Verstappen wins exciting Brazilian GP
Polesitter Max Verstappen drove to a convincing victory in the Brazilian GP at Interlagos outdueling Lewis Hamilton on more than one occasion for his third win of the year.
Pierre Gasly held off Hamilton for 2nd who was later handed a 5-sec. penalty for spinning Alex Albon out of 2nd place with one lap to go and moved to 7th.
Carlos Sainz Jr., Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded out the top-5 in a race that saw both Ferraris take each other out battling for the final podium position. The surprise results surely woke up the online betting community ( or “Scommesse Sportive” as the Italians say).
"I don't know what to say, it's so emotional," said Gasly.
"I'm so happy for Toro Rosso, these guys. They've given me a great car since I came back."
Both Hamilton and Albon were summoned to the Stewards office and Hamilton was deemed at fault and handed a 5-second penalty.
Both Ferraris took each other out on lap 66 of 71 battling for the final podium position.
With 11 laps to go after a safety car period, Hamilton led Verstappen, Vettel, Albon and Leclerc - with Vettel and Albon sticking with tires they had only just switched to three laps before the safety car, and Leclerc stopping for another set of softs.
Hamilton backed the pack up aggressively at the restart, but Verstappen drew level on the outside into the first corner and reclaimed the lead into the second part of the Senna S.
Behind, Albon aggressively took third from Vettel.
Albon closed in on Hamilton for second but found himself under attack from Vettel again when the Ferrari launched a move around the outside into the first corner with seven laps remaining, but Albon held the position.
Two laps later, Leclerc dove under Vettel on the inside into the first corner, but then Vettel got DRS and fought back on the run down to the Descida do Lago he drifted left and the two Ferraris barely touched each other but the Ferrari fell apart like cheap toys
That triggered another safety car and Hamilton dived into the pits yet again, dropping him to fourth behind Albon and Gasly.
A two-lap dash to the flag ensued after the safety car period ended, in which Albon and Hamilton collided. Hamilton accepted the blame for the incident, which is under investigation and dropped Albon to 14th.
Gasly then earned his stunning podium finish by keeping Hamilton behind until the Mercedes drew level exiting the penultimate corner, but the Honda-powered Toro Rosso stayed ahead in a near dead heat.
Antonio Giovinazzi was 5th, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who finished 6th.
Lando Norris took eighth for McLaren, with Racing Point's Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat completing the top-10.
Insider Eddie Irvine's views on the current State of F1
Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Lewis Hamilton (7th*): "It was a great race, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was hopefully fun for people to watch, although the result is upsetting. I never want to collide with anyone, it was really unfortunate with Alex. Naturally I take it on me, it was my fault, I was coming from behind. He was doing a great job, so apologies to him. I gave it absolutely everything and more today, I was pushing so hard in every lap just to keep up with Max in front of me. We really didn't have a lot of pace today and I think we were probably going faster than we should have gone. Congratulations to Red Bull, they did the better job today and deserved the win. They were extremely quick today, I was basically a sitting duck on the straights. There's one more race to go in this season, so we will be pushing for a better result in Abu Dhabi."
Valtteri Bottas (DNF, Engine): "It was a tricky race overall, even before I had to retire the car. The pace wasn't quite there today, so we will have to investigate that. I was aiming to do a one-stop and go to the end on the Hard tires, but I had to pit again as we were concerned that the tires wouldn't last until the end. It's obviously not ideal to switch strategies like that, but it didn't really matter in the end as I didn't finish the race. I don't know the details yet, I just suddenly lost power, so we will have look into that and see what caused it. It was very disappointing especially since there was a lot happening afterwards, so it would have been nice to be a part of that action. I'm now looking forward to the race in Abu Dhabi, we want to come back strong and finish the season on a high."
James Allison, Technical Director: "It was a very disappointing day - a day where we made some mistakes, where we suffered very uncharacteristic unreliability on one car and turned what should have been a decent result into a DNF for Valtteri and a disappointing finish for Lewis. The simple answer is that we weren't as quick as the Red Bulls today. We were reaching a bit in the end and we paid the price for doing something that was too optimistic - we brought in Lewis for a set of fresh tires right at the end of the race and lost some places as a result of that and also got tangled up in an accident that was an indirect consequence of that call. Valtteri suffered from an oil consumption issue earlier on in the race and we were monitoring it, but it got worse and ended his race prematurely. Overall a very disappointing weekend for us, we want to put it behind us and move on to Abu Dhabi to put it right there and hopefully finish the season in fine style."
Sebastian Vettel (17th, Accident): "The summary of the day is that we did not finish a race in which we could have got a good result. It's a shame about the collision between us, especially for the team as a whole, given that both cars were in the points and considering how much work everyone puts in, both at the track and back in Maranello. From my point of view, the race was going well, even if I think that Max (Verstappen) was uncatchable today. Now we must just focus on the final race of the season where will try and bring home the best possible result."
