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Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen play down collision talk as FIA warns over racing conduct

The FIA's Michael Masi references the rules on sportsmanlike racing in his usual pre-event notes ahead of F1's title decider; Track action begins on Friday morning at 9.30am live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday's race at 1pm

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen talk to the media ahead of their title deciding showdown at the Abu Dhabi GP.

F1's race director has issued a reminder of expected driving standards - and possible penalties for breaching them - ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen's championship decider in the Abu Dhabi GP this weekend.

Verstappen and Hamilton head into the Yas Marina showdown live on Sky Sports F1 level on points after a season of thrilling duels which has seen the leadership of the title race change hands five times over the past nine months.

Red Bull's Verstappen officially holds the lead as he has won nine wins to Hamilton's eight, and would take his maiden crown if they also finished level on points at the end of Sunday's 58-lap race.

Less than a week after a series of controversial incidents between the pair in Saudi Arabia - including a collision - focus has inevitably been placed in the build-up to Sunday's showdown about how such a competitive championship might finish.

Perhaps in an attempt to ward off any threat of the kind of title-deciding collisions seen in the sport in the 1980s and 1990s, FIA race director Michael Masi referenced the rules - and potentially penalties - regarding unfair racing in the Abu Dhabi edition of his usual pre-event notes to all teams and officials.

The first version of the document is published on a Thursday and the one for Abu Dhabi included the following references to the FIA's over-arching International Sporting Code:

"All Competitors and Drivers are reminded of the various requirements detailed in the FIA International Sporting Code. In particular I would like to remind you of the following articles detailed below.

Also See:

"29.2 Article 9.15.1 'The Competitor shall be responsible for all acts or omissions on the part of any person taking part in, or providing a service in connection with, a Competition or a Championship on their behalf, including in particular their employees, direct or indirect, their Drivers, mechanics, consultants, service providers, or passengers, as well as any person to whom the Competitor has allowed access 6/6 to the Reserved Areas.'

"29.3 Article 12.2.1 - Breach of Rules and in particular Article 12.2.1.l 'Any infringement of the principles of fairness in Competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the result of a Competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.'

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Simon Lazenby is joined by Martin Brundle and Damon Hill to look ahead to the final showdown between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton for the F1 World Championship at the Abu Dhabi GP.

"29.4 Article 12.4.5 'For all the FIA Championships, cups, challenges, trophies or series, the stewards may also decide to impose the following penalties: Suspension for one or more Competitions, withdrawal of points for the Championship, cup, challenge, trophy, series.'

"29.5 Article 12.4.5.a 'Points should not be deducted separately from Drivers and Competitors, save in exceptional circumstances.'"

Hamilton and Verstappen play down collision talk

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Lewis Hamilton says: 'it's great that it's clear everyone knows what the rules are' after Race Director Michael Masi stated points deductions will be enforced at the F1 season showdown with Max Verstappen at the Abu Dhabi GP.

Asked about whether he welcomed the move, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: "Honestly I think it's such a hard job that the stewards have and Michael has, and they have done an amazing job given everything that is thrown at them, every scenario is always different.

"Whether you agree with every decision or not they have such a tough job.

"It's great that it's clear to everyone. Not only like secretly in the background in our books as competitors, but it's clear everyone knows what the rules are so things that have happened in the past that are avoided."

Hamilton had earlier been alongside Verstappen in the press conference, with both contenders asked about their thoughts about the prospect of a crash.

"As a driver you don't think about these things," said Verstappen.

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Max Verstappen feels he gets treated differently to other drivers, saying: 'I end up with a penalty while others do the same thing and don't get one', ahead of his championship decider with Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi GP.

"You go into a weekend where you just want to do the best you can as a team, and of course you try to naturally win the race.

"Naturally the media starts to say these things... I don't really have a lot to comment on that.

"I arrive here just trying to do the best I can, and trying to be the best prepared."

Hamilton added: "I just don't give it any energy. I'm here to do the best job I can do with this incredible team. We never thought we would be neck and neck going into the last race, it has been an amazing recovery."

The seven-time champion added: "I'm here to do my job. And I don't want to see the stewards."

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