Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says he fears the possibility of things getting “messy” as the Formula 1 title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen heads for the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
After the two tangled more than once at the past weekend’s Grand Prix at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Wolff said he can only hope that lessons have been learned from the race.
Now level at 369.5 points each, Hamilton and his Dutch rival will go head-to-head in the final race of the season. And the winner will officially take it all.
Even so, since Verstappen is the winner of nine races, as opposed to Hamilton’s eight, Verstappen holds the advantage as the ultimate tie breaker will be a Grand Prix win. This means if neither finishes the 22nd and final race of the season, the title will go to Verstappen.
While the pair had been friendly with one another for most of the season, that camaraderie had started to fade over recent skirmishes – some of which happened at Jeddah when they’d gone wheel-to-wheel on several occasions. One such occasion led to Hamilton hitting the back of his rival’s car when he slowed to return the lead to the Brit after having been ordered by race officials to do so.
Hamilton later said Verstappen had crossed the line by driving recklessly enough to take him (Hamilton) out of the race.
The lead for the title has changed five times this season. Hamilton has however remained insistent about finishing cleanly.
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