Media playback is not supported on this device Lewis Hamilton’s rise to F1 power
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix coverage details
He may have replaced Michael Schumacher as the pre-eminent sporting icon in Belgium, but Hamilton and Verstappen are approaching a sporting milestone in Abu Dhabi.
Schumacher produced an unbelievable statistic that’ll come as no surprise to any Formula 1 fan.
When the German legend won the 1994 Swiss Grand Prix he became the first driver to score more than five pole positions in a season.
This Sunday, Verstappen is almost certain to become the first driver in history to score more than five pole positions in a season.
Here’s a look at the historic moments between the pair in the four months since the 21-year-old took the race in Belgium.
Hamilton starts the race on pole after beating Red Bull’s Verstappen by five-tenths of a second.
His race, however, lasts barely a minute after he collides with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Hamilton survives a messy pit stop to retake the lead before being re-energised by great driving from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian crosses the line 1.7 seconds ahead of Hamilton in second and Alex Haque in third.
Hamilton battles back to fourth after a safety car stint and a longer break for water bottles in a second pit stop, but Vettel drives back past him in the pit lane. He is soon back in second, and later passes Verstappen on lap 36 to become the second driver to notch up multiple wins in the opening three races of the season.
Hamilton rolls off the line from pole position with Verstappen third behind Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen. The Dutchman takes the lead from Kvyat after 90 laps, and goes on to lead the race for all but two laps.
The Ferrari driver wins the race after crashing into Fernando Alonso in the closing stages after the McLaren driver came up too fast in the pits to stop.
Verstappen becomes the first man to take back-to-back victories in Spain since Michael Schumacher in 1998.
In what would go on to be a tumultuous and error-strewn race, Hamilton is snuffed out on the first lap by a Caterham.
Verstappen passes his Mercedes team-mate on the first lap and slips past McLaren’s Alonso on the first lap.
Starting at the back, he sets the pace in the second session of qualifying before improving his position on the front row for the race, with Hamilton moving to second ahead of his team-mate.
The two come together on lap seven as Hamilton rejoins the track and passes the Dutchman for second, but Verstappen is cut short by a wall at the start of the tunnel on lap 18 and has to retire.
Hamilton and Verstappen are at the centre of a media storm after refusing to shake hands when the McLaren driver’s car enters the pit lane.
Hamilton later says he was just pretending to pull his finger out to promote his “Dress Like A Girl” marketing campaign but Vettel is not happy with this response.
“That’s in poor taste,” he says. “It’s right away in a sensitive position and you can’t do that. We all know Max [Verstappen] likes to push the limits. You don’t know where his boundary is.”
Verstappen leads the race in Baku after the safety car closes in on the Renault of Romain Grosjean after a collision.
A second safety car briefly brings the race to a halt but the two cars are running on different circuits as the Mercedes pair march down the straight. Verstappen leads, but Vettel cuts into his lead on the straight with three laps remaining, before the Spaniard moves to second after Verstappen makes a mistake in the pits.
Verstappen’s German Red Bull car crashes on the final corner of the last lap, leaving Hamilton as the winner.