Horner ‘surprised’ at Hamilton and insists Verstappen did ‘nothing unusual’

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has blamed Lewis Hamilton for the collision with Max Verstappen which threatened to end both drivers’ races at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

In a Formula One race with countless incidents and collisions, Verstappen and Hamilton fought it out until the very end as they sought to get closer to the elusive championship title.

But their eagerness resulted in controversy when the Red Bull driver pushed Hamilton wide at Turn 1 on lap 37, resulting in him having to give first position back to the Brit.

What followed a lap later was even more carnage when, as Verstappen slowed down to let the seven-time world champion past, Hamilton was seemingly caught by surprise and went into the back of the Dutchman.

Verstappen was given a five-second penalty for the initial move at Turn 1 but avoided being penalised for the actual lap 38 collision, where Hamilton claimed he had unfairly “brake-tested”.

Still, the Mercedes driver was able to capitalise on the shift in momentum and seal his eighth win of the season, putting him level on points with Verstappen (369.5) ahead of the final race at Abu Dhabi.

But Red Bull chief Horner was furious at Hamilton’s role in the collision, where the Englishman potentially had enough room to edge past Verstappen but opted to slow down as well to avoid being overtaken at the next DRS zone.

Horner said after the race: “We feel hard done by with the five second penalty and the incident where Lewis drove up back in Max. He was trying to give the position back, we informed race control.

Do you think Verstappen was to blame for the collision with Hamilton? Let us know in the comments section.

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"We were told to give it back so we gave it back […] There was no unusual brake pressure or anything from Max so, kinda surprised that Lewis just drove into the back of him.

“It was clear we were giving the place up.”

He added: "Frustrating race, in the end we were probably lucky to get away with 2nd given the damage we had to the rear of the car."

Hamilton’s win marks the 103rd of his career ahead of the title decider in one of the most legendary F1 seasons in recent history.

Verstappen currently leads the championship due to more race wins, but the title will be decided by whoever finishes in front in the points in Abu Dhabi.

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