Lewis Hamilton ended up cruising to his 101st victory in Formula One to keep his dreams of winning yet another F1 Championship well and truly alive, however, it certainly wasn’t as straight forward as that.
The Brit’s battle with Max Verstappen has officially reached boiling point and sparks will continue to fly as we head into the last three races of the season.
It was a difficult weekend in Brazil for Hamilton as he was faced with challenges at every corner, literally.
After impressing in qualifying and believing he had secured another pole position, it looked like it’d be a straightforward weekend for the Mercedes man.
Then news came that he was to be disqualified from the session. Hamilton’s DRS on his rear wing was 0.2mm outside of the allotted 10mm-85mm gap and stewards felt it was right to disqualify him from the session. This incident, along with Verstappen being fined €50,000 for touching Hamilton’s car, meant that the race would surely be filled with similar controversy.
After starting at the back of the grid and surging past almost every car in front of him, Hamilton finished the sprint race in fifth. His engine penalty meant he’d be starting the race in P10, however, but this display was a marker being thrown down by the defending champion and a warning to Verstappen that the pressure was well and truly on.
The Red Bull ace clearly began to feel the pressure, and on lap 48 it started to show.
As Hamilton attempted an overtake, it looked as if he’d go past the Dutchman into first, however, suddenly, Verstappen veered into his rival's line.
Hamilton was then forced well off the track, leaving the driver, his team and fans alike all rather annoyed and frustrated.
Footage clearly shows Verstappen deciding against following the racing line and attempting to force Hamilton as wide as possible. The Dutchman eventually forced Hamilton off the track and should, therefore, be punished. However, this didn’t happen.
Since then, new footage has been released of the turn four incident and has restarted the discussion over whether it was competitive racing or an illegal move.
It was a decision that Sky’s Martin Brundle stated 'could have easily gone either way with the stewards,' demonstrating the controversial nature of the incident.
All of this means that during the next three races tensions will be even higher. This might just be the added fuel that Hamilton needed to retain his F1 crown and Verstappen will be worried that he has awoken the beast inside the seven-time winner.News Now - Sport News