Hamilton wins the chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for the third time in a row


Lewis Hamilton passed Max Verstappen on Sunday with six laps remaining, winning his first chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and scoring points with his rivals as F1’s thrilling championship race headed for the title-decision finale. ..

Racing on the street circuit under the lights of Jeddah’s 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) coastal resort area will be one of the most memorable events of the season, if not in the last few years. The event saw a fierce round trip between title candidates, including three standing starts, two restarts, multiple safety cars, and minor late collisions.

Red Bull was allowed to negotiate Verstappen’s penalty, Mercedes’ head Toto Wolf infuriated the headset, and Hamilton drove behind his title rival before finally passing Verstappen and winning. ..

Verstappen was disappointed after finishing second in a strange debut race in Saudi Arabia.

“What happened today is incredible,” he said. “I’m just trying to race. This sport is more about penalties than racing. So for me this isn’t F1, but at least the fans enjoyed it.”

The Mercedes camp was just as confused, if it won.

“Lewis, it must be the crazyest race I can remember,” Hamilton’s engineer rang the radio after crossing the finish line.

Hamilton needed some time to recover after climbing from his car after one of the most exhausted of his 103 career victories in the heat and humidity of the Middle East.

Hamilton looked exhausted, sitting in a chair next to the physical trainer and burying his face in a towel while waiting for the podium ceremony.

“I’ve been racing for a long time and it was incredibly hard,” said Hamilton, who will turn 37 next season. “I tried to be as wise and tough as possible. With all my racing experience over the years, it was difficult just to get the car on track and keep it clean. We worked hard as a team. rice field.”

Verstappen was punished for being off course on his second restart and was later told to give up his position to Hamilton, who struck behind Red Bull and damaged the front wing of Mercedes. The two differed in what happened, and Verstappen was summoned before the post-race steward.

Hamilton, who wasn’t told by Mercedes that Verstappen would take the lead, said, “I couldn’t understand why he suddenly stepped on the brakes, so I moved behind him.”

Hamilton also used abusive words when describing Verstappen as “crazy,” calling his rivals driving “dangerous.”

Verstappen blamed Hamilton himself.

“I slowed down, I wanted to pass him. He didn’t want to overtake, so we touched,” Verstappen said.

Wolff then explained that the team had not notified Hamilton that Verstappen was passing Hamilton. Wolff oversees the championship of seven straight drivers and constructors, approaching eighth place.

After seven world champions passed Verstappen forever, Hamilton controlled the finish and won the championship for the third consecutive year. The British driver has won eight seasons and has scored points in the standings with Verstappen. Verstappen still leads the championship with most victories, 9-8.

The championship will be decided next Sunday at the finale in Abu Dhabi.

“It will be decided there. I hope we have a good weekend,” Verstappen said.

Hamilton is a four-time F1 champion seeking an eighth title to break the record-breaking record shared with Michael Schumacher. The 24-year-old Verstappen sought his first championship and dominated the Red Bull season until the charge of the last three races by Mercedes and Hamilton.

“I don’t think this has happened yet. I think he (Hamilton) deserved it as the final result of winning the race,” Wolff said. “If the front wing was broken, I would have been able to go out a few times. I don’t want to put dirty laundry here, it was great, but it wasn’t a very good race.”

Valtteri Bottas finished third in the home stretch, putting both Mercedes drivers on the podium. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was fourth, followed by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez, Nikita Mazepin, George Russell and Mick Schumacher all couldn’t finish because the restart was messy and the blinds turned on the second longest circuit on the calendar. It spans 6.2 kilometers (3.8 miles) at 27 corners and was completed a few days before F1’s debut in the country.

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