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Hamilton and Verstappen to meet on track for first time since Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will be back on track together on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since 2021's F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will share the track in Barcelona on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since their controversial Abu Dhabi title decider. The sport's two biggest stars, one of Mercedes and one of Red Bull, have not been in each other's presence since the aftermath of last season's finale that saw Verstappen overtake Hamilton on the final lap in contentious circumstances. Hamilton had clawed his way back into the championship lead with only a handful of laps to go in the Middle East before a late Safety Car gifted Verstappen the chance to pit for new, fresher tyres than his rival. However, with backmarkers sandwiched between the two title challengers, Mercedes opted to leave Hamilton out on worn tyres under the expectation that there would not be enough time for the race to resume. But in a move that has since caused so much controversy, then Race Director Michael Masi opted to clear just five of the lapped cars to allow Verstappen and Hamilton a chance to fight it out for the final lap. Masi has since been removed as Race Director, replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas, after a winter that left F1 fans fearing that Hamilton may walk away from the sport.

Hamilton and Verstappen to share the track again

Now, for the first time since Abu Dhabi, the two drivers will be back on track at the same time for a four-hour session (13:00 GMT-17:00 GMT) on Wednesday afternoon, after Mercedes and Red Bull confirmed their driver plans for this week's Barcelona test. Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez will spend one day each behind the wheel of Red Bull's new RB18, with the pair then likely to share track time on Friday. Mercedes, meanwhile, have opted to keep fans waiting for their Thursday and Friday plans, only confirming that both George Russell (morning) and Hamilton (afternoon) will share track time on Wednesday. RacingNews365.com will be present in Barcelona to keep you up to date with the latest news and developments via our dedicated live blog .

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying