Motor sport

Verstappen is ‘over the limit’, says Hamilton after Saudi clash

Lewis Hamilton accused Max Verstappen of being “over the limit” and said he had to avoid multiple collisions with the Dutchman, who was penalized when the two title contenders met in Jeddah.

The defending champion claimed Verstappen tested him in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, adding: “It’s okay for him if we both don’t finish.”

Hamilton won the race despite a damaged front wing in contact with Verstappen, who braked hard in front of him.

The Dutchman had been ordered to let the Mercedes pass after taking the lead by cutting into a corner. He received a 10-second penalty for causing the collision, which followed a 5-second penalty for gaining an advantage while running off the track.

“He obviously tested the brakes, I think trying to bring the DRS into the last corner to overtake me again in Turn 1,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “I thought I had lost my wing.

“I had to really try to keep my cool, which was really hard to do.

“I have raced a lot of pilots in 28 years. I’ve met a lot of different characters and there are a few at the top who kind of overstep the mark. [For them, the] the rules do not apply.

When asked if Verstappen fell into this category, Hamilton replied: “He certainly crossed the line. I’ve dodged collisions on so many occasions with the guy and I don’t always mind being the one doing that. Because you live to fight another day, which of course I did.

“Personally, I am chilled. I feel like I’m in the boxing ring and I’m ready to go.

Verstappen passed Hamilton off the track on the first restart and gave way after the race was stopped again

Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Speaking immediately after the race, before the penalty for causing a collision was given, Verstappen called his 5-second penalty “unbelievable”.

“I just try to race and this sport these days is more about penalties than racing,” he said.

“For me it’s not Formula 1 but at least the fans enjoyed it.”