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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton adamant: Verstappen brake tested me

Lewis Hamilton has criticised Max Verstappen's approach as the pair head to face the stewards in Saudi Arabia.

Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Lewis Hamilton has called out Max Verstappen's "over the limit" approach and reiterated his belief that the Red Bull driver slammed on the brakes in front of him during the closing stages of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Having held onto the lead after sliding wide at Turn 1 on Lap 36 of 50, Verstappen was told to cede position to Hamilton. He attempted to do this down the back straight, with Hamilton appearing wrong-footed and ending up colliding with the rear of the Red Bull.

Hamilton went on to win the race and draw level with Verstappen in the Drivers' Championship, but both drivers are to face the stewards after the incident.

"He is over the limit"

Speaking afterwards, Hamilton said he felt Verstappen was over the line and doubled down on his initial comments about the controversial incident.

"He is over the limit for sure," Hamilton told Sky Sports.

"I've avoided collisions on so many occasions with the guy and I don't always mind being the one that does that, because you live to fight another day, which I obviously did."

Drawing on his considerable experience, Hamilton hinted that Dutch driver believes the rules don't apply to him.

"I've raced a lot of drivers over the last 28 years and I've come across a lot of different characters. There's a few at the top which are over the limit," he said.

"Rules kinda don't apply or [they] don't think of the rules but, today, I just tried to do my talking on the track."

Hamilton felt he was brake tested

Hamilton went on to explain that he felt Verstappen had brake tested him, possibly to try ensuring he got the DRS down the pit straight.

"There were just so many different, crazy curveballs that were sent," he commented.

"And then he obviously brake tested to try and get the DRS again into the last corner, to overtake me again back into Turn 1, so there was a commotion. I thought that I lost my wing!"

Elaborating to Dutch broadcaster Ziggo, Hamilton explained the incident from his perspective.

"From in the cockpit, all of a sudden he suddenly slowed down at high speed, a quick rate," he said.

"But he was slowing down and then moving kind of left and right, and I didn't understand what was going on. I hadn't had the information that he was letting me by at that point, so it was very confusing."

Comparing to Belgium 2008

Hamilton compared the incident to the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, where he picked up a penalty for ceding position to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen before immediately overtaking into the next corner.

"If you remember 2008, I overtook Kimi at the last corner at Spa and off the track," he said.

"I had to let him past and overtook him again. I won the race, but they gave me a 20-second penalty for that, because they said it wasn't sufficient.

"But anyways, Max is obviously trying to slow down in that last corner and get the DRS before that line. But the thing is, the dangerous part was when he hit the brake really hard. I was like, 'Oh, shoot'. I mean, I hit him.

"There were so many incidents in that race, it was difficult to keep the car clean and stay out of trouble."

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