Hamilton siegt in Saudi-Arabien und schliesst zu Verstappen auf

Hamilton siegt in Saudi-Arabien und schliesst zu Verstappen auf
© KEYSTONE/AP/Hassan Ammar

Lewis Hamilton gewinnt den ersten Grand Prix von Saudi-Arabien. Der Titelverteidiger im Mercedes verweist seinen WM-Rivalen Max Verstappen im Red Bull nach einem verrückten Duell auf Platz 2.

Die Premiere auf dem Stadtkurs in Dschidda bot viel Spektakel. Nach zahlreichen Unfällen, Safety-Car-Phasen und zwei Rennunterbrechungen hat es der aus der Pole-Position gestartete Hamilton geschafft, die vorzeitige Krönung von Max Verstappen zum Weltmeister zu verhindern. Der Niederländer musste sich nach einer Fünfsekunden-Strafe und ein paar (über-)hart geführten Duellen geschlagen geben.

Zweimal Neustart und Patt im Titelkampf

Mit seinem achten Sieg in dieser Saison und dem insgesamt 103. in der Formel 1 sorgte Hamilton dafür, dass die Entscheidung um den WM-Titel erst in einer Woche beim Saisonfinale in Abu Dhabi fällt. Der siebenfache Champion, der sich im zweitletzten Rennen der Saison auch den Zusatzpunkt für die schnellste Runde sicherte, liegt in der Gesamtwertung nun mit Verstappen gleichauf. Nach 21 Rennen heisst es 369,5:369:5 Punkte zwischen dem Herausforderer und dem Titelverteidiger. Verstappen bleibt nur noch wegen der grösseren Anzahl an Siegen vorne.

Nachdem das erste Rennfünftel weitgehend ruhig verlaufen war, sorgte Mick Schumacher in der zehnten Runde für einen ersten Aufreger. Der Deutsche schlug mit seinem Haas seitlich so heftig in die Streckenbegrenzung ein, dass eine Safety-Car-Phase unausweichlich war. In dieser pokerte Verstappen hoch, verzichtete im Gegensatz zu Hamilton und Valtteri Bottas auf einen Reifenwechsel, und zog damit an den beiden Mercedes vorbei.

Weil danach das Rennen wegen den Reparaturarbeiten unterbrochen werden musste, konnte der Niederländer den Gummi quasi “gratis” in der Boxengasse wechseln.

Beim Neustart nach 13 Runden kam Verstappen dann allerdings nicht wunschgemäss weg und musste sich in der ersten Schikane mit unlauteren Mitteln gegen Hamilton wehren. Er verteidigte zwar die Führung, musste nach einem neuerlichen Rennunterbruch infolge eines Unfalls seines Teamkollegen Sergio Perez beim Neustart allerdings hinter Hamilton und Esteban Ocon im Alpine auf Platz 3 Aufstellung nehmen. Doch diesmal war es Verstappen, der besser weg kam und mit einem gekonnten Manöver in der ersten Kurve innen an Hamilton vorbei zog.

Danach geriet das WM-Duell zwischen Verstappen und Hamilton komplett aus den Fugen. Als der Engländer im Mercedes am Niederländer vorbeiziehen wollte, konterte dieser und verliess dabei die Strecke. Das Team riet ihm, die Position wieder zurückzugeben. Verstappen liess Hamilton danach zwar vorbei, attackierte aber direkt wieder. Nun hatte die Rennleitung genug und bestrafte Verstappen mit einer Fünf-Sekundenstrafe.

Giovinazzi in den Punkten

In all dem Chaos behielt Antonio Giovinazzi die Übersicht und sicherte dem Team Alfa Romeo als Neunter zwei WM-Punkte. Der Italiener, der den Hinwiler Rennstall Ende Jahr verlassen muss, schaffte es nach seinem 10. Platz in Monaco zum zweiten Mal in dieser Saison unter die Top 10. Sein Teamkollege Kimi Räikkönen, der nach Rennhälfte mit Sebastian Vettel kollidiert war, wurde Fünfzehnter.

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