Todt has shared his thoughts on the gripping race that has forced the F1 season into a decider in Abu Dhabi.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will battle for the championship in the final Grand Prix.

Perez on Saudi Arabia weekend

10:26 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull didn’t have the best race in Saudi Arabia with Max Verstappen unable to seal the world title and Sergio Perez having to retire.

Perez noted the unfortunate race for his team but is adamant they will come out swinging on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

He told Red Bull’s website: “It wasn’t the best weekend for the team, we lost crucial points in the Constructors’ Championship, so we are going to Abu Dhabi now to try and turn things around.”

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(Getty Images)

Recap on those driver standings

10:20 , Sarah Rendell

So just how close is the F1 season this year? Well take a look for yourselves!

Hamilton has clawed his way back into the world championship and now it’s all to play for ay Abu Dhabi this Sunday.

Mixed reaction from Verstappen

10:14 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen made his mixed emotions after the Saudi Arabia GP clear on social media.

He came second meaning Lewis Hamilton is now on equal points to him with one race to go but he was named driver of the day.

Title race could get “ugly”, according to Toto Wolff

10:04 , Sarah Rendell

It’s a tense battle at the top of the F1 standings with Verstappen and Hamilton on equal points heading into the final race of the season.

However, the fight for the title has included three collisions between the drivers and the Mercedes boss is worried about what may happen.

He said: “In Brazil, I said we are setting a precedent if it’s not investigated that could end up really ugly for the championship,” he said after the race. “And we have seen incidents that were pretty much Brazil at slower speeds. And we don’t want to have that in Abu Dhabi. The quicker car with the quicker driver should win the championship and not by taking each other off.

“I would hope today’s race has enough repercussions that everybody is going to learn from it and adapt for the final race in Abu Dhabi.”

Toto Wolff warns F1 title fight could get ‘really ugly’ in Abu Dhabi

Horner: Lessons will be learned

09:56 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says lessons will be learned over the coming weeks about the Saudi Arabia GP.

Horner commented the race was a difficult one for stewards to manage with several crashes and two red flags.

He said: “Obviously [there was] a lot of debris. There was obviously a lot of traffic backwards and forwards with race control over the various different incidents and then Safety Cars, Virtual Safety Cars, restarts and obviously it was difficult to keep track of.

“I think there were many lessons out of that race that will be discussed at length over the coming weeks.”

Title race great for F1, says Verstappen

09:47 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen may be frustrated he hasn’t been able to seal his first world title yet but he says the thrilling end to the season is good for F1.

He and Lewis Hamilton are tied on points with just a race to go in Abu Dhabi. The star said: “We are equal on points now, and I think that’s really exciting of course for the whole championship and Formula 1 in general.

“Yes, it will be decided there, so hopefully we have a good weekend, so let’s see.”

Crashes between rivals

09:42 , Sarah Rendell

There have been a fair few incidents between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton this season and there could be more at the concluding race on Sunday.

But for now have a look back at what has happened so far this season between the title rivals.

From Silverstone to Saudi Arabia, this season’s clashes in fierce F1 title race

What are the details of Verstappen’s penalty?

09:37 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen was penalised after the race but luckily for him it didn’t impact where he finished.

Here are all the details you should know about his punishment for being found at fault for the collision with Hamilton:

Verstappen handed penalty for Lewis Hamilton crash at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Verstappen calls Hamilton collision “miscommunication”

09:32 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen has been found at fault for his collision with Lewis Hamilton but before it was handed out he called the crash a “miscommunication”.

It’s the third time the pair have crashed this season and this time Verstappen has been handed a time penalty and two points on his licence.

The Dutchman said: “At one point, they told me I had to give the position back so that was I think just before (Turn) 22. So then after 22/23 I went to drive to the right side and I slowed down, I was braking, downshifting, and he just stayed super close behind me and I don’t really understand why.

“I was just trying to let him by and I’m just going slower and slower and pulling the downshift. We had a miscommunication and he ran into the back of me, that was it.”

Toto Wolff’s race assessment

09:26 , Sarah Rendell

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff should be ecstatic with the result of the Saudi Arabia GP as it mean Hamilton heads into the final race weekend on level points with Verstappen.

However, the event wasn’t perfect for the Mercedes man. He told Sky F1: “The result at the end, winning the race, I think he (Hamilton) deserved it.

“He could have been out a few times with a broken front wing. I don’t want to have dirty laundry in here, but that was spectacular but not a good race.

“It’s the driving that needs to be assessed and looked at. It’s very hard, maybe over the line hard. We just want to have a clean championship, may the best man win and if it’s Max at the end then I have peace with that. But it just needs to be fair.”

Perez “hurt” by race retirement

09:20 , Sarah Rendell

Sergio Perez has said it “hurts a lot” that he had to retire from the Saudi Arabia GP after a collision with Charles Leclerc.

He commented it wasn’t Red Bull’s best weekend but that they were targeting a successful finish to the season.

