MARTIN SAMUEL: Lewis and Max have been dancing ever closer and this was the dirtiest dance of all… It was Succession, Drive To Survive and Squid Game with a little bit of Wacky Races thrown in

Succession is where the negotiations come into play; the offers, the double-dealing; the supposed hand of friendship or sportsmanship that really isn’t. And if neither Hamilton nor Max Verstappen finishes in the top 10, then it goes to the Dutchman on race victories in 2021. It concerned the first restart when Verstappen was on pole but was beaten to the first turn by Hamilton. ‘We would drop you behind Hamilton – that is my offer,’ Masi clarified. ‘We understand the order is Ocon, Hamilton, Verstappen.’ Mercedes took the deal, too. Equally, while when the race was suspended Ocon was indeed behind Verstappen with Hamilton in third, the only reason Ocon was second was because of Verstappen’s manoeuvre. So, by Red Bull taking Masi’s offer, Verstappen had still found a way to demote Hamilton from first to second, even if he didn’t get to take full advantage.

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