Lewis Hamilton was confused over F1’s scoring system and sought clarification from his chief engineer following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Hamilton had a disappointing weekend and only just scraped into the points places. The Brit’s 10th-placed finish means Hamilton has scored one championship point, the lowest number drivers can receive on an F1 weekend.
When Hamilton first started in 2007, F1 used to issue points to the top six but extended this to the top 10 from the 2010 season. Hamilton has also been towards the front of the field since the turbo-hybrid era in 2014 meaning he has been fighting for the maximum 25 points – hence his confusion over how many points he scored. Mercedes engineer Peter Bonnington apologised to Hamilton after he crossed the chequered flag.
He said: “OK Lewis, that’s P10. Sorry about that.” Hamilton replied: “Is there even a point for that position?” The seven-time champion suffered his worst qualifying since 2017 yesterday after being knocked out of Q1. Hamilton qualified 16th, the first time he has been knocked out of the first part of qualifying on pure pace since 2009. He was only able to start 15th after Mick Schumacher pulled out of the race due to his high-speed crash.
Hamilton’s 2021 title rival Max Verstappen eventually won the race after a titanic battle with Charles Leclerc throughout. After the chequered flag, Verstappen said: “A good race, we were battling hard. We just had to play the long game, the tyres were wearing out quite quick. It wasn’t easy, eventually managed to get ahead – just really happy to kickstart the season.”