Charles Leclerc (18th, Accident): "It's a real pity to end the weekend like this. I am sorry for the whole team, especially because today we were fast and we were looking good to bring home some decent points. It had actually been an exciting race for me. Starting from the midfield, I enjoyed fighting my way forward and was satisfied with the way things were progressing. We will move on from this in any case and continue to work together in the best way. Now it's time for us to focus on Abu Dhabi to end our season in the best possible way."
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: "The overriding feeling today is that everyone, first and foremost our drivers are very disappointed and sorry from a team perspective. It was a small collision that had a big consequence. In truth, this sort of thing should never happen. Our drivers were free to race today and they knew that. We have already clinched second place in the Constructors' Championship and they were battling for their own positions in the Drivers' classification. Of course we now need to sit down and decide together where the limits are to make sure we all push for the benefit of the team and make sure these things don't happen anymore. Our race today was certainly not bad, and similar to Mexico in terms of performance. We are still lacking a bit of pace in the race. Sebastian was in a comfortable fourth, Charles from 14th could have been on the podium. It's such a shame that we ended up throwing away so many points."
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen (1st): "It's an incredible feeling right now and to win today was a huge Team effort. It was a crazy race with a lot of action and fighting but luckily we always had the pace to counter back and overtake Mercedes in every scenario. It wasn't easy out there but the Team made all the right calls, especially at the end to pit for the soft tires during the Safety Car which gave us the win today. As a Team you always try and make everything perfect, I focus on my job and the Team also try to do a perfect job in the pits and on the strategy and clearly today it worked out pretty perfectly. It's a great victory, after last year of course, but more for the way the race unfolded and how we all had to work together. Today and the whole weekend the car and Honda power unit have been working really well and we have made a step so thank you to everyone for that. It is of course a massive shame that Alex could not be on the podium with me as it would have been an even better result for the Team but it's great for Pierre to be up here and for Toro Rosso and Honda."
Alexander Albon (14th): "Of course I'm frustrated but I'm not angry, I'm just upset. I wanted that podium and we deserved it as it was on merit. At the Safety Car restart we had some fun and I enjoyed battling with the Ferraris, the overtake felt good! Obviously Lewis had good grip once he pitted and I think he would've got me eventually into Turn 1, but I thought worst case scenario we had P3. I had a good gap to Lewis and I wasn't worrying about him. I went into the corner deep just to cover him so he didn't get any ideas, and then there's a blind spot and obviously we made contact. Of course he didn't do it on purpose, it's just one of those things and today wasn't meant to be. It's done now and we'll focus on the positives before the next race. Congratulations also to Max, he drove really well and deserved the win."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "That was redemption for Max. We went into the race with one objective today and that was to win. From the moment the lights went out, Max stormed into the lead and controlled the race brilliantly. Lewis pitted just before us and committed to a two-stop, then an unsafe release with the Williams cost Max the lead, but taking full advantage of his new tires he immediately repassed Lewis. Thereafter Max controlled the race and the mechanics did a phenomenal job to turn the car around in 1.9s at the final pit stop. When the Safety Car came out we had the horrible decision of whether to pit from the lead, knowing the car behind would stay out. Our strategist Hannah made the recommendation to pit so we did and Max was once again able to repass Lewis. Alex drove another very strong race, going wheel to wheel with Ferrari and Mercedes. He managed to pass Sebastian on the outside of Turn 1 and was also able to get ahead of Lewis who pitted at the final Safety Car. Unfortunately on the last lap, Lewis went for a gap that was rapidly diminishing and contact was made. That was a 1-2 finish for the Team and second place for Alex taken away, but nonetheless Alex has driven a great Grand Prix and he can leave Brazil with his head held high. Finally, congratulations to Pierre who delivered a very strong weekend and it's great to see him on the podium for the first time. Overall, it's been a really positive weekend for both Red Bull teams and Honda."
Renault Sport Formula One Team
Daniel Ricciardo (6th): "After the early incident, I would have said 'no way we could finish seventh', so I'm quite happy with that. I take responsibility for the incident with Kevin. It was close, but I went into him and he spun. Sometimes you can do that and it works, but sometimes you touch wheels. In that situation you think the race is over, but we kept our heads down and managed a really strong race. The safety car restarts were fun and it was good out there. There's one more to go now and I'm excited for that."
Nico Hulkenberg (15th): "I don't really know what happened today and I just couldn't seem to make progress in the race. There was some excitement at the end with the safety cars and the restarts. It was fun with some battling, but it just wasn't happening for me today. It shows how important qualifying is to be right up there and being in a position to gain places."
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director: "In view of our less than optimal starting positions on a track that really doesn't suit us, we once again had to go for a bold strategy. This time it didn't pay off, in stark contrast to previous races. After a difficult start on medium tires both our drivers were pitched against cars on soft tires. The collision with Magnussen and the ensuing penalty effectively excluded Daniel from a race that could have been better for him, especially with a bit of patience at the beginning of the race. He nonetheless showed resilience even when racing in last place, right until the events at the end of the race that allowed him to climb back up the order. Unfortunately, these events also helped our rivals. We must absolutely avoid putting ourselves in this situation at the last race in Abu Dhabi."
