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Max Verstappen: F1 stewards treat me unfairly

ABU DHABI -- Max Verstappen believes the FIA treated him unfairly at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after he was penalised twice by the race stewards at last weekend's race.

Verstappen will win his first world title at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix if he finishes the race ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton or both drivers fail to score points.

The championship fight is highly charged ahead of the season finale after the two drivers twice went wheel-to-wheel at Turn 1 in Saudi Arabia, with Verstappen twice retaining position ahead of Hamilton by cutting the corner at Turn 2.

Race control asked Verstappen to give the position back on both occasions but he only did so the first time around as he and Hamilton collided when he tried to do it after the second incident. He was issued a five-second in-race penalty for cutting the corner and post-race ten-second penalty for causing the collision.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's race in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen claimed he was not the only driver who skipped Turn 2 during the race and pointed out that Hamilton was not penalised for forcing him wide at the final corner after the Red Bull driver finally gave the position back towards the end of the race.

"For me I was not wrong, and clearly only I was wrong somehow, because other people do exactly the same thing and get nothing," he said in a media conference in Abu Dhabi.

"Both of us we were outside of the track, outside of the white line into Turn 1, and yeah, somehow they judged that it was my fault which I don't agree with.

"Also the other penalty as well, I don't agree with, and then afterwards he pushes me off track, he even looks at me, and just doesn't turn in, and just pushes me outside of the white line, the track edge, and he only gets a warning for that. Definitely it is not how it should be and also not fair because it seems other drivers can do different things and only seems like I get a penalty."

Asked if he would take fewer risks in Abu Dhabi given what happened in Saudi Arabia, Verstappen added: "The only thing I ask is that it's fair for everyone but clearly that's not the case for the moment. Like I said, I don't feel like I was wrong and clearly it is not wrong for others so why should I then change while for others it's allowed to race like that? I think everyone should be allowed to race like that."