F1 news LIVE: Abu Dhabi GP build-up, Verstappen and Hamilton speak on media day – latest updates

LEWIS HAMILTON and Max Verstappen's EPIC F1 title race is going right to the wire, as the defending champ branded his rival "f****** crazy."

The pair finished first and second in Saudi Arabia and are now level on points going into a nail-biting final weekend of fast track action.

There was debris strewn across the track after a heart-stopping moment where Verstappen was forced to let the Brit overtake him and they COLLIDED.

The stench of ill feeling between the Mercedes champ and Red Bull pretender has simmered all season and has boiled over a few times already.

Now, after storming off the podium in a huff, hot-headed Verstappen will have to summon all his might to try and prise the F1 championship off Hamilton, who could become the greatest driver of all time in Abu Dhabi this coming weekend.

Hamilton said of the collision: "This guy is f****** crazy. It was just dangerous driving dude.

"This isn't the first time I've had to avoid collisions.

"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.

"We are supposed to do our racing on track between the white lines.

"The rules haven't been clear from the stewards and those things have been allowed, so it has continued."

Hamilton and Verstappen are now both on 369.5 championship points, but only one driver can take the spoils in the last weekend of action.

  • Saudi Arabian GP result: 1st Hamilton 2nd Verstappen 3rd Bottas 4th Ocon

Follow ALL the latest with our live blog below…

  • Justin Lawrence


    Qualifying is crucial here. Saturday will be of HUGE importance.

    A front row start is imperative if you are to have a chance of winning this race.

    Only once has the winner not started in either P1 or P2.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Mercedes had won six times in a row here, but that run came to an end last year when Verstappen took the chequered flag.

    However, if you listen to those in the paddock, they say that with the new changes, it plays back into the hands of the Silver Arrows.

    The quicker speeds will suit the Mercedes power advantage and they will be able to utilise the DRS zones to the maximum.

    That said, Red Bull have a steely determination and will lap up the twilight twisty sections of the circuit.

  • Justin Lawrence


    This year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will take place on a new and improved layout, making it faster.

    There are three main areas which have been tweaked from previous years.

    The north hairpin (Turn 7), the south marina (beginning at Turn 11), and the hotel section (beginning at Turn 17) have all been redesigned.

    The idea is to increase overtaking, historically a problem on this track by creating sweeping curves rather than hard-braking zones.

  • Justin Lawrence


    Lewis Hamilton has an impressive record in Abu Dhabi. He's won five times while Sebastian Vettel has three victories.

    Mercedes have won seven times at the Yas Marina while Red Bull have four wins.

    • 2009 – Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
    • 2010 – Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
    • 2011 – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
    • 2012 – Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus)
    • 2013 – Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
    • 2014 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
    • 2015 – Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
    • 2016 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
    • 2017 – Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
    • 2018 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
    • 2019 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
    • 2020 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)


    Abu Dhabi is the setting for the final showdown in arguably the greatest title tussle Formula 1 has ever seen.

    Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen go into the last Grand Prix of the season level on points.

    The Yas Marina Circuit was opened in 2009 and constructed at a cost of £800million.

    The lucrative agreement for F1 means the track has hosted the season finale for the past seven years.

    It wraps around the marina and the iconic W Hotel, which is illuminated at dusk.

    Nerdy fact, the 3.3mile track is lit by spotlights and the track surface is made with aggregate from Bayston Hill in Shropshire.


    Max Horner insists that Red Bull win the F1 title on the track and not through words.

    Horner and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff have been embroiled in a war of words all season.

    But none of that will matter as Red Bull ace Max Verstappen and Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton go head-to-head for the title at the Abu Dhabi GP.

    That's the only battle that will matter on the day, Horner reckons.

    He said: “You want to win on the track. Not in a stewards’ room, not in a gravel trap. You want to win it.

    “It’s been a tough fight all the way through the year. There’s been some fantastic racing between these two drivers, and I hope that it’s a fair and clean race in Abu Dhabi.”


    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has urged Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to play fair at the Abu Dhabi GP.

    The pair will battle it out for the F1 world title but Wolff doesn't want the clash to be overshadowed by controversy from either side like it has been previously.

    He told F1.com: "I would hope that [Saudi Arabia] has enough repercussions that everybody's going to learn from it and adapt for the final race in Abu Dhabi.

