Lewis Hamilton couldn't understand the actions of Max Verstappen when the two collided mid-race as the title race boiled over in Saudi Arabia.
Lewis Hamilton scored his third-straight victory in a controversial race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit that saw interruptions from red flags and numerous full and virtual safety cars.
A battle for the lead that had already had several flashpoints came to a head on lap 38 when Verstappen slowed to allow Hamilton through having earlier gained an advantage off the track.
According to Mercedes and Hamilton, this message had not been relayed in time to explain the developing situation.
"I didn't quite understand why all of a sudden he hit the brakes quite heavily and then I ran into the back of him and then he moved on, so I didn't understand exactly what was going on," said Hamilton.
"Then I got a message afterwards that he was going to let us past so it was a bit confusing."
Reflecting on the fight, Hamilton added: "I've been racing in F1 a long time but that was incredibly tough.
"I tried to be as sensible and as tough as I could be out there but also sensible and with all my racing experience over the years...just keeping the car on track and staying clean.
"And it was difficult. We've had all sorts of things thrown at us, particularly in the second half of the season so I'm just really proud of everyone."
Asked of the championship picture with Hamilton now level on points with Verstappen but behind on countback of wins, complimented the work of his team to claw back the advantage previously enjoyed by the Dutchman.
"They've got some raw pace," Hamilton said. "They've been so quick and it was very hard to overtake them here but we've done an amazing job with what we have."
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