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  1. #1
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    2021 - Race 22 Abu Dhabi

    F1 gets their "wet dream". This is one for all the marbles.

    I don't see how Hamilton will be stopped. This won't be last year's race. Hamilton was recovering from Covid and his finish last year was a testament to his inner strength. The changes to the track should also help Mercedes.

    I have decided 22 races is too much. I think 18 is probably the magic number.

  2. #2
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    I really don't have a problem with 22 races, but the triple headers seem fairly taxing on the teams.

    I guess at this point it all depends on the track changes mostly. We know both Lewis and Max will push the cars to the limit, and we know Lewis isn't in recovery mode this year. What we don't know is how the layout changes will impact the teams and drivers.

    Regardless of who wins, it's been a really good season with a lot of tight racing up front. I'm sure that there will be a lot of crying and whining no matter who takes the title.

    Now if we could only get more of the field into fights this close we would have..... good racing and a lot more accusations of cheating, payoffs, rigging, major internet fits, finger pointing, and controversy in general. BUT.... I'd just enjoy the racing myself, unless it reaches a point of allowing dangerous stuff.

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    The final count down. The rumble in the desert.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

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    Quote Originally Posted by airshifter View Post
    I really don't have a problem with 22 races, but the triple headers seem fairly taxing on the teams.

    I guess at this point it all depends on the track changes mostly. We know both Lewis and Max will push the cars to the limit, and we know Lewis isn't in recovery mode this year. What we don't know is how the layout changes will impact the teams and drivers.

    Regardless of who wins, it's been a really good season with a lot of tight racing up front. I'm sure that there will be a lot of crying and whining no matter who takes the title.

    Now if we could only get more of the field into fights this close we would have..... good racing and a lot more accusations of cheating, payoffs, rigging, major internet fits, finger pointing, and controversy in general. BUT.... I'd just enjoy the racing myself, unless it reaches a point of allowing dangerous stuff.
    Controversy is what makes F1 racing exciting. There has to be a villain or two, a tight battle. Inter team rivalry and finger-pointing at each other's cars for something or the other. And us the fans splitting into camps arguing the various perspectives of the events.

    The main issue this year has been on driving standards. Verstappen has come along from F3 and has brought his F3 antics with him. It is refreshing but sometimes it gets a bit much like in Jeddah. We want to see great racing. But we don't want the drivers to kill themselves in the process. So there has to be a limit and all drivers must keep within that limit as no one driver has a monopoly on dangerous driving.

    Then, there are the stewarding standards. We have witnessed some woeful stewarding this season. The feedback from the stewarding of this season has sent mixed messages about what constitutes good racing etiquette. If we have to give a score out of ten, l would say 4/10. The racing director has been crap at his job. I personally think he should be relieved of his duties and sent home.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 7th December 2021 at 12:24.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

  5. #5
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    Hill: I can’t really see what Verstappen did wrong
    Paul Velasco
    6 December, 2021

    While FIA Race Stewards slapped Max Verstappen with two penalties during a riveting but chaotic inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill believes the Red Bull driver did nothing wrong.

    The race at the all-new and very daunting Jeddah Corniche Circuit was fraught with controversy, triggered by Mick Schumacher’s heavy crash at Turn 22 which prompted a safety car and then a red flag as marshals cleared up the wreck.

    What followed was pandemonium, another two crashes – Sergio Perez and Nikita Mazepin – ending that stint rapidly and, notably, exposing a super-aggressive Verstappen willing to do just about anything to get ahead of his title rival.

    Arguably the most contentious point was when, after cutting the track Verstappen was told by his team, under orders from race stewards, to “strategically” allow Hamilton, the Red Bull driver took his time to abide while employing ‘tricks’ to keep the Mercedes behind.

    This, of course, was in the wake of Mercedes playing dirty by getting Valtteri Bottas to hold up Verstappen when the pits got busy after Schumacher’s crash. The #77 car crawled almost to its first pitstop blatantly holding up the Red Bull.

    Regarding the so-called “brake-test” and incidents leading to the penalties, Hill said: “It will be upon the driver who is letting the other past to do it as safely as possible. But I can’t really see what Max did wrong.

    “He may have slowed down abruptly, but I think Lewis was nervous about going alongside him,” summed up the 1996 F1 World Champion.


