Connect with us

Motor Sport

Saudi Arabian GP report – Hamilton and Verstappen crash again in Jeddah



Lewis Hamilton

The inaugural Saudi Arabian GP is both spectacular and controversial. The race saw Hamilton and Verstappen, the two title protagonists, tangled time and time again in the Arabian Nights


How do I even start? This race was chaotic, nail-biting, and controversial. 


Verstappen gambled and got the lead

The first ten laps of the race went uneventful. The gap was stable at 1.5 seconds between the Top 3. That was until Mick Schumacher lost the rear of his VF-21 at turn 22 and heavily crashed into the Tecpro barrier. Race Control deployed the Safety Car, and the Mercedes duo committed to a double-stack. In the pursuit of creating a sufficient gap to Hamilton, Bottas significantly went slower and held up Max as much as nine seconds from the original three seconds gap. That was the first blow to the rulebook from Mercedes, as Hamilton was awarded a 5s penalty for doing the same thing to Daniel Ricciardo in the 2017 Bahrain GP. The FIA stopped the race because the crash punctured the Tecpro barriers. It played well into the hands of the Red Bull and Verstappen. He was allowed to change tires during the red flag period, much to the frustration of Hamilton. 


Verstappen and Hamilton tangled on the second start

Nineteen drivers set off for a second start, but not without drama. Lewis Hamilton stayed back more than the ten car lengths he was supposed to maintain. With that, Verstappen was stationary on the grid with his cold hard tires for longer. It worked for Hamilton. The oil spill from the earlier F2 races and cold hard tires meant Verstappen spun his wheels and had a poor start. Hamilton shot off into the lead. But as we have seen in Mexico, Verstappen was much more confident on the brakes. He dived down the outside of Hamilton into turn 1. Much like Monza earlier this year, Hamilton squeezed Verstappen and ended up cutting turn 2, jumped over the curb, and compromised Lewis’ turn 3. He lost the position to Ocon, but a melee of three cars crashing into each other stopped the race for the second time. Charles Leclerc was squeezed and spun Sergio Perez into the wall. George Russell took evasive action, and the unsighted Mazepin flew into the back of the Williams. 


The third start

During the second red flag period, the FIA demoted Max Verstappen to P3 for the earlier incident. He would start behind Ocon and Hamilton but on the Medium tires. It would work for him as Max Verstappen braked a lot later than the hard tires runners in front of him. Verstappen took the lead, this time without any skirmish. A few more Virtual Safety Car periods helped Max’s cause of preserving the yellow-marked Medium tires to the end of the race. But it wasn’t enough. His race-start medium tires already showed signs of cuts and blisters on lap 10, and his second set suffered the fate this time. He lost grip from Lap 34 onwards and was challenged into Turn 1 by Lewis again on Lap 37. 


The crash on lap 37

Verstappen lost the rear and cut turn 2. Hamilton was a nose behind him going into the corner. He had to take evasive action, and he cut Turn 2 as well. Red Bull instructed Verstappen to give up the position “strategically” on the same lap. Verstappen duly did so by lifting at Turn 24 and 25. He slowed down to  120kph at turn 26 to let Lewis pass before the DRS detection zone. Strangely, Hamilton had the opportunity to overtake him into turn 25 when Max lifted to 260kph and Hamilton was traveling at 300kph. He stayed behind Verstappen and slowed down accordingly until he flew into the back of him at turn 26. The incident damaged the Mercedes’ front wing. But his Mercedes was still fast. 


Part 2 

Verstappen let Hamilton by on lap 42 into the final corner. While Hamilton was trying to harvest the energy to defend into Turn 1, he opened the door, and Verstappen overtook him again. The decision to penalize Verstappen for the Lap 37 Turn 2 incident with a 5-second penalty came up the next lap. It drastically changed the race situation for both.


Part 3 

Verstappen let the Briton by for the third time on Lap 43. Hamilton then pushed Verstappen off the track in Turn 27 to prevent the switchback move into the start straight by the Dutchman. Hamilton got a black-and-white flag for his unsporting move. By this time, Verstappen’s tires degraded heavily. Hamilton went seven-tenths quicker per lap than Verstappen for the last seven laps and finished the race with a 6.8 second lead on track. He also had the fastest lap. It meant the duo are level on points coming into the final round at Abu Dhabi. Both are on 369.5 points. 


What’s next?

It has been nine years since F1 has a title fight between two teams. We had to wait fifteen years for a title fight when the lead drivers of those two teams were head and shoulder above the field. The pressure and the stake take their toll on the drivers, and we have seen it today in Saudi Arabia. Both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have displayed questionable driving standards throughout the race. Those actions were the results of their desperation and competitiveness. We might see even more of those in Abu Dhabi in one week. By then, stay tuned and mark the date. December 12th will be a day to remember for Formula One fans.


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Saudi Arabian GP report – Hamilton and Verstappen crash again in Jeddah.’ What are your predictions for the final race of the season? Who will be crowned this years F1 champion? Let us know!


Read more on motor sport below:



Copyright © 2019 Sporting Ferret | All Rights Reserved