“Wily” Hamilton has “ridden his luck” against Verstappen - Horner

Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner believes Lewis Hamilton “gives just as good as he gets” when reflecting on Max Verstappen’s intense duel with the seven-time champion at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B battle for the lead at the first race restart.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12 and Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull…
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F1’s two title contenders came to blows again at the inaugural race in Jeddah.

The most controversial flashpoint came on the run down to Turn 27 on Lap 37 when Verstappen was ordered to give the lead back to Hamilton after the former was deemed to have gained a lasting advantage earlier in the race. 

Hamilton run into the back of Verstappen in what looked like a genuine miscommunication, however, the Red Bull driver was handed a 10-second time penalty for “erratic” braking.

Speaking after the race in Jeddah, Horner claims that Hamilton is “very wily” with how he races, pointing to how he pushed Verstappen wide at the final corner to take the lead.

“I would ask you to look at Lewis in the final corner, where he pushed Max off in the same way,” Horner said. “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.

“He’s very wily with the way he does it sometimes. But look at the last corner when he ran Max out wide there. There was another corner as well where he opened the steering wheel I think it was into Turn 1 and 2. 

“These are two guys that are fighting over such fine margins right pushing to the boundary. If you don’t want them to have the ability to run wide, put a gravel trap out there.”

Horner also thinks Hamilton has “ridden his luck” after damaging his wing twice in Jeddah last time out.

“If you had given us this chance of one shot to win this championship in Abu Dhabi at the last race after 21 races of intense battle with Mercedes, I think we’d have all as a team absolutely bitten your arm off for that,” Horner added.

“It’s the first time since we were last there in 2012 and 2010 with Sebastian that rivals team have gone into the final race fighting for the drivers’ world championship. There will be no problem in raising morale going into this final weekend. We’ve actually come out of it with a second place. We managed to get ourselves into a lead for a large percentage of the race once again. 

“But lady luck is shining on Lewis at the moment. Ocon drove over his front wing at the start, he hung on there, he drove up the back of Max. He’s ridden his luck.”

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