    The vicious circle souring the Verstappen vs Hamilton F1 duel
    Dec 7 2021
    By Scott Mitchell

    A few months ago the suggestion the Formula 1 title fight could turn ugly was dismissed by both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
    Now they face a winner-takes-all showdown in Abu Dhabi, and the rivalry has soured considerably.

    The last truly clean fight was probably in France, where Verstappen passed Hamilton late on to win the grand prix after Hamilton knew he was a sitting duck on old tyres and opted not to fight.

    Since then there have been six flashpoints as the championship fight has gradually descended into a bitter, immensely tense affair and the respect and trust has slowly eroded.

    The escalation, of course, was the British Grand Prix, where Hamilton hit Verstappen and sent him into the barrier at high-speed.

    Hamilton was deemed predominantly at fault and was given a 10-second penalty but Red Bull and Verstappen were outraged and this moment clearly represented a shift in the relationship, as Red Bull attacked Hamilton and Mercedes accused Red Bull of trying to tarnish its driver’s reputation.

    https://the-race.com/formula-1/the-v...ilton-f1-duel/


    Max Verstappen is my ‘gladiator’ says Red Bull boss Christian Horner
    Red Bull boss Christian Horner has told Max Verstappen to take his one shot at Formula One title glory in Abu Dhabi after praising his “gladiator” drive at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

    By Mark Mann-Bryans
    Monday, 6th December 2021, 9:45 pm

    Verstappen finished second in an action-packed debut race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit despite being hit with two time penalties totalling 15 seconds.
    Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag after the title protagonists had once again collided on track.

    https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/spor...horner-3484715


    ‘Like being at the local market’: Christian Horner lifts lid on negotiations with FIA
    Red Bull were twice asked to hand back a position to Lewis Hamilton in a chaotic Saudi GP

    Tom Kershaw
    09:37 7th December 2021.

    Christian Horner has compared Red Bull’s negotiations with the FIA during last Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to being at a “local market”.

    After the race was called to a halt for a second time due to a red flag, Formula 1 race director Michael Masi asked Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley if they would accept moving Max Verstappen down a grid position for the restart.

    Verstappen had overtaken Hamilton after the first restart but only by running off the track around the outside and gaining an unfair advantage.

    Wheatley effectively asked Red Bull to consider giving back the place or else risk intervention from the stewards, who would have had the power to hand Verstappen a penalty.

    The communication between the FIA and the Red Bull director was broadcast live on television.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...-b1971167.html


    Hamilton/Verstappen battle at Jeddah like "rental karting" - Villeneuve
    By:Adam Cooper
    Dec 7, 2021, 10:21 AM
    Former Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve has described the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the Saudi Arabian GP as "rental karting."

    The Canadian has also questioned whether the sport is becoming too much of a "Hollywood show."

    TV pundit Villeneuve, who was involved in a messy battle for the 1997 world championship with Michael Schumacher, questioned many of the events that unfolded during the controversial Jeddah night race.

    "It wasn't F1, it was rental karting," Villeneuve told Motorsport.com. "Everything was wrong. So I'm not sure what to say.

    "And it's hard to stay neutral, it's hard to give a comment on what happened every time and be perceived as being neutral. You will always be perceived as taking sides, and that's when it becomes a bit too much.

    "Do we want sport and good F1? Or do we just want a Hollywood show? If you want a Hollywood show, today was amazing. But is that what F1 is all about?

    "I don't know. I mean, I think today Frank [Williams] would have turned in his grave, seeing this race.

    "And then when you see the team principals, everybody is shouting, and putting pressure even on the marshals and so on, that becomes ridiculous. It really has become ridiculous.

    "It was great for the fans. So that probably will increase the viewership. Which is great for F1. But we're starting to get away from the sport, that's all. So ultimately, it depends if you're a purist or not."

    https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/v...rting/6859880/


    Ralf Schumacher picks side as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton fight for F1 title
    RALF SCHUMACHER has opened up on Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's intense fight for F1 glory.

