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

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

The convoluted tier system that reveals an F1 strength

The convoluted tier system that reveals an F1 strength

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
Australian GP
GP Racing

The convoluted tier system that reveals an F1 strength The convoluted tier system that reveals an F1 strength

How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule

How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule How F1's new era has exposed the downside of its most important rule

What next for Mercedes in its quest to get back to the top of F1?

What next for Mercedes in its quest to get back to the top of F1?

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
Saudi Arabian GP
Alex Kalinauckas

What next for Mercedes in its quest to get back to the top of F1? What next for Mercedes in its quest to get back to the top of F1?

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
Australian GP
GP Racing

Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion Why Piastri’s F1 homecoming will be a landmark occasion

The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023

The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
Australian GP
Alex Kalinauckas

The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023 The recent Australian GP form history that will boost Ferrari in F1 2023

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
GP Racing

The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories The cycle of F1 upheaval Williams must end to rediscover past glories

The state of play in F1's technical silly season

The state of play in F1's technical silly season

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

The state of play in F1's technical silly season The state of play in F1's technical silly season

Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers

Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers

Plus
Plus
Formula 1
Kevin Turner

Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers Ranking the top 10 pre-war grand prix drivers