Lewis Hamilton Takes 103rd Win in Saudi Arabia After an Action-Packed Race
Esteban Ocon narrowly missed out on the podium at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. He was pushed across the finish line by Mercedes-AMG’s Valtteri Bottas. Championship rivals Lewis Hamilton, and Max Verstappen had a relaxed, calm and largely insignificant race. By that, we mean they pushed each other to the point of creating their own formula.
After 21 exhausting, fast-paced and hard-fought laps, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will hear the final bell in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton’s victory in an action-packed Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has set up a thrilling duel for overall victory next week.
It will be the 30th time a championship has been decided in the final race – Hamilton is no stranger to winning in his career – both are tied on 369.5 points. Verstappen has one more win and therefore goes into next weekend with a slight advantage.
“That must have been the craziest race I can remember!” said Pete Bonnington, Lewis’ race engineer, immediately after the race. And Bono nailed it. The pendulum swung back and forth between the two rivals so many times that it’s a wonder they did not get dizzy.
Hamilton got a clean start from pole position, but the pendulum swung in Verstappen’s direction after Mick Schumacher put his Haas into the wall and triggered the safety car. Merc brought both his cars into the pits, Red Bull stayed out, giving Verstappen a decisive advantage.
Then the race was interrupted with a red flag, and Red Bull changed Verstappen’s tyres for nothing. But at the restart, Hamilton got off to a better start in second and went into the corner first, and there Verstappen overtook him off the track. There was then another crash, and the race was red-flagged again. And then there was a discussion about where Verstappen should start. He started third behind Hamilton and Ocon. And then overtook both of them on the restart.
And then. Hamilton charged after Verstappen, they both went off the track, and after Verstappen was told to slow down so Hamilton could regain the lead, they both crashed. He later let Lewis pass, at which point Lewis ran off and never looked back to take the win.
Hamilton, visibly exhausted in his post-race interview, told Hassan Soukar: “I have been racing a long time, and that was incredibly tough. I tried to be as sensible and challenging as possible, and, with all my experience, I just kept the car on the track and stayed clean.
“It was difficult, and we were faced with all sorts of things, and I am proud of everyone,” he added. “The track is phenomenal, challenging physically and mentally, but you would not have it any other way.
Verstappen said, “It’s been pretty eventful! Many things happened that I do not quite agree with, but it is what it is. I tried to do my best, but I do not think the tyres held out. I was missing a bit of rubber at the end, but I still finished second.”
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