Hamilton doesn't understand 'sudden' Verstappen braking in Turn 27 incident

Lewis Hamilton says he doesn't understand why Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen braked "suddenly" in their Turn 27 altercation in the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton doesn't understand 'sudden' Verstappen braking in Turn 27 incident

Hamilton won the race to level the points battle with Verstappen on 369.5 apiece after multiple incidents in an ill-tempered race that was red-flagged twice.

Verstappen made good use of the medium tyres chosen by his Red Bull team for the third race start by taking the lead with a daring move up the inside of Mercedes driver Hamilton and Esteban Ocon's Alpine.

But the hard tyres Hamilton had chosen helped him come back into the contest as Verstappen's tyres began to fade, the seven-time world champion forcing Verstappen into a mistake at Turn 1 on lap 37 when the Dutchman's attempt to defend his lead resulted in him running both cars wide over the runoff.

After he was ordered to let Hamilton through, Verstappen slowed dramatically on the approach to the final Turn 27 left-hand hairpin, and the two made contact as the Mercedes ran into the back of the race leader.

There followed a verbal disagreement between Mercedes sporting director Ron Meadows and FIA F1 race director Michael Masi over whether the positional switch had been communicated, with Hamilton accusing Verstappen of brake-testing over the radio.

Verstappen then kept the lead, ceded to Hamilton briefly before overtaking again, but ultimately lost out to Hamilton before being given an additional five-second post-race penalty for gaining a lasting advantage outside the track.

Verstappen has also been summoned to the stewards to discuss an alleged breach of the FIA International Sporting Code concerning the Turn 27 incident.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said he found the altercation "a bit confusing".

"I didn't quite understand why suddenly [Verstappen] hit the brakes pretty heavily," Hamilton said.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

"I ran into the back of him, and then he moved on. So I didn't understand exactly what was going on.

"I got a message afterwards that he was going to let us past. So it was a bit confusing."

Hamilton said that during the "incredibly tough" race he'd focused on trying to "be as sensible and as tough as I could".

The Briton had dropped behind Ocon at the second start when Verstappen, who had been promoted to pole by not pitting under the safety car for Mick Schumacher's crash which soon became a red flag, attempted to hold onto the lead around the outside of Turn 1 and drove off the track before forcing Hamilton wide.

Read Also:

"I tried to be as sensible and as tough as I could be out there, and with all my race experience over the years, just keeping the car on track and staying clean - that was difficult," he said.

"But we persevered as a team. We've had all sorts of things thrown at us during the second half of the season, so I'm just really proud of everyone."

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: 'F1 more about penalties than racing' after Saudi controversy
Previous article

Verstappen: 'F1 more about penalties than racing' after Saudi controversy

Next article

Hamilton: Verstappen was ‘over the limit’ with F1 Saudi GP moves

Hamilton: Verstappen was ‘over the limit’ with F1 Saudi GP moves
Load comments
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Plus

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start

Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Plus

Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Plus

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Plus

Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage Plus

Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Plus

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Plus

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but MARK GALLAGHER believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate

Formula 1
May 15, 2022