F1 news LIVE: Max Verstappen did brake on Lewis Hamilton as Red Bull apologise



Verstappen and Hamilton go into F1 season finale level on points

The finale to this F1 season is almost here ahead of Abu Dhabi this week and the sport has reached a feverish level after the drama in Saudi Arabia as Lewis Hamilton defeated Max Verstappen to draw level in the battle to become the 2021 F1 world champion.

Hamilton and Verstappen are level on points going into the final race after Hamilton’s chaotic win in Jeddah, which came after the two clashed multiple times including physical contact when Verstappen suddenly slowed under orders to let Hamilton past him, having illegally held on to the race lead earlier in the night. Hamilton was not prepared and ran into the back of his rival, damaging his front wing. Six laps later, Verstappen eventually handed the lead to Hamilton, who went on to win.

The result means Hamilton, chasing his eighth world title, is level on points with Verstappen, hunting his maiden championship of what is sure to be a stellar career in Formula 1. The pair both have 369.5 points and head to this weekend’s finale in Abu Dhabi with everything to play for. Follow all the latest news and updates below.


Red Bull ‘need a miracle’ to overhaul Mercedes at Abu Dhabi, Christian Horner admits

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says they “need a miracle” to beat Mercedes to the constructors’ title and that their focus is entirely on the drivers’ championship.

Lewis Hamilton’s win in Saudi Arabia helped pull Mercedes 28 points clear of Red Bull in the team standings, and with only one race to go it leaves the German team in an almost unassailable position and close to winning their eighth successive constructors’ title.

However the drivers’ championship remains in the balance, with Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen level on points heading into the final race in Abu Dhabi this weekend – Verstappen is technically first, having won more races.

“Constructors, we’re on the back foot, we need a miracle to win that,” admitted Horner. “We’ve got one more shot to have a go at winning this [driver’s] title with Max. Somebody, either Lewis or Max, will come out on top after next weekend. The driver’s is where the prestige is. It’s not where the money is but it’s where the prestige is. That’s the one people remember.”

Jack Rathborn8 December 2021 14:35


Mercedes F1 end controversial sponsorship with Grenfell insulation firm after backlash

Mercedes have ended their partnership with Kingspan after outrage over the company’s links to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Survivors’ group Grenfell United highlighted the insulation firm’s links to the 2017 disaster which took 72 lives.

While Kingspan rejected having any prior knowledge of their product being used for the tower’s cladding system.

The deal, which was announced last week, which saw the company’s logo on Mercedes’ cars at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove publicly called on Mercedes to end the agreement.

Jack Rathborn8 December 2021 14:18


Ocon: Saudi Arabian GP finish ‘difficult to swallow’

Esteban Ocon said his finish to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was “difficult to swallow” but has warned that his Alpine team could be “very dangerous” next season.

The team were closing in on their second podium appearance in a row, following Fernando Alonso’s third-place finish in Qatar, when Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas pipped him to the line.

Ocon said.: “It’s a bit difficult to swallow for sure, we had that third place until 50 metres to the end so the competitors inside us, they are not happy – but we are happy because we have extended our lead on AlphaTauri for 5th place in the constructors,” Ocon said.

“We extract a lot from the car and as Fernando would say, it is part of the plan. We are pushing as much as we can and today we got a very strong team result, so pretty pleased with that and very happy for everybody.

“I think it was a very solid weekend on our side. Once we have the same pace as the top cars we are going to be very dangerous.”

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 14:12


Verstappen will not take out Hamilton, Horner insists

Christian Horner was also adamant that Max Verstappen will want to win the F1 title the right way and insisted he will not try and take out title rival Lewis Hamilton at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Verstappen has nine victories so far this season to Hamilton’s eight, so the 24-year-old will win the championship if neither driver finishes the race.

“Max wants to win this championship on the track,” Horner said. “It’s as simple as that. He’s a hard racer but a fair racer, and I expect no different this weekend. Nobody wants to win this championship in a gravel trap or in a stewards’ inquiry.

