F1 news LIVE: Max Verstappen did brake on Lewis Hamilton as Red Bull apologise ahead of Abu Dhabi

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.

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Albon: Hamilton and Verstappen battle in Jeddah was ‘pinnacle of chaos’

“I think it’s brewing, and in each race it brews more and more and you think, ‘okay, that was a close one’,

“And we’ve had it a few times this year, but this was the pinnacle of – I don’t know what you call it – I feel like it’s kind of chaos, to be honest with you.

“I enjoy it, I think all of us enjoy it, but it seems like a lot of it’s been done in the stewards’ [room] rather than on track.”

Max Verstappen branded ‘bad sportsman’ after walking off F1 podium without joining celebrations

Max Verstappen was branded “a bad sportsman” after walking off the podium without celebrating at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Verstappen finished second to title rival Lewis Hamilton in Jeddah after a race full of controversy and contention, which included the pair making contact when Verstappen suddenly slowed to let the Briton past under stewards’ orders.

The result meant Hamilton drew level on points with the young Dutchman, who is chasing his first ever world title as Hamilton seeks a record eighth. Their championship fight will be decided in the final race of the season, at Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Max Verstappen branded ‘bad sportsman’ after walking off Jeddah podium

Verstappen departed the podium without joining in the celebrations and BBC Sport commentator Sulaiman Folarin was unimpressed with the Red Bull driver

Marko apologises and accepts Verstappen did brake on Hamilton in Jeddah

“At the time of the television interview, I passed on exactly the information I had previously received from the engineers,” Helmut Marko told f1-insider.com.

“They obviously weren’t right, so I’m sorry.”

The Red Bull advisor initially said: “We feel we have been treated unfairly. We are working to prove Max’s braking pressure did not increase when he crashed with Hamilton,” said the Austrian.

“Hamilton simply misjudged and drove into Max’s car. Unfortunately, that left two big cuts in our rear tyre. That’s why we couldn’t attack anymore.”

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix fight was ‘rental karting’, Jacques Villeneuve claims

Formula One risks becoming a “Hollywood show” after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix descended into “rental karting”, former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has warned.

Lewis Hamilton beat title rival Max Verstappen to win a chaotic race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday and take the world championship to the final race of the season.

It sets up a thrilling season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Hamilton and Verstappen level on points following one of the most dramatic campaigns in recent memory.

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix fight was ‘rental karting’, Jacques Villeneuve claims

‘Do we want sport and good F1? Or do we just want a Hollywood show?’

Ross Brawn defends FIA stewards over Saudi Arabian Grand Prix decisions

Formula One chief Ross Brawn has defended Michael Masi’s handling of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after the race director came under criticism from Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

After a chaotic race, Horner claimed that F1 had been missing the experience of Masi’s late predecessor Charlie Whiting and also said that the race director’s conversation with Red Bull, which attracted attention after it was broadcast on TV, was like being at “local market”.

The first-ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was hit by two red-flag stoppages and marred by controversial incidents involving title protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Ross Brawn defends FIA stewards over Saudi Arabian Grand Prix decisions

Michael Masi’s negotiations with Red Bull have come under fire but Brawn insists the race director dealt with the situation ‘pragmatically’

Max Verstappen warned he 'can't defend' against Lewis Hamilton pace at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has warned driver Max Verstappen that Lewis Hamilton is difficult to defend against on current form and given the straight-line speed of his Mercedes car.

Hamilton has won the last three races since changing his engine at the Brazil Grand Prix to move level on points with Verstappen ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend.

The seven-time world champion had the long-run advantage at the first-ever Saudi Arabia Grand Prix and was almost a second faster than Verstappen in sectors one and two at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Max Verstappen warned he ‘can’t defend’ against Lewis Hamilton pace in Abu Dhabi

Hamilton arrives at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix level on points with Verstappen after winning three races in a row

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