    By Jack Otway
    09:40, Tue, Dec 7, 2021 | UPDATED: 09:47, Tue, Dec 7, 2021

    Ralf Schumacher is backing Max Verstappen to beat Lewis Hamilton to this year’s F1 Drivers’ Championship. The Red Bull and Mercedes stars are both level going into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. And it promises to be a stunning weekend of Formula One action.

    https://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-a...ws-Formula-One


    Lewis Hamilton v Max Verstappen: Ex-F1 driver backing Dutchman to seal title in Abu Dhabi
    By George Dagless
    Published: 07 Dec 2021, 10:30

    Former Formula 1 driver Giedo van der Garde says he is totally confident that Max Verstappen is going to win the world championship this weekend in Abu Dhabi.

    Certainly, it seems anyone's guess as to where the championship is going to head but former driver Van der Garde is at least backing Verstappen to complete the job:

    “I know Max, he’s been fighting for the title all year and stays cool.”

    “He’s going to get it.”

    “He won there last year. And you’ve seen in Mexico, when you’ve won somewhere you go there with confidence.”

    https://www.givemesport.com/1798231-...e-in-abu-dhabi


    "Wily" Hamilton "gives as good as he gets" against Verstappen - Horner
    Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale
    Tuesday 7 December 2021 07:00

    With the accumulation of on-the-edge driving conduct from the Red Bull driver, Horner was asked to respond to suggestions Verstappen 'doesn't care' about other racers when 'flinging' his car into corners.

    "I would ask you to look at Lewis' incident in the final corner where he pushed Max off in the same way," replied Horner.

    "Any driver that's come through karting, and raced in any category, that is hard racing. That's how these kids have raced throughout their careers.
    "Lewis gives just as good as he gets. He's very wily with the way he does it sometimes.

    "But look at that last corner where he ran Max out wide there, and there was another corner as well where he has opened the steering wheel and he was into turn one, too.

    "These two guys that are fighting over such fine margins, are pushing to the boundaries, if you don't want them to have the ability to run wide, put a gravel trap there."

    https://www.gpfans.com/en/f1-news/73...tappen-horner/

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    Max Verstappen ‘will do anything’ to beat Lewis Hamilton, says father
    Jos Verstappen said that he doesn’t expect a crash but that his son will ‘definitely go for it’

    Tom Kershaw
    08:40 7th Dec 2021

    Max Verstappen “will do anything” to defeat Lewis Hamilton in this weekend’s Formula One title decider in Abu Dhabi.

    Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton head into the season’s final race level on points after their acrimonious rivalry peaked in Saudi Arabia last weekend, with a series of flashpoints dominating a chaotic race before Hamilton eventually prevailed.

    However, due to Verstappen having won more races this season, a crash that renders both drivers to finish the race in Abu Dhabi would hand the Red Bull driver his first world championship.

    Asked whether his son would consider ramming Hamilton off the road, the Dutchman’s father, Jos, a former F1 driver himself, told the Daily Mail: “I don’t think that will happen.

    “Max absolutely wants to win. He will definitely go for it. He will clearly try to beat him. He will do everything to get the win, that’s for sure. It will be exciting.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...-b1971121.html


    Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021: Time, TV and title permutations
    Date published: December 6 2021 - Henry Valantine

    A frantic and entertaining introduction to F1 in Saudi Arabia has set up a dramatic conclusion to 2021 in this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    Lewis Hamilton took victory in a gripping race in Jeddah last time out, with his win and fastest lap point combining to put him level on points with title rival Max Verstappen heading into the final race of the year.

    Everything is at stake in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings heading into the race, with Mercedes holding the advantage in the team standings and Verstappen topping the individual table by virtue of having an extra race win over Hamilton’s tally.

    The stage is set, then, for the climax of what has been a Formula 1 season for the ages.

    Here is everything you need to know ahead of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix…

    When is the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

    Practice 1: Friday 10 December: 1330-1430 (0930-1030 GMT)

    Practice 2: Friday 10 December: 1700-1800 (1300-1400 GMT)

    Practice 3: Saturday 11 December: 1400-1500 (1000-1100 GMT)

    Qualifying: Saturday 11 December: 1700 (1300 GMT)

    Race: Sunday 12 December: 1700 (1300 GMT)

    https://www.planetf1.com/features/ab...r-live-stream/

  7. #7
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    Ex F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone Says Hamilton Is Bullying Verstappen After Abu Dhabi
    8 Dec 2021, 17:27 UTC
    by Sebastian Toma

    In the second-to-last race of this year's Formula 1 season, the fight for the driver's championship title has reached another level. A clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton made the rounds across the world. Bernie Ecclestone, the former chief of Formula 1, has shared his view with the media.

