Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen COLLIDE on first lap of Abu Dhabi GP as Brit forced off track and let off by stewards

MAX VERSTAPPEN was left furious after a first-lap collision with title rival Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi.

The Red Bull driver fumed "what are they doing?" at race control after Hamilton was let off by stewards.

Hamilton got off to a flying start to leapfrog pole-sitter Verstappen into the first corner at the Yas Marina Circuit.

But Dutch rising star Verstappen launched an overtake on Hamilton later in the lap when the pair collided.

Hamilton was forced to cut the corner and seemingly gained an advantage.

Red Bull were adamant Hamilton had to move aside and let Verstappen pass.

But they were left fuming when stewards decided no further action was needed and Hamilton was allowed to streak clear.

Verstappen was instantly on his team radio and said: "He (Hamilton) has to give that place back."

And there was a furious radio exchange between race control and Red Bull director Jonathan Wheatley.

Wheatley said: "Max is ahead at the apex and stays on the track. Lewis has left the track."

But the FIA disagreed, saying: "All the advantage was already given back prior to the end of the first lap ending."


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Wheatley later added: "We still don't understand it. That was a hard, aggressive pass by Max but he stayed on the track and was ahead at the apex."

But his protests again fell on deaf ears, with the FIA saying: "The stewards have reviewed it and decided that Max forced him off the track."

Verstappen was left fuming upon hearing the news that Hamilton would not be punished by stewards.

He said: "That is incredible. What are they doing there?"

Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports: "We're a little bit shocked at that. Apparently Lewis gave his advantage back which we've failed to see. As you can imagine, we're not best pleased."

Hamilton and Verstappen came into the final race of the season locked level on points after a thrilling year long title battle.

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