until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Hamilton comes from 10th to beat Verstappen to Brazil win

by Matt Beer
7 min read

Lewis Hamilton passed his Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen to emerge victorious in a controversial Brazilian Grand Prix from 10th on the grid.

After a rapid charge through the field by Hamilton in the early stages of the race, the lead battle quickly became a fight between the two championship protagonists.

Throughout the first two stints, Hamilton couldn’t get quite close enough to challenge Verstappen but his second pitstop came three laps after Verstappen’s.

Hamilton made the most of this tyre offset to challenge Verstappen on lap 48 of 71, attempting to go around the outside of the Red Bull driver at Turn 4.

But Verstappen failed to make the corner and sent both himself and Hamilton into the run-off area, with Verstappen remaining in front ahead of Hamilton.

The stewards noted the incident but decided against investigating it, meaning Hamilton had to try a similar move 11 laps later.

This time he was clearly ahead of Verstappen as they reached Turn 4 and there was nothing Verstappen could do.

Hamilton launched his Mercedes from last to fifth in Saturday’s sprint race but had to start the grand prix from 10th after serving a five-place grid penalty for taking a new internal combustion engine for the weekend.

The seven-time world champion repeated his early lap heroics from the sprint race and was passing Sebastian Vettel for sixth place as early as the run down to Turn 1 on the second lap.

He made moves in quick succession on the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc and was waved through by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas for third place soon after.

A safety car to allow the marshals to clear debris for an incident between Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll meant Hamilton was able to close up on the Red Bull 1-2 at the front, led by Verstappen.

On lap 18 of 71, Hamilton passed the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez around the outside of Turn 1 for second place but the Mexican repassed him at the Turn 4 left-hander.

Hamilton made a similar move on the following lap, but this time Perez was not able to reclaim the position, leaving only Verstappen standing in the way of Hamilton’s third Brazilian GP victory.

Hamilton overcoming Verstappen, who received the black and white flag for weaving excessively in defence on the lap before Hamilton made his move, means the gap in the drivers’ championship is now just 14 points.

Bottas claimed third place for Mercedes after he jumped the second Red Bull of Perez by making his first pitstop under the virtual safety car, but he was unable to make a significant impression on Verstappen’s second place.

Red Bull pitted Perez with two laps to go to ensure he could take the fastest lap bonus point off Hamilton, which he successfully did on the final lap.

Leclerc and Sainz had a reasonably comfortable run to finish in fifth and sixth place respectively, over 25 seconds clear of the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.

The Alpine duo of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso matched Gasly’s points haul by finishing in eighth and ninth, with both drivers making the one stop strategy work.

Lando Norris took the final point after he recovered from a first lap puncture that he picked up after contact with his former team-mate Sainz.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel fell just over a second short of a world championship point, compromised in part by a slow first pitstop.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo was on for a couple of points before a power loss forced him into retirement, shortly after Stroll was forced to retire his Aston as a result of the earlier contact with Tsunoda.

Race Results

Pos Name Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 71 17 1h32m22.851s 1m11.982s 4 25
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 71 51 +10.496s 1m12.486s 4 18
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 71 3 +13.576s 1m12.526s 4 15
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda 71 0 +39.94s 1m11.01s 5 13
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 71 0 +49.517s 1m12.822s 4 10
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 71 0 +51.82s 1m12.71s 4 8
7 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 70 0 +1 lap 1m13.227s 4 6
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 70 0 +1 lap 1m14.43s 3 4
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 70 0 +1 lap 1m13.922s 3 2
10 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 70 0 +1 lap 1m13.761s 5 1
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 70 0 +1 lap 1m13.634s 4 0
12 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 70 0 +1 lap 1m12.621s 4 0
13 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 70 0 +1 lap 1m14.355s 4 0
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 70 0 +1 lap 1m14.227s 4 0
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 70 0 +1 lap 1m14.204s 5 0
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 70 0 +1 lap 1m14.616s 4 0
17 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 69 0 +2 laps 1m14.954s 3 0
18 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 69 0 +2 laps 1m13.793s 5 0
Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 48 0 DNF 1m14.443s 4 0
Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 46 0 DNF 1m15.344s 4 0
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