Max Verstappen has taken victory in a dramatic conclusion to the Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of his former teammate Pierre Gasly who secured Toro Rosso’s first podium since Monza 2008. The race came to a dramatic conclusion with both Ferrari’s crashing into each other with five laps to go.
Verstappen inherited the lead with five laps to go from the Ferrari’s when they collided in the closing laps, creating a dash to the line in the closing stages. Charles Leclerc collided with Sebastian Vettel as the fought for the lead, giving Verstappen the lead. The following safety car bunched the field up with a few laps to go.
The race was one of the craziest of the season, as Hamilton set after Verstappen’s teammate Alex Albon made contact with the Mercedes. The six-times champion tried to pass Albon through the first corner, they hit each other, and the Red Bull spun, while Gasly jumped Hamilton and then somehow resisted the Mercedes on the run to the line.
It was the Dutchman who held off Hamilton despite switching to a three-stop strategy, he committed himself early on to the two stop by taking a fresh set of softs, and though Red Bull responded one lap later Hamilton’s massive pace advantage on new tyres meant he was set to jump Verstappen with relative ease.
Verstappen said, “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing and all the time. He pitted early so we had to be on top of our pitstops we had a good move on him. I could control the race with the tyres I had it was unbelievable it was a lot of fun out there and great to win the race
Gasly told reporters, “the last few months, but it’s all the sacrifices you make when you are young. Your first dream is Formula 1 you have so many people help you and you have a lot of things to get through and you dream of your first podium”
“I didn’t think it would happen this season with Toro Rosso and I keep working hard and trying to get the most out of myself and today it happened. Days like today are just amazing.”
Earlier in the race, it appeared as the chance of victory slipped away from Verstappen. He got caught by Williams’s Robert Kubica as they were released following there pitstops, forcing Verstappen to take evasive action and then sit behind the Williams until they rejoined the circuit.
The race will be remembered as a classic for its utter chaos, wheel to wheel battles and Toro Rosso’s first podium since Bahrain 2017, also secured by Gasly. Somewhat of a reward following Gasly’s demotion to Toro Rosso in the summer, Honda’s first one – two since Suzuka in 1991.
Hamilton was awarded a five-second penalty for not giving Verstappen enough space. He told reporters, “gave it everything. Left nothing on the table. I took a lot of risks today. We threw everything and the sink at it.”
“We could keep up with them [Red Bull’s race winner Max Verstappen] through the corners, but they were just outshining us on the straights. I think there was nothing we could do.”
Carlos Sainz, who started at the back of the grid in the McLaren, earning his first podium thanks to Hamilton’s penalty. The Spaniard sealing McLaren’s first since Melbourne 2014. Valtteri Bottas retired from the race, with an engine failure, triggering the first safety car.
Sainz drove brilliantly, he failed to qualify after issues on Saturday before he drove through the field to get into fourth place, should Hamilton pick up a penalty it will be his first podium.
Leclerc got passed Vettel into the Senna S before the German forced the furious youngster into retirement, while Vettel blamed Leclerc picked up a right-rear puncture. That triggered at a safety car under which Hamilton dived into the pits yet again, dropping him to fourth behind Albon and Gasly.
The safety car played a key role, Mercedes rolled the dice with Hamilton stopping he soon passed Gasly, then had the collision with Albon.
Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi secured Alfa Romeo’s best result of the season in fifth and sixth, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. McLaren’s Lando Norris was eighth, ahead of Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat. Ricciardo fought from the back following a broken front wing and a five-second penalty early on in a collision with Kevin Magnussen.
Haas failed to reach the points once again, Kevin Magnussen eleventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg. A strong race for George Russell saw Williams finish thirteenth ahead of Romain Grosjean, Albon and Kubica.
- Brazilian GP – Qualifying Result
- BRAZILIAN GP – Max Verstappen beats Sebastian Vettel by a tenth to take pole position
- BRAZILIAN GP – Sebastian Vettel leads a Ferrari one-two, but struggles to show true pace during FP2
- BRAZILIAN GP – Alex Albon goes fastest by half a second before crashing in wet conditions in FP1
- Prixview – Brazilian Grand Prix