“To finish first, first you’ve got to finish. That’s been our mantra throughout this season.”

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 13:51


‘He’s not crazy’: Horner defends Verstappen’s aggressive style

Christian Horner has launched a fresh defence of driver Max Verstappen following criticism of his aggressive driving at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton accused the Red Bull driver of going “over the limit” and said Verstappen was “f***ing crazy” after the title rivals collided during the race.

“He’s certainly not crazy,” Horner told The Times. ““You’ve got two guys, different ages, going for the biggest prize in motorsport. Lewis is 36 and going for his eighth world title. Max is attempting to win his first. And I think Lewis has an enormous amount of experience; he is using all of that. He’s a wily competitor.

“It’s frustrating. There’s been some confusion. Some incidents get punished, some go unpunished. Max does tend to get the harsher verdict, particularly when you look back at the weekend.”

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 13:32


Verstappen being ‘bullied’ in F1 title race, Ecclestone claims

“It is psychological game playing,” Ecclestone, 91, continued. “Max has had a few years of racing but has not had years in the streets like Lewis.

“It has built character and knowing he would win the race with Mercedes being the dominant force over the past few years has made him a much stronger character than Max.

“For Max, this season is the first one he has had a car capable of winning regularly whereas before it was nothing like competitive.”

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 13:15


Horner hits back at ‘wily’ Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is a “wily” driver who “gives just as good as he gets”, Christian Horner has claimed, as the Red Bull team boss hit back over accusations that Max Verstappen had gone too far at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“I would ask you to look at Lewis in the final corner, where he pushed Max off in the same way,” Horner said after the controversial race.

“Any driver that’s come through karting or that raced in any category, you know that is hard racing. That’s how these kids have raced throughout their careers and Lewis gives just as good as he gets.

“He’s very wily with the way he does it sometimes. But look at the last corner when he ran Max out wide there. There was another corner as well where he opened the steering wheel I think it was into Turn 1 and 2.

“These are two guys that are fighting over such fine margins right pushing to the boundary. If you don’t want them to have the ability to run wide, put a gravel trap out there.”

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 12:54


Changes made to Abu Dhabi circuit ahead of F1 finale

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit has undergone a series of changes in a bid to make the Formula One season finale even more exciting for drivers and fans.

A number of corners have been taken out of the track and the circuit has been shortened slightly to make overtaking easier for the drivers.

“I’m looking forward to the finale in Abu Dhabi as they have modified the track there, which I’m really pleased about as I think it will present a new challenge to the drivers,” said Ross Brawn.

“I think they are going to enjoy it a lot more. The simulations we have done show the new Abu Dhabi is a better racing track with more opportunities for overtaking.

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 12:37


Verstappen being ‘bullied’ in F1 title race, Ecclestone claims

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that Max Verstappen is being “bullied” by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton in the title race.

“Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him,” Ecclestone told AFP.

“They have been pushing down all the time on Max and then the race directors have been looking in because Toto [Wolff] goes to the race director.

“Max has more than a race to confront as he has them too on his back because they are bullying him and not playing fair.”

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 12:18


Fury tells F1 fans to give ‘bad boy’ Verstappen a break

Tyson Fury has leaped to Max Verstappen’s defence after the Red Bull driver came under criticism following his collision with Lewis Hamilton at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“I’ve just been reading up about the F1 rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen and how Max is being made out to be a bit of a bad boy,” Fury said in a video on his Instagram story.

“It’s not nice, especially when you are young and ambitious and want to win. Give him a bit of a break – he’s only a young lad trying his best. Good luck to both men in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

Fury is friends with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who revealed earlier this season: “The two-time world heavyweight champion is a fan of Max and there has been a lot of excitement from other sports around the competitive championship fight we are in.

“Tyson is an incredibly passionate and focused guy and I think he respects the fact that Max drives in a similar way.”

Jamie Braidwood8 December 2021 12:00


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