Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton has Max Verstappen conspiracy theory


This weekend’s Formula 1 championship battle was always going to be exciting, but after the last race in Saudi Arabia, it is now set to be a thrilling shootout for the Drivers' Championship.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are tied on 369.5 points, which leaves no room for error in the final race of the season.

There has already been a lot of drama in Abu Dhabi as, after qualifying yesterday, Hamilton hinted that Verstappen could have locked up on his medium tyres for tactical reasons rather than being an honest mistake.

The Dutchman took a fantastic pole position in yesterday's session, which Red Bull boss Christian Horner said was one of the best of the entire year.

A tactic usually employed across most race weekends is for the front-running drivers to attempt making it through Q2 on the medium compound, as that enables for more strategic options for the race, and under the current rules, a driver must start the race on the tyres that they set their fastest Q2 time.

Verstappen, after his lock-up, will begin the title-decider on pole on the softs, while Hamilton will be on the mediums. The soft tyre should give the Dutchman a grip advantage off the line.

This did not go unnoticed by Hamilton.

After the session, he seemed to accuse his title rival of ruining his tyres on purpose, saying: “It was interesting that lock-up into Turn One. A conspiracy but no one locks up into Turn One and if you do it is not a big one. I think they did it deliberately so they chose to go on to the soft tyre."

This could also have implications on the race as the tyres Verstappen will now be using are less durable, meaning the Red Bull will have to pit first.

This sets up the title-decider to be even more poignant as Hamilton and Verstappen begin the race on vastly differing strategies in what will be a shootout of the two teams.



Hamilton believes that he is on the right tyre choice, adding that: "I hope we are on the right one and time will tell, but if they have the degradation we think will happen to the soft tyre, we will be in a good place."

The last six winners of this race have started as P1, so while that is good for Verstappen, it sets this up to be a captivating race.

Hamilton also had time to swipe at Verstappen, saying that he prefers to be behind the Dutchman.

He quipped: "I'm still on the front row, we've got the difference between the tyres and I'm grateful I can see where he is."

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This could be a direct reference to their collision in Monza, where Verstappen went over his Mercedes or it could be about their duel in Saudi Arabia.

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