Skirmishes, safety cars, red flags, standing starts and an extremely tense duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton… The first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix kept all its promises on Sunday 5 December. After 50 laps of a very lively race, it was finally Lewis Hamilton who won ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. In the standings, the Briton and the Dutch are tied with 369.5 points before the final decisive Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi next Sunday.
After a cautious first start and ten laps without a hitch, the race was packed on the brand new Jeddah circuit. With several red flags and safety cars, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen alternately traded first place but the Briton finally won in the game of cat and mouse. Sometimes too rough in his defense when leading the race, the Dutchman had to let his competitor pass in the world championship and received a five-second penalty.
The tension between the two protagonists for the title did not stop growing during the race, the two pilots sending each other spikes by interposed radios. “This guy is crazy”exclaimed Lewis Hamilton when the Dutchman cut a corner 13 laps from the finish. In an attempt to avoid the penalty, Max Verstappen slowed down on the next lap to let the Briton pass, but the latter did not seem to want to overtake his competitor to keep the advantage of the DRS. The two cars collided causing damage to the right front wing for Hamilton and the fury of Toto Wolff in the Mercedes pit.
OH THE SNAP BETWEEN LEWIS AND MAX!
▶ ️ https://t.co/7plkVVV12v pic.twitter.com/JQeOezN6ih
– CANAL + F1® (@ CanalplusF1) December 5, 2021
In the end, Hamilton took the lead again to claim his 103rd victory in Formula 1. His teammate Valtteri Bottas took third place at the finish line, for a tenth, ahead of Esteban Ocon, who took a frustrating fourth place. . The two leaders will still have to explain all the incidents to the commissioners. While waiting for the last race next Sunday, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are perfectly tied, with 369.5 points, and will battle for the title in Abu Dhabi.