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Why Max Verstappen was penalised against Lewis Hamilton in the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix?

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Max Verstappen was given a 10-second penalty in the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, which was ultimately won by his title rival Lewis Hamilton. The Englishman is now level on points with the Red Bull driver. Moreover, the 2021 title race has now spilled to the final race of the season with the winner taking the Championship as well. 

The Dutch driver was at the centre of the track when Hamilton caught up to him, and he decided to brake as he made the turn. As a result, Hamilton had to slightly go off track. However, the stewards asked Verstappen to give the position back to his rival due to an unfair defense. 

“The stewards listened to the driver of car 33 (Max Verstappen), the driver of car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) and team representatives, reviewed the video evidence and telemetry and determined that the driver of car 33 was predominantly at fault,” read the FIA’s statement on the matter post-race.

“At Turn 21, the driver of Car 33 was instructed to return a position to Car 44 and the team told him to do so ‘strategically’. Car 33 slowed significantly at Turn 26. However, it was obvious that neither of the pilots wanted to take the lead before detection line DRS 3.”

The DRS detection line was what influenced the race during the final stages. And ultimately, Red Bull allowed Hamilton to let Hamilton go past, but Verstappen retook the place very quickly. The Englishman later overtook his competitor and ended up finishing first in the race, setting up a dramatic finish to the season. 

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Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.

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