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Hamilton v Verstappen: The story so far as Jeddah chaos sets up dramatic finale

Hamilton v Verstappen: The story so far as Jeddah chaos sets up dramatic finale

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Hamilton v Verstappen: The story so far as Jeddah chaos sets up dramatic finale

Hamilton v Verstappen: The story so far as Jeddah chaos sets up dramatic finale
GPFans Staff

This F1 season will go down in the history books as a classic featuring two drivers at the top of their game.

There has been intrigue on and off the track as Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have finally been challenged by contenders in the form of Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

With one race to go, both drivers are tied on points. Who will come out on top?

GPFans looks back on a campaign that has ebbed and flowed.

Bahrain Grand Prix

The drama started in the opening race where, despite the Red Bull's superior speed, Hamilton took first blood. This was after Verstappen was forced to give the lead back after making a move off-track.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Hamilton - 25

2. Verstappen - 18

***

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Verstappen lay down a marker at Imola with an aggressive move into turn one before sauntering to victory in difficult wet-dry conditions.

Hamilton made an error and slid off the road into the barriers at Tosa but was afforded a lifeline when a serious incident between Bottas and George Russell brought the red flags out at Tamburello. He recovered to second to limit the damage.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Hamilton - 44

2. Verstappen - 43

***

Portuguese Grand Prix

Portugal was one of those races where Hamilton was just untouchable. Third at one point, he battled past Verstappen and Bottas to take an easy victory, with his move on his rival almost causing a collision.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Hamilton - 69

2. Verstappen - 61

***

Spanish Grand Prix

Verstappen again forced his way into the lead on lap one but clever strategy saw Hamilton fight back and take victory against a powerless Red Bull.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Hamilton - 94

2. Verstappen - 80

***

Monaco Grand Prix

The first big turning point of the championship came with a dismal weekend for Mercedes in Monaco. Hamilton was unable to battle Verstappen whilst Ferrari and McLaren were competitive.

Verstappen took full advantage to win at Monaco for the first time whilst Hamilton could only muster seventh.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Verstappen - 105

2. Hamilton - 101

***

Azerbaijan Grand Prix

A huge missed opportunity for both drivers with Verstappen returning from the lead in the dying stages after a tyre failure, before Hamilton erred at turn one of the restart, leaving the duo to end the race scoreless.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Verstappen - 105

2. Hamilton - 101

***

French Grand Prix

Flexi-wings may have been put to rest at Paul Ricard but Pirelli was forced to act on the tyre failures from Baku with pressures increased on the rear of the car.

Mercedes had both drivers back at the top but had no answer for Verstappen who was too good all weekend, with Hamilton unable to match the Dutchman.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Verstappen - 131

2. Hamilton - 119

***

Styrian Grand Prix

It was all smiles on home turf as Verstappen dominated to leave Mercedes scratching its head as to how Red Bull had found so much speed.

A late pit stop for Lewis Hamilton skewed the final finishing times but the gap was still nearing 15 seconds between the title rivals as Verstappen lay down a gauntlet.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Verstappen - 156

2. Hamilton - 138

***

Austrian Grand Prix

Verstappen again eased to victory whilst damage to Hamilton's car and a flying McLaren of Lando Norris saw him drop from second to fourth.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Verstappen - 182

2. Hamilton - 150

***

British Grand Prix

The flashpoint in the championship arrived on a weekend all eyes were on F1's new sprint initiative.

Verstappen came from second to win the inaugural sprint qualifying and extend his championship lead by a point over Hamilton.

The pair then tussled on the first lap of the grand prix, before contact at Copse sent the Red Bull heavily into the barriers. Hamilton shrugged off the resultant penalty to win.

Drivers' championship standings

1. Verstappen - 185

2. Hamilton - 177

***

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