Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen analysed by Coulthard
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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen clash in a sensational winner-takes-all Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. The rivals are level on points heading into the crunch race and whoever finishes ahead of the other will win the F1 World Championship.
Hamilton clawed his way on to 369.5 points – the same as Verstappen – after winning the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last weekend.
The Brit is attempting to win his eighth World Championship while the 24-year-old Verstappen can seal the title for the first time.
It is a rivalry that has captured the imagination in 2021. They have clashed on several occasions, including on the Jeddah circuit.
At one stage, Verstappen was advised to pull aside to let Hamilton pass. But the 36-year-old was confused and ended up driving into the back of the Red Bull car.
Afterwards, Mercedes star Hamilton claimed Verstappen is one of the drivers he has come across in his career who drive “over the limit” of the rules. Verstappen, meanwhile, insisted that the collision was merely down to miscommunication.
F1 prize money
Prize money in F1 is split into two categories but the drivers do not necessarily take a cut because they are paid a salary by their teams.
One half of the fund goes to the Formula One group and shareholders. The other half goes to the teams.
F1 do not disclose how much each time receives but the formula for calculating it has been reported.
The core prize money is equivalent to 47.5 per cent of F1’s profit. It is then divided into two with one half split between the top ten teams in the championship on a sliding scale based on race results.
Hamilton is the highest paid driver, earning a reported £22m per year. Verstappen is second with an annual salary of £18m.
What has been said?
Hamilton has praised his team after they came together to help him come back in the race for the World Championship.
He said: “I’m here to do the best job I can with this incredible team.
“We never thought that we’d be neck and neck going into the last race, we’ve had an amazing recovery collectively as a team, we’ve been in a great position these last few races.
“We go full-steam ahead with that same focus and we don’t waste energy on things that are out of our control.”
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Verstappen has won more races than Hamilton this season and will therefore win the World Championship if neither driver finishes in Abu Dhabi.
There are fears that the Dutchman will crash into Hamilton, even though all drivers have been warned of the Code of Conduct.
Verstappen and Red Bull have insisted that the race will be competed fairly, but the Dutchman has said he will do whatever it takes to win.
“You know, we are both here to win and we will do everything to win, and win the championship ultimately – whatever of course is necessary in terms of points,” he said.
“I think we have raced really well together the whole year, I think we put on a great show for everyone at the end of the day, so hopefully of course we can do the same here.”
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