Lewis Hamilton at risk of disastrous 10-place grid penalty after Saudi Arabian GP antics

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Lewis Hamilton could suffer a fatal blow ahead of his Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship showdown against Max Verstappen on Sunday. Hamilton, vying for a record eighth title, is at risk of a hefty grid penalty which could see him start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as high as 10th.

The action-packed 2021 F1 season culminates this weekend as Hamilton and Verstappen clash one last time in Abu Dhabi.

After Hamilton’s third successive win in Saudi Arabia last time out, the two title rivals enter the final race level on 369.5 points.

Another triumph for the Brit would secure his eighth world title, surpassing Michael Schumacher’s lofty total.

But driving reprimands could result in Hamilton starting the GP with a significant disadvantage and all but gift wrap Verstappen’s maiden crown.

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He is on thin ice after receiving his second 2021 reprimand in Saudi Arabia, blocking Nikita Mazepin through the first sector in final practice and forcing the Haas driver to swerve off-track to avoid a collision.

If Hamilton receives his third reprimand for an on-track offence ahead of Sunday, it will result in a 10-place grid penalty, according to RacingNews365.

Such a scenario would leave the 36-year-old with it all to do against Verstappen, who won on the Abu Dhabi track last season.

Despite concerns over Hamilton’s potential dream-crushing grid penalty, he wouldn’t receive much sympathy from his title rival.


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On Thursday, Verstappen suggested he had been treated less fairly than Hamilton and other drivers this season.

He said: “The only thing I ask for is that it’s fair for everyone, and clearly that’s not the case at the moment.

“I don’t feel like I was wrong [in Saudi Arabia], and clearly it is not wrong for others, so why should I go and change while for others they are allowed to race like that. I think everyone should be allowed to race like that.

“From my side, what’s unfair is that I’m treated differently from other drivers. Clearly, other drivers can get away with it, and I can’t, and that’s a bit of a problem here.

“Clearly, things don’t apply to everyone because the things I did, in terms of defending, two other guys in terms of racing also did, and it never got mentioned or a penalty, so I don’t understand because I thought I was just racing hard.

“What happened for me didn’t deserve any penalty, and clearly for the other two people it didn’t, if they were going to get one, but clearly it’s only me who gets it.

“Fighting at the front, people are more critical I guess but for me, I don’t understand.”

When asked if he had seen a different side to Hamilton and Mercedes throughout their title battle this season, Verstappen gave an honest answer.

“Yes, very much, and not in a positive way,” Verstappen remarked.

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