To say that the Arabian Grand Prix was a race to the last breath is an understatement. To win it, and to keep everything open for the last race of the season, was a great Lewis Hamilton. But the controversies, between maneuvers “at the limit” and red flags, are certainly not lacking.
Regular start of the first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in the history of Formula 1. Starting from pole, Lewis Hamilton takes the lead in front of his teammate Bottas and the leader of the World Championship Verstappen on Red Bull. Leclerc’s Ferrari holds the fourth position at the start. Thirteenth Sainz’s other Rossa who started fifteenth
First red flag
On lap 10 of the Saudi Arabian GP, the Haas of Mick Schumacher reassured the garage via radio: «I’m fine, sorry for the accident». First the safety car enters the track and then the race direction decides to display the red flag by suspending the race to repair the destroyed barriers. With the safety car, the Mercedes stopped taking advantage of the moment, Verstappen’s Red Bull pulled straight ahead and took the lead. Bottas slowed down in front of Verstappen, before entering the pits: a penalty is assumed for the Finn from Mercedes
Second red flag
The race restarts: at the first corner, however, due to an accident in which Perez was involved, the judges decide again for the red flag, and the drivers still return to the pits.
Let’s start once again
After about twenty minutes of stop, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix restarts for the third time with the Alpine on pole in front of Hamilton’s Mercedes and Verstappen’s Red Bull, which accepts the “proposal” of the race direction to avoid the investigation. ‘Dutch, who on the second start had cut a curve to pass in front of the Mercedes. Verstappen prevails at the green light and at the first corner is ahead of Ocon and Hamilton. Behind the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz, tenth and eleventh.
Halfway through the race, Verstappen in the lead
After 25 of the 50 laps scheduled for the Saudi Arabian GP, Max Verstappen is in command of the race. The Dutchman of Red Bull who, as mentioned, overtook the Englishman of Mercedes Lewis Hamilton. In third place Esteban Ocon (Alpine) preceding Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes). Eighth and ninth place for the two Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Head to head dangerous
On lap 37 Hamilton tries to overtake the leader Max Verstappen, the Dutch Red Bull in an attempt to resist cuts the curve and has to give up the position. Verstappen wanted to give the position to Hamilton at a favorable point to counterattack, Hamilton didn’t fall for it and hit Verstappen. Both continue but Hamilton has the car slightly damaged in the front wing. The episode ends under investigation, and Verstappen is given a 5 second penalty. Hamilton commands and makes the fastest lap.
Hamilton goes first, Verstappen second. The two are now level on points in the world rankings. For the record, Leclerc’s Ferrari is seventh, Sainz eighth.