Motorsports

Hamilton: Max doesn’t think rules apply to him

Lewis Hamilton has said title-rival Max Verstappen drives “over the limit” and does not believe the rules apply to him, following a collision and another near-miss at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Verstappen go into the final race level on points, making the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix a winner-takes-all event.

To get to that tie Hamilton won the Saudi Arabian GP with the fastest lap bonus point, with Verstappen second. But there was controversy throughout the race, especially when the pair collided on lap 38.

After forcing Hamilton off track defending the lead a few moments earlier, Verstappen slowed on the advice of Red Bull to let his rival by. Hamilton appeared to be unaware Verstappen was doing so and ended up driving straight into the back of him, although managed to avoid major damage and won the race.

Hamilton said Verstappen is near the top of the list for the riskiest rivals he’s had on track.

“For me, I really had to try and just keep my cool out there, which was really difficult to do,” Hamilton told Sky Sports. “I’ve raced a lot of drivers in my life, in the 28 years, I’ve come across a lot of different characters.

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

When asked to clarify if Verstappen fell into that category, Hamilton agreed, saying: “He’s over the limit, for sure. 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 explained that he was unsure what Verstappen had been doing in the moments before their collision.

“Today I just tried to do my talking on the track. Keep the car in between the white lines and do it the right way. There were so many things thrown at us. We got the pole, we lost out. Then I got back past. Then he passed over the kerb, there were so many different crazy curveballs that were sent.

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

Verstappen still leads the championship on account of having more wins than Hamilton this year, meaning he will take the title if they are still level on points after Abu Dhabi.


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