After one of the most dramatic races of all time, Max Verstappen was left feeling like penalties are ruining the racing in F1.
As the penultimate round of the 2021 F1 season, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was expected to deliver the drama as Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton resumed their title battle, but what followed was a new level of crazy .
The true chaos started after one of several race restarts, as Hamilton made the pass on Verstappen into Turn 1 for the lead, only for Verstappen to go into the run-off and force his way back onto the track ahead of Hamilton.
After another red flag, Red Bull and Mercedes accepted that Hamilton would take the standing restart from P1, while Verstappen would launch from P3.
Verstappen jumped Esteban Ocon ahead and then Hamilton at that restart to lead again, but as the pair returned to battle later, once again they were off the track, this time Verstappen told to return the place.
He slowed down the straight, but an unsure Hamilton went into the back of Verstappen, damaging his front wing, an incident under investigation by the stewards.
A five-second time penalty was then issued to Verstappen for forcing Hamilton off at the restart, shortly after Verstappen had let Hamilton through at Turn 27 and immediately passed him again.
Then, Verstappen let Hamilton through into the lead again, and from there the Briton pushed on to victory as Verstappen dropped off with degrading medium tyres.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) December 5, 2021
Perhaps never before has Formula 1 seen a race quite like this, one which Verstappen felt had been spoiled by penalties, something which he suggested is an issue across the sport, not only at the Saudi Arabian GP.
Informing Verstappen that he had been voted Driver of the Day, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: "I think someone's got your back here Max because you've been voted Driver of the Day, it's not the FIA, somebody else has got your back."
Then discussing his achievement with Sky F1, Verstappen said: "Luckily the fans have a clear mind about racing, because what happened today is unbelievable.
"I'm just trying to race and this sport is more about penalties than racing, so for me this is not Formula 1.
"But at least the fans enjoyed it and I gave it all today, but clearly not quick enough. But still happy with second."
As it stands, Verstappen still leads the Drivers' Championship , but goes into the final round in Abu Dhabi level on 369.5 points with Hamilton.
- Sports news feed: Serena Williams crashes out of US Open
- Sports news feed: Alexander Zverev reaches US Open final
- Sports news feed: Naomi Osaka wins US Open
- Melbourne Cup field, form and comment 2020
Max declares ‘this sport more about penalties than racing’ have 499 words, post on www.planetf1.com at December 5, 2021. This is cached page on Auto News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.