    "I think that similar driving, if it were deemed by the stewards to be over the line, would be also penalised by the stewards in Abu Dhabi and that could well end in a messy situation for everybody.

    "And I don't think the championship has deserved a result that's influenced by a collision so I very much in that case trust the self-regulating system… the quicker car with the quicker driver should win the championship and not by taking each other off."


    Jenson Button reckons Lewis Hamilton's experience could give him the edge in the F1 title race over Max Verstappen.

    Button's witnessed firsthand what Hamilton's capable of when they worked together at Mclaren.

    But since then Button thinks Hamilton's become even better while Verstappen is still quite young.

    He told Express Sport: "They're both extremely talented. I was alongside Lewis for three years, so I know his talent, I think he's moved on since then in terms of he's more rounded as a driver,

    "Max is still super young, he's had quite a few years in the sport, but his speed is second to none."


    Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been urged not to tarnish their reputations in the race for the F1 title.

    One of the rivals will emerge victorious after the Abu Dhabi GP this weekend following a turbulent season which has seen both drivers penalised at times.

    And Hamilton'e ex-grid colleague Anthony Davidson wants the pair to keep cool heads during the race despite how desperate they both are to win, or they may do something they regret in future.

    Davidson told the Evening Standard: “I think we’ve seen how desperate both drivers are to win. Lewis has the experience, been there and done things I’m sure he regrets now but he has that in his armoury.

    “It’s more for Max’s sake he doesn’t do something that will tarnish his reputation and something that he may internally regret for the rest of his career."

    • Justin Lawrence

      GOOD 4 ALL

      Lewis Hamilton's titanic battle with Max Verstappen for the F1 title will be shown live on Channel 4.

      Sky F1 have reached an agreement with the channel to provide free-to-air coverage of the Abu Dhabi GP.

      Over 2.6million watched on Sky F1 as Hamilton won the last race in Jeddah.

      But those numbers are set to rocket this weekend with it being made more widely available.

      Sky have the rights to broadcast all of F1's GPs live while C4 only show the British GP live with the rest of their coverage in the form of a highlights show.

      They did come to a 'sharing' agreement with Channel 4 for England's dramatic Cricket World Cup final win in 2019 – so there is precedent.

    • William Pugh


      Tension is mounting in Abu Dhabi ahead of the most mouth-watering of season finales.

      Max Vertsappen and Lewis Hamilton are locked on 369.5 points each at the top of the driver standings.

      That means we’re heading for a thrilling decider at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday.

      But before then, we’re going to have to navigate an ever-growing war of words between the two camps.

      Shots have been fired across the paddock by both teams, with bosses Christian Horner and Toto Wolff leading the salvos.

      Horner has been sticking up for his Red Bull man Verstappen, saying he races ‘hard but fair’ and rejecting claims by Hamilton he’s ‘crazy’ on track.

      Mercedes supremo Wolff has insisted his rivalry with Horner is entirely genuine after the pair have locked horns at recent races.

      This weekend is set to be one for the ages and the characters involved are determined not to disappoint.

    • Tristan Barclay


      Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is set to be one for the ages.

      Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton are locked on 369.5 points each at the top of the driver standings.

      Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are first and fourth in the standingsCredit: Alamy

      Verstappen was sitting pretty until seven-time champion Hamilton turned on the after-burners to win the last three races in a row.

      That means they go into the season finale at Yas Marina circuit with the title still up for grabs.

      And Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez is sure the Dutchman has given it absolutely everything going into this weekend.

      He said: "We have pushed ourselves to the maximum, we have given it our all and we will continue to do so until the last lap."

    • Tristan Barclay


      Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is set to be one for the ages.

      Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton are locked on 369.5 points each at the top of the driver standings.

      Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are first and fourth in the standingsCredit: Alamy

      Verstappen was sitting pretty until seven-time champion Hamilton turned on the after-burners to win the last three races in a row.

      That means they go into the season finale at Yas Marina circuit with the title still up for grabs.

      And Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez is sure the Dutchman has given it absolutely everything going into this weekend.

      He said: "We have pushed ourselves to the maximum, we have given it our all and we will continue to do so until the last lap."