    According to Bernie Ecclestone, it is not just the fans who are upset. In an interview with AFP and quoted by The Sun, Ecclestone stated that both Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were "bullying Max Verstappen," and the British driver and his team are "not playing fair," as the former boss of Formula 1 told AFP in an exclusive interview.

    Long story short, Verstappen was told to give Hamilton his place back after an incident that almost resulted in a crash. Upon receiving the instruction to give the position to Hamilton through the radio, the Dutch driver slowed down, and that caused a collision with the seven-time world champion. Verstappen was then given a penalty by the stewards for causing a collision

    Lewis Hamilton had insisted that Verstappen "brake-tested him," while the Dutch pilot stuck to his claim that he simply let driver 44 go past him.

    In the interview with AFP, Ecclestone stated that "Max is a kid compared to Lewis, and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him." Ecclestone accused the Mercedes-AMG F1 team of being bullish to Max Verstappen, both on and off the track.

    In Bernie Ecclestone's view, Hamilton and his team are also playing a psychological game, not just racing, while this year brought the first car to challenge Mercedes's lead in the championship.

    https://www.autoevolution.com/news/e...bi-176056.html


    MAX VERSTAPPEN
    Hakkinen: I don't believe Verstappen 'brake tested' Hamilton

    8th Dec 2021, ‎12‎:‎50

    The clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix continues to be a talking point. Mika Hakkinen has called the incident "dangerous", but disagrees with Hamilton's claim that Verstappen "brake tested" him.

    Mika Hakkinen admits that the collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was "dangerous", but does not believe that Verstappen was trying to brake test his title rival.

    The incident happened on Lap 37 when Verstappen slowed to yield position to Hamilton following an illegal overtake. Hamilton was seemingly confused by the situation and ran into the back of the Red Bull driver.

    Following a stewards' investigation after the Grand Prix, Verstappen was handed a 10-second time penalty for the incident, though this did not affect his finishing position of second.

    https://racingnews365.com/hakkinen-i...ested-hamilton


    Lewis Hamilton ‘bullying’ Max Verstappen and ‘not playing fair’, Bernie Ecclestone claims
    Hamilton has won three races in a row as his title race with Verstappen goes down to the wire in Abu Dhabi this weekend

    Jamie Braidwood

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...-b1972030.html


    Lewis Hamilton v Max Verstappen: Ecclestone criticises Brit & Toto Wolff for 'psychological game playing'
    By George Dagless
    Published: 08 Dec 2021, 13:00

    Our two protagonists go into the final race level on points after a superb resurgence from Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, too, but former F1 supremo Ecclestone thinks that that side of the title fight has perhaps not always played fair in recent weeks:

    "Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him," Ecclestone told AFP.

    "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," said Ecclestone.

    "It has built character and knowing he would win the race with Mercedes being the dominant force over the past few years has made him a much stronger character than Max.

    "For Max, this season is the first one he has had a car capable of winning regularly whereas before it was nothing like competitive."

    https://www.givemesport.com/1799133-...l-game-playing


    Bernie Ecclestone tears into Lewis Hamilton over Max Verstappen treatment
    LEWIS HAMILTON and Max Verstappen collided at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday.

    By Tom Parsons
    11:16, Wed, Dec 8, 2021 | UPDATED: 18:04, Wed, Dec 8, 2021

    And former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone believes Verstappen is getting a raw deal from his nemesis.

    “Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him,” Ecclestone told AFP.

    “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.

    https://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-a...-Bull-Mercedes


    Ecclestone: Mercedes bullying Verstappen and not playing fair
    AFP
    8 December, 2021

    2021 Formula 1 World Title challenger Max Verstappen has been bullied by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team this season, the sport’s former big boss Bernie Ecclestone told AFP ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale on Sunday.

    Verstappen and Hamilton are tied on points after a controversy packed Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and Ecclestone believes the pressure by Mercedes “psychological game-playing” has had a significant bearing on the Title race.

    Ecclestone – who over several decades transformed the sport into a global multi-billion-dollar commercial giant – said Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff and Hamilton were “not playing fair.”

    It certainly appears to have had an impact on the 24-year-old Dutch driver.

    Back in July Verstappen had built up a 32-point lead but the momentum is now back at Mercedes with Hamilton driving like a man with an unprecedented eighth World Championship in his sights.

