Sainz hopes Abu Dhabi showdown will be clean 'for the image of F1'

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Ferrari's Carlos Sainz hopes this weekend's supreme title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi will be fought out on the track fair and square, in the interests of Formula 1.

The championship contenders head into to the season with 369.50 points each, but with Verstappen holding one more win to his name this season than his rival.

In the wake of last week's hectic penultimate round of racing in Qatar that forced the stewards to lower the boom on Verstappen on two occasions, many fear another turbulent match-up between F1's leading pair.

But Sainz hopes Verstappen and Hamilton's final battle will be free of controversy, for the sake of safeguarding F1's image and goodwill.


"From my side, I just wish that they can keep it clean this last weekend and give it a good showdown," he said on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.

"For the image of the sport, more than anything else. For the benefit of Formula 1, and that we are still a sport not only a show and show good sportsmanship and a good showdown in the grand final."

Sainz had fought his own battle in Jeddah, but the Spaniard was eager to find out what all the talk was about after last Sunday's race.

"When I went back to my room on Sunday night I tuned in and replayed the race just to see what the hell happened there upfront and why was everyone talking about what had happened," he said.

"When I had the chance to watch it you realise how tight this battle is, how every race you have a fight between the two championship contenders and how exciting and how ideal it is for Formula 1.

"Unfortunately, on Twitter and social media there’s a lot of polarisation.

" A lot of, I wouldn’t say abuse between both fans, but very polarised, and it makes the fight a bit less exciting when you see the two sides fighting each other so much.

"I think it’s just better just to be a bit more neutral, enjoy the fight and let the best man win."

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