F1 LIVE: Hamilton and Verstappen tied in championship standings after penalties, controversy at Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – The Athletic

The race in Saudi Arabia was bonkers. Two and a half hours long, multiple red flags, tons of drama, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton making hard contact, and huge implications. The penultimate race on the F1 calendar ended with Hamilton getting the win amid controversy, and now there's a virtual tie for the championship going into the final race. Hamilton seemed destined to cut into Verstappen's series lead as he got off to a fantastic start, but Red Bull got a huge break with a red flag while Verstappen held the lead. But then Verstappen got his own bad break on the re-start with a dicey move and had to give up track position. Finally, we also had a case where Hamilton hit Verstappen in an apparent miscommunication that became controversial as Hamilton said Verstappen braked and caused the hit. Sound like a lot? Read on for details.

Verstappen is going for his first series championship and Hamilton is chasing a ridiculous No. 8. here are all the updates from the race and the controversy that followed. All the details:

December 6, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST
Again: Yes, it's a literal tie. Incredible drama heading into Abu Dhabi.

T1. Max Verstappen — 369.5
T1. Lewis Hamilton — 369.5
3. Valtteri Bottas — 218

As for the Constructor Standings, Mercedes is now well ahead with 587 points. Red Bull Honda is at 559.5.
December 6, 2021 at 8:18 AM EST
In a development that will shock few, the team principals for Mercedes (Hamilton) and Red Bull (Verstappen) had differing opinions on the driving tactics that saw Verstappen take penalties on Sunday.

Toto Wolff of Mercedes and Christian Horner of Red Bull Honda now have drivers in a virtual dead heat heading to Abu Dhabi, and Wolff thinks Verstappen's tactics went "over the line" — and the race stewards obviously agreed.

You can read more on the debate here.
December 5, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST
We'll let him describe it, via Formula1.com:

“At the end, that five-second penalty I don’t think is correct but at the end of the day I don’t want to talk about it that much because they don’t deserve any words coming out of my mouth.

“I find it interesting that I am the one who gets a penalty when both of us ran out of the white lines,” he added. “In Brazil it was fine but suddenly I get a penalty for it; you could see both of us didn’t make the corner. But it’s fine, I also don’t really spend too much time on it. We have to move forward.”
December 5, 2021 at 6:06 PM EST
The explanation here:
Verstappen gets a 10-second penalty for his incident with Hamilton, but keeps P2#SaudiArabianGP 🇸🇦 #F1https://t.co/KIEvnZelCK
December 5, 2021 at 4:28 PM EST
F1 has released added footage of the incident that had some calling Verstappen guilty of dirty tactics, and others defending him.

Take a look here.
December 5, 2021 at 3:32 PM EST
Headed into the final race of the season — yes, it's a literal tie. Incredible drama.

T1. Max Verstappen — 369.5
T1. Lewis Hamilton — 369.5
3. Valtteri Bottas — 218

As for the Constructor Standings, Mercedes is now well ahead with 587 points. Red Bull Honda is at 559.5.
December 5, 2021 at 3:08 PM EST
This includes the massive 5-second penalty that was assessed to Verstappen.
Final classification after a crazy race in Jeddah 👇#SaudiArabianGP 🇸🇦 #F1 pic.twitter.com/d1pvEnL5Ei
December 5, 2021 at 3:04 PM EST
Gonna be a lot more discussion…
Verstappen takes his champagne bottle and walks off the podium, not taking part in the spraying. No eye contact whatsoever between him and Hamilton https://t.co/a4AL7SqT10
December 5, 2021 at 2:59 PM EST
Pretty incredible that he hasn't only not missed a podium, he hasn't even finished third.

And for all that, he's still in a dead heat for a series championship headed to Abu Dhabi.
December 5, 2021 at 2:55 PM EST
That was his in-car commentary after being told fans voted him the Driver of the Race.

He called the fans "more sensible" than race stewards.
December 5, 2021 at 2:54 PM EST
In short, Hamilton explained that he didn't understand that Verstappen would be hitting the brakes when he did.

Plenty of discussion to come.
December 5, 2021 at 2:49 PM EST
Suffice to say, he doesn't agree with the ruling that went against him on the braking incident.

We'll see what Hamilton says.
December 5, 2021 at 2:46 PM EST
Amid a season where they’ve gone toe-to-toe all year, of course, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are tied for the championship lead going into the final race. It’s the only way it could be. Had to happen, Hamilton cut the eight-point deficit between himself and Verstappen by not just winning Sunday’s race but also earning the bonus point for posting the single lap.
December 5, 2021 at 2:45 PM EST
The perfect setup for how this Formula One season has gone: An exact tie for the championship between two fierce rivals heading into the final race of the year.

Drama, drama, drama.
December 5, 2021 at 2:44 PM EST
Tied. Seriously.

And a LOT of debate to come about tactics.

And with the fastest lap, he moves level in the championship race with Max Verstappen on 369.5 points!#SaudiArabianGP 🇸🇦 #F1 pic.twitter.com/hnHfPElD3J
December 5, 2021 at 2:41 PM EST
The penalty on Verstappen ended all drama, and Hamilton was flying over the last few laps.

We now have a virtual tie going into the final race. Whoa.
December 5, 2021 at 2:35 PM EST
Unfortunate, as it saps the stretch of all drama. But that's the reality.

Max Verstappen is handed a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage#SaudiArabianGP 🇸🇦 #F1
December 5, 2021 at 2:33 PM EST
With the 5-second penalty to Verstappen it's really only a mistake from Hamilton over the last five laps that will cost him the race.
December 5, 2021 at 2:29 PM EST
The stewards have ruled. We'll see how this impacts things in the end.
December 5, 2021 at 2:23 PM EST
I'm stunned. What in the world just happened there? Max Verstappen was told to give the position back to Lewis Hamilton, and then seemed to intentionally slow down in the middle of the straightaway — and Hamilton ran into the back of him. First impression: Totally uncalled for by Verstappen, who crossed a line there. No one wants to see the title decided that way.


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