Lewis Hamilton has been dominating the sport of Formula 1 for what feels like an eternity. But the age of Mercedes dominance could be a thing of the past. Both Constructors and Drivers titles now hang in the balance.
There has been a great battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen this season, and it is the defending Champion on the front foot going into the final weekend. Hamilton finding some serious pace after a power unit upgrade just a few weeks ago. That saw him win 3 in a row for the first time this season.
A tough night in Jeddah.
The win on Sunday was hard-fought. The Championship leaders fighting it out all the way through to the bitter end.
It was a first-ever Grand Prix on the streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A long, narrow track that required immense composure to bring home a decent result. Though cooler heads prevailed – the race almost ended in tragedy for both.
After, what was deemed to be an illegal overtake from the Red Bull driver, Verstappen was ordered to give the first place back to Hamilton. The 23-year-old slowed down to let the veteran through. However, the message wasn’t relayed to Hamilton in time, and he drove into the back of Verstappen.
Luckily the damage was minimal, though the 7-time world Champion had a broken front wing.
Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner believes Lewis wanted to gain the advantage of DRS before passing the Red Bull.
“I don’t know whether he’s messing around for the DRS line but it was clear we were giving the place up,” the Brit told Sky Sport.
“It’s weird though because Lewis is slowing down behind him (Max), it sounds like he’s lifted off, so it’s like he didn’t want to pass him there because of the DRS,”
You could make the argument that Max wanted to do the same. Letting Hamilton past just before the DRS zone, to try and get the first place back.
The gap increased when it was confirmed that Verstappen’s illegal maneuver would cost him a 5-second penalty with just 6-laps to go. A penalty Horner confirmed they were “hard done by”.
Not with a fizzle, but with a bang.
Whomever you favour, the result sees the Championship going down to the very last race. Both Verstappen and Hamilton sit on 369.5-points, with the Red Bull driver at the peak after winning more races this season.
The season wraps up this weekend at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, and like last year Max Verstappen will hope for a comfortable victory.
Click here for this weekends schedule in Abu Dhabi.