Emotional images after crossing the finish line: Hamilton can be celebrated with the Brazilian flag and reaps Senna chants. “Before the weekend I would never have thought that we could close the gap,” said Hamilton. “That shows me: never give up. It feels like the first victory because I haven’t had one for so long.”
Verstappen is visibly disappointed, but tries to remain optimistic: “We gave everything today. That was a good fight, in the end we lacked the pace a bit. That was damage control, but I’m confident that we will fight back in the coming races. “
The key to victory: the Briton overtook his World Cup rival from Holland on lap 60. Before turn four, Hamilton pulls past Verstappen on the second long straight, after having gritted his teeth on the Red Bull star for several laps.
After the disqualification in qualifying and an engine penalty, the reigning world champion is back in the world championship fight in an impressive manner. “So strikes back after being 20 places behind,” cheered Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff on the pit radio.
The duel between Verstappen and Hamilton is a real thriller right up to the decisive maneuver. At the start, Verstappen and Perez can work their way past Bottas to the top. But Hamilton also got off to a mega start, rushing to seventh place and then within six laps up to fourth place. Then his Finnish wingman lets him pass on orders from the command post.
However, the first attack still fails. The Dutchman pushes Hamilton off the track in turn four. To the surprise of the experts, the FIA closed both eyes, did not initiate an investigation and rated the action as a racing incident. However, for snaking a few laps later, Verstappen receives a warning and safely takes second place, just under ten seconds behind.
In the World Cup, Hamilton is only 14 points behind with three races to go.
About the duel with Verstappen: I knew that would be the decision (no investigation; d. Red.), Regardless of whether it is right or wrong. But I didn’t let it get to me, I just kept on driving the race. I have to look again to see if it was a racing incident. But it doesn’t matter anymore, I have the result that I need. “
Brazilian Grand Prix
2. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull +10.496 sec.
3. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Mercedes +13,576
4. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull +39,940
5. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari +49.517
6. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari +51,820
7. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri + 1 round.
8. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine + 1 round.
9. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine + 1 round.
10. Lando Norris (Great Britain) – McLaren + 1 rd.
11. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin + 1 round.
12. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) – Alfa Romeo + 1 rd.
13. George Russell (Great Britain) – Williams + 1 rd.
14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) – Alfa Romeo + 1 rd.
15. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri + 1 round;
16. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams + 1 rd.
17.Nikita Masepin (Russia) – Haas + 2 rd.
18. Mick Schumacher (Gland / Switzerland) – Haas + 2 rounds.
Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin (48th Rd.)
Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren (50th round)