F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix LIVE: Updates as Lewis Hamilton LEADS after FP2, Verstappen in FOURTH


Lewis Hamilton sent a clear message to title rival Max Verstappen ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton has won the last three F1 races and is level on points with the Red Bull man coming into the season finale.

The two came to blows last time out in the Saudi Arabian GP – the third time they have clashed on track this season.

Hamilton arrived in the paddock wearing a purple outfit – with the words ‘F*** off’ on the back.

Incredibly, the Brit claims he was unaware the words were written on the back saying: “It is just coincidence, I didn’t make the jumper. As I was putting it on I literally saw the message on the back.”

Meanwhile, Hamilton will walk a disciplinary tightrope at the Abu Dhabi GP and risks picking up a 10-place grid drop.

The Brit has picked up two reprimands in the past three races and one more would trigger the huge sanction.

Hamilton was given a reprimand in Mexico for unsafely rejoining the track during first practice.

And he was also ticked off in Saudi Arabia for blocking Haas’ Nikita Mazepin at high speed through the first sector in final practice.

If he is penalised in any of the three practice sessions or qualifying in Abu Dhabi, he could be hit with a hammer blow to his title hopes.

Finally, F1 drivers risk suffering dangerous tyre blowouts in Abu Dhabi due to new Toblerone-style kerbs.

Track chiefs have re-profiled some sections of the track to create new sweeping bends to increase the top speed and hopefully lead to more overtaking.

However, the new kerbs they have installed have stunned teams, who were not expecting them to be so harsh.

It comes after a spate of blowouts in the Qatar GP – where there were similar raised kerbs around the track.

Tyre supplier Pirelli did a thorough investigation after those failures and concluded they were caused by drivers running over the red and white markings.

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