Lewis Hamilton says Max Verstappen was a ‘gentleman’ after Saudi Grand Prix

Image copyright Sky Sport Image caption Lewis Hamilton finished second in the race, but was awarded the race win based on reliability points after having a puncture in the race

Lewis Hamilton accused Max Verstappen of “over-the-limit” driving after the Dutchman’s controversial overtaking manoeuvre.

Verstappen overtook Hamilton in the closing stages of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, passing the Mercedes driver as Hamilton prepared to overtake him.

Hamilton crossed the line at the circuit second, but received 10 points because Mercedes had brought in one of their new engines, on the non-competitive power unit, too early.

Hamilton said: “He didn’t pay any kind of penalty, so he’s being quite a gentleman towards me because I owe him. I expect him to pay for me for putting him in his place.”

BBC Sport summariser Susie Wolff, Mercedes’ deputy technical director, said Hamilton’s comment was typical of the driver.

“It’s the Lewis that I know. Obviously, he’s not happy with the decision and he needs to be. There was definitely no penalty – it’s up to him what he chooses to do.

“We’re in a very difficult position – so we’re back into old race tires, where you can do ridiculous manoeuvres to get across the line, which is exactly what happened in the last corner.”

Media playback is not supported on this device Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton call it a day after Saudi Grand Prix

Verstappen said: “When I saw Lewis go by, I had to go with him. I think Lewis’s life depends on me. He lives for me.”

Hamilton added: “It’s not the first time he’s gone to overtaken me. It’s happened before.”

Hamilton said after the race that he had never been as close to Verstappen as he was on Sunday.

“It’s definitely the closest I’ve ever been to him – right on the edge,” Hamilton said. “He’s good at it. He’s an exceptional driver.”

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