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 newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022