THE Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was one of the most memorable in recent history.
Jeddah certainly lived up to the hype. Fans saw two red flags, crashes, near misses and time penalties.
Verstappen leads the title race due to having more GP wins than HamiltonCredit: GETTY IMAGES
The Brit’s win draws him level on points with the Dutchman with just Abu Dhabi to go.
There are two scenarios which could see the pair end the season level on points, albeit unlikely. Although if they did, Verstappen would win the title by virtue of more race wins over the season.
Whatever happens this coming weekend, fans will see an out-right winner.
But what seven key moments in Saudi set up the title-decider?
Taking the Mick
Mick Schumacher was the first to drop out of the Saudi GP after he spun out and hit the Turn 23 barriers.
The Safety Car turned into a red flag shortly after, handing Verstappen the opportunity to change his tyres during the break.
Hamilton, on the other hand, stopped under the yellow flags to change tyres with the move backfiring as it saw him give up his lead and go second.
Schumacher’s crash saw the red flag come out for the first time in the eveningCredit: GETTY IMAGES
From the restart, Hamilton got back in the lead but was then cut off by Verstappen who ran off the track at the first chicane.
It saw the Brit to drop down to third behind Esteban Ocon.
However, a red flag stopped the race again after Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc, Nikita Mazepin and George Russell were involved in an incident.
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate was forced to retire five laps laterCredit: AP
After some bargaining, Mercedes and Red Bull came to the agreement that Hamilton would restart in P2 and Verstappen in P3, behind Alpine’s Ocon.
Verstappen made an unbelievable move up the inside of the first Chicane to take the lead, sandwiching Hamilton in between the Alpine.
The calculated but risky move paid off for the 24-year-old.
Hamilton pulled off one of the moves of the race as he cut up the inside of HamiltonCredit: GETTY IMAGES
The Brit was caught in the middle of a Red Bull-Alpine sandwichCredit: MOTORSPORT IMAGES
After three Virtual Saftey Cars between Laps 28 to 36, Hamilton got within range of Verstappen to make use of his DRS.
Verstappen braked late at the end of the main straight, running wide, but retaining the lead.
Hamilton tried to take advantage of his DRS, but Verstappen braked late into the corner to maintain his leadCredit: GETTY IMAGES
Are Lew kidding me?
Verstappen’s late braking saw him be forced to give up P1 to his title rival in Lap 37.
Some confusion over Verstappen giving up the place saw Hamilton clip the back of the Red Bull car, causing minor damage to his front wing.
A move Hamilton wasn’t too happy with.
Verstappen was instructed to hand the lead to Hamilton, but braked hard, causing Hamilton to clip the back of his carCredit: GETTY IMAGES
Second time lucky?
Hamilton tried to get past Verstappen again in Lap 42, but was again met with a feisty defence.
Verstappen pushed him wide to keep his place.
The Dutchman was later punished with a five-second time penalty for that.
Hamilton was pushed wide by his title rival with eight laps to go and the Dutchman was slapped with a five-second penaltyCredit: GETTY IMAGES
You snooze, Lew lose
Hamilton finally got a clean pass on the Red Bull driver in Lap 43 on Turn 27.
The title-chasing Brit also put in the fastest lap of the race, despite finishing with a damaged wing.
Ocon – who benefitted from the earlier red flag allowing a change of tyres – was pipped on the line by Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas, completing a Mercedes first and third-placed finish.
Hamilton took 26 points to Verstappen’s 18, tying up the title race at 369.5 points each.
Hamilton got his way in the end and claimed a third-straight win to draw level in the title raceCredit: GETTY IMAGES
Stewards later investigated the collision between the pair after the race and slapped Verstappen with an additional ten-second penalty.
Mercedes celebrated on the podium with Hamilton’s dreams of an eighth F1 crown still alive, as well as all-but tying up the constructors’ championship.
Verstappen, far from pleased, refused to stay and spray champagne, and instead stormed off stage and left the Merc three to drench each other.
Verstappen didn’t stick around on the podium as the Merc trio celebratedCredit: AFP
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