F1 race director Michael Masi insists that an intentional crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will result in a penalty.
Verstappen and Hamilton head into the final round of the 2021 season with 369.5 points a piece. It is the first time since 1974 that two Championship leaders go into the finale, level on points.
However, despite being level on points, Verstappen holds edge over the Mercedes driver. The former has won 9 races this season, 1 more than Lewis Hamilton. That is crucial because if the two stars finish level on points, Verstappen wins the Championship.
A finishing record to behold as we return to Abu Dhabi 👀
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 8, 2021
This means that if both drivers leave Abu Dhabi with zero points, Max wins the title. With emotions running high on both sides of the garage, a lot of people have been speculating about Verstappen’s approach to the race.
The 24 year old has been criticized for being ultra-aggressive with his driving in the last few rounds. He came very close to crashing with Hamilton in Brazil and even made minor contact with him at last week’s race in Jeddah.
If Verstappen were to crash with the Briton, it would mean they both leave without scoring points. On paper, that should be a victory for the Red Bull driver, right? Race director Michael Masi doesn’t think so.
Michael Masi hopes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have a clean race
Masi went on to say that the Championship contenders will be informed about repercussions of a crash in the driver’s briefing ahead of the race. He said that it’s well within their rights to penalize any driver who breaches their code of conduct.
“I can’t control the actions of the two individuals, only they can.” the 42 year old said.
“But within the regulations we have penalties, be it time or grid penalties. In addition, the International Sporting Code has provision for the stewards to disqualify a competitor or dock championship points.”
“So, yes, Max could be deducted points, as could any team. We hope it isn’t necessary, but it is one of the tools available. I will remind all the teams and drivers of these provisions.”
“That stark warning will be in the drivers’ briefing in the paddock Friday night.” he concluded.