Perez told Red Bull’s website: “I ended up tangling with Charles, he clipped my rear tyre with his front right tyre. It was a bad moment for everyone but just a very unlucky one.

“It’s just a big shame because we needed those points. I stayed with the car out on track because we were trying to turn the engine back on. We thought we could restart it but it was a bit on the hot side, so we had to retire.

“It was a very important race for the team so this one hurts a lot, but there is hope for Abu Dhabi. There is still optimism and something to fight for and we will give the final race of the season everything, so let’s look forward.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

So what happened last night?

09:13 , Sarah Rendell

Just in case you are just joining us this morning, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are on equal points with one race to go in the F1 season. Hamilton claimed victory at the Saudi Arabia GP with Verstappen taking second.

The last race will take place on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

For all the detail and drama read our report:

Lewis Hamilton beats Max Verstappen to Saudi Arabian GP victory after chaotic race

Horner excited by title showdown

09:07 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says if the title race scenario the team finds itself in was presented to them at the start of the season they would have “bitten your arm off for it”.

Max Verstappen could win his first world title if he can beat Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The two drivers are on the same points after a thrilling campaign.

He told Motorsport Week: “We’re going to Abu Dhabi equal on points but leading by virtue of the number of wins,. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year?

“If you had given us this chance of one shot to win this championship in Abu Dhabi at the last race after 21 races of intense battle with Mercedes, I think we’d have all as a team absolutely bitten your arm off for that.”

Saudi Arabia track changes needed, says Russell

09:02 , Sarah Rendell

George Russell crashed at the Saudi Arabia GP after the first restart in a collision with Nikita Mazepin and Sergio Perez.

The incident has caused Russell to call for track changes before the F1 returns in March.

“I think you live and learn from these experiences,” Russell told Autosport. “You can’t blame anyone for trying to make an incredible racetrack and ultimately, that’s what they achieved.

“But I think nobody foresaw what was about to happen with all of these blind corners. In my opinion, track changes are needed. You’ve got so many of these small kinks that are totally unnecessary.”

No love lost between title rivals

08:57 , Sarah Rendell

Verstappen and Hamilton’s rivalry heated up once again in Saudi Arabia with their third collision of the season.

The British star was heard on his radio calling Verstappen “f***ing crazy” after he braked to let Hamilton pass. The action meant Hamilton crashed into the back of him and Verstappen has been penalised for it.

With just one race left, they are both on the same points with everything to play for in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Verstappen nominated for World Sport Star at BBC SPOTY

08:51 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen has been nominated among a star-studded list for the World Sport Star award at BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.

The star has been named alongside Tom Brady, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Novak Djokovic, Saul Alvarez and Rachael Blackmore.

The awards will take place on 19 December, just a week after the F1 season is decided.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Hamilton feared being put out of Saudi Arabia GP

08:45 , Sarah Rendell

Hamilton may have collided with Verstappen but the crash didn’t end his race which is what he was fearing.

The win has put him neck-in-neck with the Dutchman for the title with just one race to go.

Hamilton said: “This isn’t the first time I have had to avoid collisions and that is how I felt in the moment, sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment and go back and re-watch things and maybe feel differently.

“In the moment that is how it felt but I just try to recompose myself, chase him down and keep fighting.

“It was clear that others around us were willing to take it to all sorts of levels to overtake so I just tried to keep it on the track and stay out of trouble – avoid incidents if I could and I was really, really grateful that I had a wing by the end.”

Lewis Hamilton feared Max Verstappen may put him out of Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Verstappen driver of the day

08:38 , Sarah Rendell

Despite coming second to Hamilton, fans voted Verstappen the driver of the day at the Saudi Arabia GP.

Have a look below at his reaction...

Red flag tyre rule “worst invented”, says Norris

08:35 , Sarah Rendell

Lando Norris has blasted the red flag tyre rule after not having his best race in Saudi Arabia.

The British driver pitted before the first red flag in Sunday’s race to change his tyres. However, when the red flag was in force other drivers took the opportunity to change their tyres.

Norris told Sky F1: “Probably the worst rule ever invented by someone, being able to change tyres under red flag.

“We said it last year already – not to take anything away from Pierre [Gasly] because people would probably say that’s what I’m trying to do, but with their Monza race last year Pierre got to change tyres for free.

“I don’t feel like it’s deserved in a way, it’s just complete luck and it’s luck that doesn’t need to be given to someone and that’s pretty much what it is, just given to someone.

“Just ruined our race today. Feels like you do so much just to get it all taken away. Sucks, because the team did a good job. I thought the car was pretty decent but this crap rule ruins everything.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Where does Saudi Arabia leave the driver standings?

08:27 , Sarah Rendell

Well fans wanted a close title race and that is exactly what they have got!

Heading into the final week of the season title rivals Verstappen and Hamilton are on the same points. It is all to play for in Abu Dhabi this Sunday...

Marko unhappy with “one-sided decision making"

08:24 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull boss Helmut Marko believes Mercedes are being favoured after Max Verstappen was handed a penalty for his crash with Lewis Hamilton.

