Lewis Hamilton has commented further on his clash with Max Verstappen during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, explaining that he thought the Dutchman was playing a "crazy tactic" when he slowed down to let him past.
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 claim victory and draw level on points with Verstappen, who was subsequently given a non-consequential 10-second penalty by the stewards - after they noted his "erratic" braking.
Hamilton sees "crazy tactic" from Verstappen
Hamilton, already adamant that he was brake tested by Verstappen, gave more details about the moments leading up to the impact.
"I didn't really understand what was going on. It was very, very confusing," Hamilton told Sky Sports.
"All of a sudden he's started backing up and then kind of moving a little bit. I was like, 'Is he trying to play some kind of crazy tactic?' I don't know.
"But then also the [radio] messages [from Mercedes] started coming through, just as he then braked… he hit the brakes so hard and I nearly went completely up the back of him and took us both out."
"It doesn't matter to him if we both retire"
While the pair are now level on points, Verstappen still holds an advantage in the form of victory countback, having claimed nine victories to Hamilton's eight in 2021.
It means that, if both drivers were to retire at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Verstappen would become World Champion, something Hamilton touched on as the interview continued.
"It doesn't matter for him if we don't both finish. For me, we both need to finish. But it'll be interesting to see what happens," he added.
Asked for his feelings heading to Abu Dhabi, Hamilton summed up: "I'm personally chilled. I feel like I'm in the boxing ring and I'm ready to go."
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