    • Tristan Barclay


      Red Bull chief Christian Horner has defended F1 championship leader Max Verstappen after rival Lewis Hamilton branded him 'f***ing crazy'.

      Seven-time champ Hamilton and Verstappen have been involved in a number of incidents this season.

      Max Verstappen is level on points with Lewis Hamilton in the driver standingsCredit: Reuters

      But their rivalry boiled over last Sunday when Verstappen received two time penalties, including one for 'brake checking' Hamilton.

      After the incident, Hamilton blasted: "This guy is f***ing crazy, man. It was just dangerous driving dude."

      Hamilton went on to win the Saudi Arabian GP and tie the title race up at 369.5 points each with just Abu Dhabi to go.

      But Horner disagrees with the Brit's assessment of the young and hungry Dutchman and says Red Bull want to 'win the championship on the track'.

      Horner told The Times: "He's certainly not crazy.

      "Max wants to win this championship on the track. It's as simple as that. 

      “He's a hard racer but a fair racer, and I expect no different this weekend. Nobody wants to win this championship in a gravel trap or in a stewards' inquiry."

    • Tristan Barclay


      Lewis Hamilton has promised to keep his title fight with Max Verstappen clean because he doesn't want to win it the 'dirty' way.

      The Brit also says he doesn't fear a Michael Schumacher-style wipe out in Sunday's crunch race.

      Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are level on points in the driver standingsCredit: Reuters

      It's winner takes all in Abu Dhabi for the F1 season finale as both drivers are level on points.

      Verstappen though has the advantage of more wins, nine to Hamilton's eight meaning that if BOTH crashed out, the Dutchman would be crowned champ.

      In 1994, Schumacher collided with Damon Hill, sending both drivers out of the race, allowing the German to win the title.

      Schumacher repeated the stunt in 1997 when he crashed into Jacques Villeneuve – but this time he was disqualified from the whole season, handing victory to the Canadian.

      Hamilton was quizzed by German publication Bild on whether he can expect the same treatment from Verstappen on Sunday.

      He said: "No. I am not afraid of what may or may not happen at all. I don't give any space to such thoughts.

      "I don't have a history of such accidents but I can only control my car and make my decisions and not those for Max.

      "Of course there are situations in which you know that the corner could decide the world title.

      "But then you have to take the risk to be the fastest and the first to cross the finishing line. I want to win the title, but do it the right way. And not dirty."

    • Tristan Barclay


      The F1 season finale at Abu Dhabi this weekend is set for an epic battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

      The pair sit locked on 369.5 points each at the top of the driver standings with just one race left.

      But while the title is decided up front at Yas Marina Circuit, Sunday will also see the farewell of fan favourite Kimi Raikonnen.

      The 42-year-old Alfa Romeo driver is calling time on a glittering career that saw him become world champion in 2007.

      He’s enjoyed one last dose of fun before getting to business on his swansong race this weekend – terrifying his young team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi with a high-speed lap of the Abu Dhabi circuit.

    • Tristan Barclay


      Mercedes have touched down at Yas Marina circuit for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

      Their man Lewis Hamilton is level on points with Red Bull rival Max Verstappen going into the last race of the year.

      Roll forward to Sunday and this view won't be anything like as quiet…

    • Justin Lawrence


      Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has praised Lewis Hamilton for the passion he brings to the team.

      Hamilton.s managed to turn around a 14-point deficit to be neck and neck with Max Verstappen going into the Abu Dhabi GP this weekend.

      And Shovlin revealed that Hamilton's resurgence has been an inspiration for the Mercedes collective.

      He said: “Lewis is bringing an enormous about of energy and focus to the team, it’s absolutely inspiration looking at what he’s done over the last few races and what he’s had to deal with. "

    • Justin Lawrence

      IT'S OVER

      Mercedes have released a statement explaining why they chose to end their ill-fated partnership with Kingspan who have been allegedly linked with the Grenfell fire tragedy.

      The statement read: “The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership.

      “Announced last week, the new partnership included Kingspan chairing a new Sustainability Working Group for the team, and aimed to deliver carbon reductions through their leading-edge environmentally sustainable solutions for the team's future campus. 

      “However, both parties have subsequently concluded that it is not appropriate for the partnership to move forward at the current point in time, notwithstanding its intended positive impact, and we have therefore agreed that it will be discontinued with immediate effect.”

