F1 Brazilian Grand Prix race results: Max Verstappen scores third win of the year in dramatic fashion



Formula One

November 17, 2019 03:07 PM

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix race results: Max Verstappen scores third win of the year in dramatic fashion

Ferrari’s day ends in disaster

Sam Hall



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Max Verstappen battled Lewis Hamilton for his third win of 2019.

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen won a dramatic F1 Brazilian Grand Prix Sunday, followed by the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly with his first podium, as Ferrari once again hit the self-destruct button.
On a weekend when Formula 1 took time to remember the three-time world champion Ayrton Senna, Honda secured its first one-two finish since the day that Senna scored his final title in the 1991 Japanese Grand Prix.
A bold first-lap, first-corner move by Lewis Hamilton around the outside of Sebastian Vettel set the tone for the drama that was to follow. But it wasn’t until lap 21, when Mercedes pitted Lewis Hamilton, that the race really sparked into life.
Initially planning to race with a one-stop strategy, Mercedes was forced by the early pace of Verstappen into a two-stop and seized the initiative by pitting Hamilton first.
Hamilton set two fastest sector times on his out lap and Red Bull had no choice but to pit Verstappen immediately. While Hamilton was enjoying clear air, Verstappen had caught the two Williams backmarkers and, if that wasn’t bad enough, he followed Robert Kubica into the pits.
Red Bull ran a perfect stop and Verstappen was traveling towards the pit exit when Williams released Kubica almost into the side of the Red Bull. The incident was noted by the race stewards with Kubica later landing a five-second penalty, but the time lost meant that Hamilton managed to jump Verstappen into the net race lead.
Not having any of it, Verstappen went onto full attack mode. Closing fast onto the back of Hamilton, Verstappen had the DRS available to him coming up the hill and along the pit straight. Not needing a second invitation, Verstappen dove down the inside of the Mercedes into turn one and retook the position.
While it had appeared that the battle would continue to be fought over the next few laps, Hamilton unexpectedly dropped back to three seconds behind the Red Bull and, just as Verstappen had suffered with tire problems in the first stint, Hamilton was now suffering with high tire wear.
Behind the lead pair, who had both fitted a second set of soft tires in their stops, Sebastian Vettel in third had bolted on mediums and Valtteri Bottas, hards, the second Mercedes man looking like he could be on a potential one-stop strategy still until he stopped again on lap 41, just 11 laps after fitting the hards.

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On lap 66, Ferrari was taken out of the podium equation in one move.

The second stop took Bottas out of all contention for the win. The Finn was already a whole pit stop in time behind the leaders.
After much complaining that his tires were spent, Hamilton pitted on lap 43 and was informed that his out lap was critical. Knowing that it had jumped Verstappen in the previous stop, this was Mercedes’ best chance to take the Dutchman once more.
However, Red Bull was nothing less than perfect in its stop for a second time. Both stops were clocked at 1.9 seconds and, although Hamilton had closed the gap from three seconds to 1.5 seconds. Now with both on the medium compound, Hamilton was closing by a tenth a lap, while both were closing on Vettel by a second a lap. Both men were getting an insight into what their late race pace may be.
Before he could affect the lead battle and potentially lose time himself, Vettel was pitted by Ferrari to fit soft tires for the final 21 laps.
On lap 54, there came another twist. Valtteri Bottas, who had been stuck behind Charles Leclerc for several laps, retired from the race with his power unit failing seemingly due to overheating.
The safety car was deployed, and with the reduced pace pit stops now came at a far reduced cost and Hamilton was instructed to do the opposite to what Verstappen did. Verstappen pitted for softs without dropping a position, and Hamilton stayed out. Behind them, Vettel remained on track while teammate Leclerc, now in fifth, pitted for softs. Hamilton was now not only in danger of losing the lead but missing out on the podium entirely.
The restart again saw Verstappen at his aggressive best. Hamilton had backed the field up as they crept up the hill to the line and, when he pinned the throttle, Verstappen was ready to pounce, and pounce he did.
Attacking Hamilton, Verstappen pulled of a mirror image maneuver of Hamilton’s lap-one pass on Vettel at the outside of turn one. Hamilton tried to force his way back past at turn four, but Verstappen left no room for the pass back.
The Dutchman disappeared into the distance but now Alex Albon, who managed to pass Vettel for third place on the restart, was within striking range on Hamilton and he was taking the Ferraris with him.

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On lap 66, Ferrari was taken out of the podium equation in one move. Leclerc had passed Vettel on the inside of turn one and Vettel, now with DRS, got the run on his teammate down to turn four.
Thinking he was clear, Vettel pulled in on Leclerc and made contact. Vettel’s left rear tire was punctured, and Leclerc suffered suspension damage on his right front. Hamilton pitted for softs under the resulting safety car, dropping him to fourth behind Pierre Gasly and Albon.
At turn one on the restart, the race now a two-lap sprint, Hamilton dispatched Gasly with little effort but when attempting to pass Albon half a lap later, Hamilton made contact and spun the Red Bull – Gasly now promoted back up to second as Hamilton dropped again to third and Albon to P15.
Verstappen now had a comfortable lead and crossed the line with plenty of daylight between himself and the rest, but Gasly kept his right boot planted on the throttle to hold off Hamilton as the two went almost side-by-side across the line. It was Gasly’s first career podium and was just reward for his performances after being dropped by Red Bull halfway through the year.
“Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing and all the time with the strategy, (he) pitted one lap earlier so we had to be right on top of the pit stops,” said Verstappen. “It was a lot of fun out there and of course, great to win the race.”
Asked about his aggressive pass on Hamilton following the first round of stops, Verstappen added, “I was behind so I was pushing flat out on my out lap to be close to him because that was my only shot. Because of that, I was close in the DRS and we knew that we had great top speed.”
Hamilton, with a post-race investigation hanging over his head, fully accepted responsibility for his coming together with Albon but admitted that Red Bull simply got it right on the day.
“I massively apologize to Albon,” said Hamilton. “The gap was kind of there and obviously it closed right at the end and (it was) completely my fault. Still, a great race. Max did a fantastic job today. They just outclassed us in terms of overall performance, and we couldn’t keep up with them on the straights.
“Honestly, I raced my heart out and I left nothing on the table. I took a lot of risks today.”
For Gasly, who started sixth, a podium looked extremely unlikely at the beginning of the day. Only twice previously had Toro Rosso scored a podium — 2008 in Italy with Vettel and in this year’s German Grand Prix with Daniil Kvyat — but circumstances played into his hands, leaving the Frenchman to celebrate his maiden trip to the podium.
“It’s my first podium in Formula 1 and I will never forget it,” said Gasly. “It’s such a special moment that I don’t know what to say. It’s so emotional and also, to get it with these guys at Toro Rosso who gave me a fantastic car since I came back, I’m just so happy for Honda, for Torro Rosso. It’s just an amazing day.”

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“It’s my first podium in Formula 1 and I will never forget it,” said Pierre Gasly.

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix race results

Race Time
Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Pierre Gasly
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
Carlos Sainz
McLaren F1 Team
Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo Racing
Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo Racing
Daniel Ricciardo
Renault F1 Team
Lando Norris
McLaren F1 Team
Sergio Perez
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team
Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Kevin Magnussen
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team
George Russell
ROKiT Williams Racing
Romain Grosjean
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team
Alexander Albon
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Nico Hulkenberg
Renault F1 Team
Robert Kubica
ROKiT Williams Racing
+1 Lap
Sebastian Vettel
Scuderia Ferrari
Charles Leclerc
Scuderia Ferrari
Lance Stroll
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team
Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix race results

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix race results >

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