The Dutchman had a 10 second penalty and two penalty points after being found at fault. However, Marko completely disagrees with the decision, telling Motorsport.com: “Our engineers are preparing that we can prove Max was constant with his braking, he didn’t brake test like Hamilton said,.

“Then he crashed into our car, he unfortunately put two cuts in the rear tyre. That was so severe that we couldn’t attack anymore. We had to take speed out. 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. It’s a very one-side tending decision-making here.”

And if the drama in the race wasn’t enough...

08:18 , Sarah Rendell

Max Verstappen was handed a time penalty after the race - though it hasn’t affected his standing.

He was found to be at fault for the strange crash between himself and rival Lewis Hamilton. As Verstappen slowed to let Hamilton pass the British driver hit the back of the Dutchman’s car.

Verstappen was given a 10 second time penalty but that sees him remain in second. He was also handed two penalty points on his licence.

The incident has added to the thrilling end to the F1 season which sees the title rivals on the same points with just one race remaining.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Horner says Hamilton was “messing around” before collision

08:12 , Sarah Rendell

Christian Horner has said Lewis Hamilton could have been “messing around” before he crashed into the back of Max Verstappen’s car at the Saudi Arabia GP on Sunday.

The collision happened as Verstappen was allowing Hamilton to pass. The Red Bull boss told Sky Sports: “We informed race control that we were going to give the place up and Max was lifting off. I think Lewis was lifting off.

“I don’t know if [Hamilton] was messing around looking for the DRS line. It was clear that we had given the place up.”

Lewis Hamilton ‘messed around’ in clash with Max Verstappen, suggests Red Bull chief

Did Verstappen go “over the limit” in Saudi Arabia?

08:07 , Sarah Rendell

Well Hamilton certainly implied he thought so with the two drivers in their third collision of the season.

Verstappen was told to let Hamilton past and so slowed down but in doing so the British driver hit the back of the Dutchman’s car. Hamilton said: “There are some drivers who are over the limit and the rules don’t apply. Today I just tried to do my talking on the track and keep it between the white lines and do it the right way.”

Asked whether Verstappen was one of those drivers, Hamilton said: “He’s over the limit, for sure. I’ve avoided collision on so many occasions with the guy. I don’t mind being the one that always does that because you live to fight another day.”

For the full story:

Lewis Hamilton accuses Max Verstappen of going ‘over the limit’ at Saudi Arabian GP

Horner says Verstappen ready for “straight out fight"

08:03 , Sarah Rendell

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says his driver Max Verstappen is ready to battle Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi.

Whoever wins the race will claim the world title and make some history. Verstappen will get his hands on his first championship while Hamilton will break the record with his eighth.

Horner said: “It’s a straight-out fight as it has been for the entire year. For the fans it is fantastic, it keeps the championship dream alive and we have one shot and it’s time to take it.”

For the full story:

Max Verstappen prepared for ‘straight-out fight’ for F1 title – Christian Horner

F1 news: Toto Wolff warns of ‘ugly’ ending

07:58 , Lawrence Ostlere

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned that the championship is in danger of ending up “really ugly” if stewards continue to be needed to clear up clashes between the drivers.

“In Brazil, I said we are setting a precedent if it’s not investigated that could end up really ugly for the championship. And we have seen incidents that were pretty much Brazil at slower speeds. And we don’t want to have that in Abu Dhabi. The quicker car with the quicker driver should win the championship and not by taking each other off.

“I would hope today’s race has enough repercussions that everybody is going to learn from it and adapt for the final race in Abu Dhabi. Similar driving if it were deemed by the stewards to be over the line would probably also be penalised in Abu Dhabi and that could well end in a messy situation for everybody and I don’t think the championship deserves a result influenced by a collision. So I very much trust in the self-regulating decision.”

F1 news: Hamilton wins Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

07:53 , Lawrence Ostlere

Our race report from a chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix:

Lewis Hamilton beats Max Verstappen to Saudi Arabian GP victory after chaotic race

F1 news

07:49 , Lawrence Ostlere

Follow all the latest F1 news and reaction after Lewis Hamilton won a chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to draw level with Max Verstappen in the standings with only one race to go. One of the most dramatic races of the season saw too stoppages as crashes brought out red flags, three grid starts, and a compelling battle between the two main protagonists in the title fight.

Verstappen twice had to give up his advantage after passing or holding off Hamilton illegally. With 13 laps to go Verstappen forced Hamilton off the track as the Mercedes attempted to pass, and Red Bull were instructed by race control to cede the position. Verstappen delayed, and when he did eventually slow down to do so, Hamilton was not prepared and ran into the back of his rival, damaging his front wing. Six laps later, Verstappen eventually handed the lead to Hamilton, who went on to win.

The result means Hamilton, chasing his eighth world title, is level on points with Verstappen, hunting his maiden championship of what is sure to be a stellar career in Formula 1. The pair both have 369.5 points and head to this weekend’s finale in Abu Dhabi with everything to play for.

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