      A Kingspan statement said they are “deeply aware of the sensitivities raised in recent days, and so we have jointly agreed that it’s not appropriate to move forward at the current point in time".

      They went on to say they have "had no role in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment” and that its insulation UK business is “a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and fully supports the Inquiry’s important work”.

    • Justin Lawrence


      Mercedes have ended their controversial relationship with sponsor Kingspan following a backlash from victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

      The F1 team announced the building materials company as a new partner ahead of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix last weekend.

      The insulation produced by Kingspan was one of the products used on the outside of the Grenfell Tower – where 72 people died after a fire in June 2017.

      And the role the company's product played in the tragedy is currently the subject of a public enquiry.

      The pressure group Grenfell United, which consists of survivors and bereaved family members, wrote to Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff to convey their disdain at the link-up.

      And UK government minister Michael Gove also issued a letter to Wolff insisting he change his mind on the deal with Kingspan.

      Mercedes, who had Kingspan's logo on their cars for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, have now confirmed the end of that partnership by mutual consent.

    • Justin Lawrence


      Red Bull supremo Max Horner thinks Lewis Hamilton gives as good as he gets in his spats with Max Verstappen.

      Hamilton and Verstappen clashed once again at the Saudi GP where the Red Bull driver was handed a 10-second time penalty for “erratic” braking.

      But Hamilton was also guilty of similar behaviour Horner thinks.

      He said: "I would ask you to look at Lewis in the final corner, where he pushed Max off in the same way.

      “Any driver that’s come through karting or that raced in any category, you know that is hard racing.

      "That’s how these kids have raced throughout their careers and Lewis gives just as good as he gets."

    • Justin Lawrence

      NOT FAIR

      Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are 'bullying' Max Verstappen and 'not paying fair', according to former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

      In one of the greatest battles of all time, seven-time champion Hamilton and Dutch youngster Verstappen head into the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi level on points.

      Speaking to AFP, the ex-F1 chief said: “Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him.

      “They have been pushing down all the time on Max and then the race directors have been looking in because Toto goes to the race director.

      Max has more than a race to confront as he has them too on his back because they are bullying him and not playing fair. It is psychological game playing.

      “Max has had a few years of racing but has not had years in the streets like Lewis."

    • Justin Lawrence

      I'M SORRY

      Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has apologised to Lewis Hamilton for the comment he made after the Saudi Arabia GP.

      Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided during the race and Marko denied Verstappen was guitly of any wrongdoing.

      But Marko's had a change of heart after reviewing the incident.

      He said to F1-insider: “At the time of the television interview, I passed on exactly the information I had previously received from the engineers.

      “They obviously weren’t right, so I’m sorry.”

    • Justin Lawrence


      Formula One will 'fine-tune' the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix but it will not be overhauled despite being described as 'scary' by Red Bull driver Sergio Perez.

      There were a host of crashes throughout the weekend in Jeddah as the new circuit's debut on the F1 calendar brought with it both drama and danger.

      A series of incidents occurred in the F1 race throughout the practice sessions and race itself, with five of the 20 cars failing to finish on Sunday.

      And there was also a horror collision in the F2 race when Enzo Fittipaldi smashed into the back of Theo Pourchaire after he stalled on the grid.

      Yet despite all of the accidents – and two race restarts in the F1 race due to red flags – FIA race director Michael Masi does not believe there needs to be wholesale change to the track.

    • Justin Lawrence


      The Abu Dhabi GP could be shown for FREE on TV as Channel 4 and Sky are in talks to share the live rights, according to reports.

      Sunday's 'winner-takes-all' showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is set to be a thriller and British TV audiences may be able to watch it for nothing.

      Sky are the live rights holders but sources close to Channel 4 told the Times initial discussions have taken place about a deal which would see the race shown on free-to-air terrestrial TV too.

      Hamilton, 36, and Verstappen, 24, are level on points in the drivers' standings which has set up a mouthwatering final race of the season.

      The Brit would bag a record eighth championship were he to win.

      Channel 4 currently have the highlights rights to the F1 coverage which has encouraged fans.

      But an outcome to the talks is not expected until later this week.

      And there is also said to be a chance the decision may not be made until the weekend.

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