    “Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him,” Ecclestone told AFP by phone from his home in Ibiza.

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

    “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.”
    Ecclestone, 91, says if it comes down to mind games Hamilton is in the stronger position: “Max has had a few years of racing but has not had years in the streets like Lewis.

    “It has built character and knowing he would win the race with Mercedes being the dominant force over the past few years has made him a much stronger character than Max.

    “For Max, this season is the first one he has had a car capable of winning regularly whereas before it was nothing like competitive.”

    https://www.grandprix247.com/2021/12...-prix-preview/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortitude View Post
    Ex F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone Says Hamilton Is Bullying Verstappen After Abu Dhabi
    8 Dec 2021, 17:27 UTC
    by Sebastian Toma

    In the second-to-last race of this year's Formula 1 season, the fight for the driver's championship title has reached another level. A clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton made the rounds across the world. Bernie Ecclestone, the former chief of Formula 1, has shared his view with the media.

    According to Bernie Ecclestone, it is not just the fans who are upset. In an interview with AFP and quoted by The Sun, Ecclestone stated that both Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were "bullying Max Verstappen," and the British driver and his team are "not playing fair," as the former boss of Formula 1 told AFP in an exclusive interview.

    Long story short, Verstappen was told to give Hamilton his place back after an incident that almost resulted in a crash. Upon receiving the instruction to give the position to Hamilton through the radio, the Dutch driver slowed down, and that caused a collision with the seven-time world champion. Verstappen was then given a penalty by the stewards for causing a collision

    Lewis Hamilton had insisted that Verstappen "brake-tested him," while the Dutch pilot stuck to his claim that he simply let driver 44 go past him.

    In the interview with AFP, Ecclestone stated that "Max is a kid compared to Lewis, and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him." Ecclestone accused the Mercedes-AMG F1 team of being bullish to Max Verstappen, both on and off the track.

    In Bernie Ecclestone's view, Hamilton and his team are also playing a psychological game, not just racing, while this year brought the first car to challenge Mercedes's lead in the championship.

    https://www.autoevolution.com/news/e...bi-176056.html


    MAX VERSTAPPEN
    Hakkinen: I don't believe Verstappen 'brake tested' Hamilton

    8th Dec 2021, ‎12‎:‎50

    The clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix continues to be a talking point. Mika Hakkinen has called the incident "dangerous", but disagrees with Hamilton's claim that Verstappen "brake tested" him.

    Mika Hakkinen admits that the collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was "dangerous", but does not believe that Verstappen was trying to brake test his title rival.

    The incident happened on Lap 37 when Verstappen slowed to yield position to Hamilton following an illegal overtake. Hamilton was seemingly confused by the situation and ran into the back of the Red Bull driver.

    Following a stewards' investigation after the Grand Prix, Verstappen was handed a 10-second time penalty for the incident, though this did not affect his finishing position of second.

    https://racingnews365.com/hakkinen-i...ested-hamilton


    Lewis Hamilton ‘bullying’ Max Verstappen and ‘not playing fair’, Bernie Ecclestone claims
    Hamilton has won three races in a row as his title race with Verstappen goes down to the wire in Abu Dhabi this weekend

    Jamie Braidwood

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...-b1972030.html


    Lewis Hamilton v Max Verstappen: Ecclestone criticises Brit & Toto Wolff for 'psychological game playing'
    By George Dagless
    Published: 08 Dec 2021, 13:00

    Our two protagonists go into the final race level on points after a superb resurgence from Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, too, but former F1 supremo Ecclestone thinks that that side of the title fight has perhaps not always played fair in recent weeks:

    "Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him," Ecclestone told AFP.

    "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," said Ecclestone.

    "It has built character and knowing he would win the race with Mercedes being the dominant force over the past few years has made him a much stronger character than Max.

    "For Max, this season is the first one he has had a car capable of winning regularly whereas before it was nothing like competitive."

    https://www.givemesport.com/1799133-...l-game-playing


    Bernie Ecclestone tears into Lewis Hamilton over Max Verstappen treatment
    LEWIS HAMILTON and Max Verstappen collided at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday.

    By Tom Parsons
    11:16, Wed, Dec 8, 2021 | UPDATED: 18:04, Wed, Dec 8, 2021

    And former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone believes Verstappen is getting a raw deal from his nemesis.

