Hamilton beat Verstappen in a dramatic and controversial first race in Jeddah to draw level on points with the Red Bull driver and set up a championship showdown at Abu Dhabi next weekend. 

The championship contenders clashed on several occasions during an incident-filled battle for victory, which Hamilton eventually came out on top of to claim his eighth win of the season. 

"For me, I really have to try and just keep my cool out there, which was really difficult to do,” Hamilton said after the race. 

"I've raced a lot of drivers through my life. In 28 years, I've come across a lot of different characters. And there's a few at the top which are like, over the limit. Rules kind of don't apply or don't think of the rules.

"Today I was just trying to do my talking on track, keep my car between the white lines and do it the right way.”

Asked if Verstappen falls into the category he mentioned, Hamilton responded: “He’s over the limit, for sure.

"I've avoided collisions on so many occasions with the guy. I don't always mind being the guy that does that. Because you live to fight another day, which I obviously did.”

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Hamilton said he did not understand why Verstappen was suddenly slowing on the run to Turn 27 when the pair’s most controversial clash happened because he “didn’t get the information”. 

Verstappen had been ordered to hand the position back to Hamilton but the Mercedes driver ended up running into the back of his rival, causing damage to both cars. 

Hamilton claimed Verstappen had tried to “brake-test” him at the time. 

Both have been summoned to the stewards over the incident and an alleged breach of F1’s sporting regulations. 

"I didn't get the information, so I didn't really understand what was going on,” Hamilton explained. 

”All of a sudden he 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 all of a sudden the message started coming through, just as he like braked, he hit the brakes so hard, and I nearly went completely up the back of him and took us both out.

"For him, 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."