Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children
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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen head into the final race of the 2020-21 F1 season, in Abu Dhabi, knowing that either could become world champion. The tantalising show-piece event has been created after yesterday’s race in Jeddah, which saw the two drivers collide and Verstappen penalised more than once by race stewards, as Hamilton raced home to secure first place.
Yesterday’s debut of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix produced arguably the most controversial race of the season so far, as Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton drew level on points with rival Max Verstappen in the world title picture.
Hamilton pipped Red Bull’s Verstappen to the chequered flag in a contest which saw the Dutchman penalised twice by race stewards, and a collision occur between the two midway through the race.
Consequently, a winner takes all final race has been set in place for this weekend as the F1 season comes to a close in Abu Dhabi.
So, what exactly are the permutations for both drivers heading into the final clash?
At the moment both Hamilton and Verstappen are level on 369.5 points each – Verstappen edging his rival for race wins by nine to eight.
The situation going into this weekend’s race at the Yas Marina Circuit is relatively straightforward – whoever finishes higher in the race standings will take home the 2020-21 world championship title.
Should Hamilton emerge victorious he will grab a record eighth World Drivers’ Championship crown, surpassing Michael Schumacher, who he is currently tied with on seven.
However, if Max Verstappen can edge out his old foe one more time, he will win his first ever world title having started in the sport in 2015.
The picture for the Constructors’ World Championship is slightly less dramatic, as Mercedes now hold a 28 point lead over Red Bull following yesterday’s results.
During a contest which had no fewer than four clash points between the pair, Hamilton and Verstappen battled continuously in the Saudi Arabian night to decide who would take the race victory.
At the start, Hamilton and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas were able to keep Verstappen at bay behind them.
However, following a crash that forced Mick Schumacher to retire and led to a safety car on Lap 10, both Mercedes drivers decided to pit for fresh tyres, whilst Verstappen stayed out on track and took the lead.
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That safety car though would become a red flag which would allow Red Bull to also change their driver’s tyres, without a pit-stop, much to the dismay of Mercedes.
Following the restart, Hamilton raced in front of Verstappen to take the lead before the Dutchman regained his position through what would be deemed an illegal manoeuvre.
Simultaneously, another red flag incident occurred which led to Red Bull negotiating with Race Control to drop Verstappen to third place, behind Esteban Ocon and Hamilton, on the next grid.
Verstappen would go on to legitimately claim first place again before the drama that surrounded Lap 37 developed.
First, Hamilton appeared to edge ahead of his rival in an outside overtake but both drivers braked late, forcing them off the track and allowing Verstappen to stay first.
The incident led to F1 Race Director, Michael Masi, issuing Red Bull an ultimatum – let Hamilton pass by or it will be left up to a stewards investigation.
Red Bull opted for the former but as Verstappen looked to break and allow Hamilton to overtake, the Mercedes driver collided with the back of his car seemingly unaware of what was going on around him.
Hamilton though would be allowed to pass again and despite momentarily losing his position to Verstappen, and whilst driving with a broken front-wing end plate, would go on to recapture first spot and win the penultimate race of the season.
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