    “Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him,” Ecclestone told AFP.

    “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.

    https://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-a...-Bull-Mercedes


    Ecclestone: Mercedes bullying Verstappen and not playing fair
    AFP
    8 December, 2021

    2021 Formula 1 World Title challenger Max Verstappen has been bullied by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team this season, the sport’s former big boss Bernie Ecclestone told AFP ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale on Sunday.

    Verstappen and Hamilton are tied on points after a controversy packed Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and Ecclestone believes the pressure by Mercedes “psychological game-playing” has had a significant bearing on the Title race.

    Ecclestone – who over several decades transformed the sport into a global multi-billion-dollar commercial giant – said Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff and Hamilton were “not playing fair.”

    It certainly appears to have had an impact on the 24-year-old Dutch driver.

    Back in July Verstappen had built up a 32-point lead but the momentum is now back at Mercedes with Hamilton driving like a man with an unprecedented eighth World Championship in his sights.

    “Max is a kid compared to Lewis and the worst thing is Lewis has a massive publicity campaign working for him,” Ecclestone told AFP by phone from his home in Ibiza.

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

    “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.”
    Ecclestone, 91, says if it comes down to mind games Hamilton is in the stronger position: “Max has had a few years of racing but has not had years in the streets like Lewis.

    “It has built character and knowing he would win the race with Mercedes being the dominant force over the past few years has made him a much stronger character than Max.

    “For Max, this season is the first one he has had a car capable of winning regularly whereas before it was nothing like competitive.”

    https://www.grandprix247.com/2021/12...-prix-preview/
    You have a knack for finding crap publication to peddle on here. It is funny l give you that.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

  9. #9
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    Max "deserves" title, says Alonso
    NEWS STORY
    09/12/2021

    Two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso believes Max Verstappen "deserves" the 2021 title.

    Last weekend we watched as the Spaniard, no slouch himself, looked on in awe as the Dutchman looked destined to take pole only to throw it all away at the final corner.

    Heading into the big showdown, two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso, who has seen his own fair share of controversy over the years, says that Verstappen deserves the title.

    "It will depend on the package a little bit," he told reporters as the Abu Dhabi weekend got underway, "Mercedes lately have been more performing and they've won a couple of races now, but Max is driving, in my opinion, one step ahead of all of us.

    "We saw the lap in Jeddah," he continued, "until he touched the wall at the last corner, that lap was coming from Max, not the Red Bull.

    https://www.pitpass.com/71537/Max-de...le-says-Alonso


    Verstappen says he’ll do ‘whatever’s necessary’ to win first title as he praises strong Red Bull season
    09 December 2021

    What will Max Verstappen do to win his first ever Formula 1 World Championship? “Whatever is necessary” according to the Dutch driver – although he said any idea of the title fight between him and Lewis Hamilton being settled by a collision in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finale were the invention of the media.

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/a...sDQxVpUfx.html


    Horner: Verstappen 'wants to win this championship on the track'
    TSN.ca Staff
    9/12/2021 13:11

    https://www.tsn.ca/horner-verstappen...rack-1.1732436


    Dec 9, 2021 7:09am PT
    Sky Sports and Channel 4 to Broadcast F1 Final in U.K. as Lewis Hamilton Hunts for His Eighth World Title – Global Bulletin

    By Jamie Lang, Patrick Frater

    RACING
    Sky and Channel 4 in the U.K. are partnering to bring Sky Sports’ coverage of this season’s F1 final to the entirety of the territory on both networks simultaneously. It looks to be an historic night for F1 and the U.K.’s highest-profile racer Lewis Hamilton, who could clinch his eighth world title cementing his place at the top of the sport’s all-time winningest drivers. At present, the seven-time world chimp is tied on points with Belgian driver Max Verstappen, meaning that whoever finishes higher at Yas Marina will walk away with this year’s title. The historic race is being billed as Lewis v Max: Decider in the Desert.

    https://variety.com/2021/tv/global/l...-1-1235129810/

  10. #10
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    it is good to see that Masi has relied on some experienced heads for this season finale. The warning from Masi has been strong and stern. As he warns that championship points would be deducted if necessary should anything considered an unfair foul were to happen during the race. We wait to see if they would operate the stewarding service correctly and effectively of course.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

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