Jeddah, 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, Reuters reports.
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 teams filled 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.
Verstappen, who finished second with Valtteri Bottas third for Mercedes, leads 9-8 on wins, however — meaning that the Dutch 24-year-old will be champion if neither he nor Hamilton scores another point.
Mercedes extended their lead in the constructors’ championship to 28 points, with an eighth successive title looking more real.
The final round of the season is at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina next weekend.
Source: Bahrain News Agency