Toto Wolff warns F1 title fight could get ‘really ugly’ at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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·2 min read
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  • Max Verstappen
    Max Verstappen
    Dutch-Belgian racing driver
  • Lewis Hamilton
    Lewis Hamilton
    British racing driver

Toto Wolff has warned the Formula One title race could get “really ugly” with everything to play for in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton drew level with rival Max Verstappen at the top of the drivers’ standings with just one race remaining after winning a chaotic contest in Saudi Arabia on Sunday which again saw the two tangle on track.

A remarkable coming-together on lap 37 saw both drivers hauled in front of the stewards as Hamilton hit Verstappen, with the latter claiming he was attempting to let his rival pass following an earlier overtake.

In doing so, Verstappen slowed down significantly and Hamilton ran into the back of the Red Bull.

It is of course not the first time the two have come together in what has been a dramatic season with Mercedes chief Wolff fearing the worst for the season finale next weekend.

"In Brazil, I said we are setting a precedent if it's not investigated that could end up really ugly for the championship,” he said after the race. “And we have seen incidents that were pretty much Brazil at slower speeds. And we don't want to have that in Abu Dhabi. The quicker car with the quicker driver should win the championship and not by taking each other off.

"I would hope today's race has enough repercussions that everybody is going to learn from it and adapt for the final race in Abu Dhabi.

"Similar driving if it were deemed by the stewards to be over the line would probably also be penalised in Abu Dhabi and that could well end in a messy situation for everybody and I don't think the championship deserves a result influenced by a collision. So I very much trust in the self-regulating decision."

Asked afterwards whether he felt Verstappen drove dangerously enough that he could have been put out of the race, Hamilton replied: "I definitely feel that there were scenarios where that was the case.

"This isn't the first time I have had to avoid collisions and that is how I felt in the moment, sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment and go back and re-watch things and maybe feel differently.

"In the moment that is how it felt but I just try to recompose myself, chase him down and keep fighting.

"It was clear that others around us were willing to take it to all sorts of levels to overtake so I just tried to keep it on the track and stay out of trouble - avoid incidents if I could and I was really, really grateful that I had a wing by the end.

"I know I can't overtake someone off track and keep the position - that is well known between all us drivers, but that does apply to one of us I guess."

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