MUST-SEE: Controversy as Verstappen and Hamilton nearly collide at race restart – while chaos behind leads to second red flag
Following a red flag caused by Mick Schumacher crashing on Lap 10 of 50 of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, there was more drama to come at the Lap 15 race restart, as title protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen faced off as the racing resumed.
A decision not to pit under the Safety Car brought out for Schumacher’s incident – as both Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas did – paid dividends for Verstappen, as the subsequent red flag allowed him a free tyre change in the pit lane before taking up P1 at the restart.
WATCH: Big Schumacher crash leads to red flag in Saudi Arabia
But at that restart, Hamilton from P2 got a better getaway than his adversary, taking the lead into Turn 1. But Verstappen then took to the run-off before cutting back onto the track in front of Hamilton, with Hamilton then demoted to P3 as Esteban Ocon got past too.
Behind, Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez was tagged into a spin after contact with Charles Leclerc, as Nikita Mazepin in the sole surviving Haas rear-ended the Williams of George Russell – with that chaos leading to a second red flag of the night. Meanwhile, the stewards would later order Verstappen to take the second restart of the night in P3, behind Ocon and Hamilton, after his Turn 1 moment.
Watch how the action unfolded in the video up top and below.