MARTIN SAMUEL: There has never been a championship climax quite like this – a storm is brewing ahead of the F1 finale between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen amid fears a deliberate crash could end it all

On the decks of the super yachts moored at Yas Marina, the crews are cranking up the sound systems in readiness for a party. Suppose Max Verstappen decides the quickest way to his first world title is the quickest manoeuvre that takes Lewis Hamilton off the track. Still, in Abu Dhabi this week a crash — which would put both drivers out of the points, meaning Verstappen would take the title on races won this season — is discussed as just another tactic Red Bull could deploy, a strategic opportunity to be utilised. Senna is a hero to this generation of racers, not least Hamilton. Hamilton and Verstappen sat side by socially-distanced side to fulfil their media duties. ‘Oh, honestly, when we’re in a race we’ll say all sorts,’ he said. Schumacher and Damon Hill were separated by a point in 1994, Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve the same in 1997; yet Hamilton and Verstappen are level down to a decimal place.

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