Haas F1 Team
Romain Grosjean (0th, ): "First of all, I'm very happy for Pierre (Gasly), it's good to see him on the podium. I'm very happy for him. I was the last Frenchman on the podium four years ago. As for us today, we just didn't get any luck. We were doing the race of our life, we were hanging on in there in P7 with a car that doesn't deserve that. We were doing an amazing job and then the safety car fell at exactly the wrong time for us. The tires at the restart were just tired from a long stint. We knew we could go to the end, but then Sainz pushed me wide at the restart into turn two. I'm not very happy about that. We pushed the car to the limit today, it just wasn't our time."
Kevin Magnussen (11th): "It's a shame, this feels like a missed opportunity for the team today – it just didn't go our way. I got turned around at the beginning of the race and lost a lot of positions, I then had damage on the front wing. At the safety car later, everyone else was just a lot stronger than us at the restart, I just didn't have enough to hang onto it. I got passed and ultimately missed out on the points by just one place – which doesn't feel good."
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "Obviously it was a disappointing race, we had hoped for more, and it had looked like we might get it. Kevin (Magnussen) was spun out by Ricciardo, so his race was basically over, it put him back a lot. Romain (Grosjean) was doing a good job and our plan was to do a one-stop race. On the restart we had an MGU-K issue and he was overtaken by a lot of people. From there onwards it was just going backwards. Unfortunately, we started in the top ten but ended up outside of the top ten. We know we're in a difficult position with the car. There's one more race to go, then hopefully we can come back stronger next year."
McLaren F1 Team
Carlos Sainz (3rd): "Yes! What a day! It's a weird first podium not being there straight after the race, but I'm extremely happy with our race today. To finish P3 coming all the way from the back of the grid was a big challenge, but we fought until the end with everything we had! It was a very eventful race and I think I was the only car to do a one-stop strategy. It was really difficult to hold the other midfield cars behind after the two Safety Car re-starts, but I managed to defend my position well and took advantage of what happened at the front of the race. A good first stint, a great pit-stop from the guys and a very challenging and long stint to bring it home and finish P3 for the first time in my career. Congrats to the whole team, here and back in Woking! My first podium is obviously very special but we need to keep pushing to step up there on pure pace! That's what we're really here for, that has to be our goal!"
Lando Norris (8th): "A tough, long race, a good result for the team and awesome for Carlos. My first stint was alright, apart from getting boxed-in at the start, and my pace was okay. I boxed onto the Hard tire and struggled, I just didn't seem to get them working at all. I was then fortunate with the Safety Car allowing me to make up positions after stopping again for Mediums. Carlos on the podium, both cars in the points, is a great reward for everyone here and at the factory who have worked hard for Carlos and I this weekend."
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "P4 in the Constructors' World Championship for McLaren secured. First podium for Carlos in his F1 career and first podium for McLaren since 2014. What an amazing achievement for the entire team back home in the factory plus here at the track, and for Carlos and Lando after putting in so much hard work throughout the year. Big, big thank you to every single member of the team. We woke up this morning after a difficult Saturday with a clear commitment to never give up and fight back. We executed well today as a team, we had some difficult strategy decisions to make, did great pit-stops, had two brilliant race drivers in the cars and in the end deserved to score this P3 and P8 after the cars at the front were dropping out. We keep our heads down and now focus on securing our positions in the Drivers' World Championship. The achievement this year together with the podium today is the perfect motivation for all of us to keep working hard in order to score podiums again in the future for McLaren based on our own outright performance."
Racing Point F1 Team
Sergio Perez (9th): "It was a very chaotic race – especially the final ten laps when the Safety Car brought all the cars together again. Unfortunately it was difficult for us to really fight out there today because we lacked speed on the straights, which meant that we got overtaken easily and couldn't fight back. In the end, our two points are really deserved and I'm pleased we came away with something. Unfortunately, we couldn't fight for higher positions."
Lance Stroll (19th, Damage): "There's not much to say today: it was a really disappointing afternoon. I ran over some debris from the Ferrari incident and that was it, my race was over. It had been a really close race up until then and the Safety Car really mixed things up and changed the race for everybody. It's a shame because up until then I was on a one-stop strategy, my tires were performing well, and we were definitely in a position to grab some points today."
Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer: "A tough day for us, even though we managed to salvage a couple of points in the final few laps. Before the Safety Car came out, we had both cars on different strategies with Lance doing a good job to make the one-stop race work. It looked as though he would score points, but we switched him to a two-stop race under the Safety Car and then he got hit by debris when the Ferraris got together. Sergio switched to a two-stop race early on and took advantage of the chaotic final laps to finish in ninth place. We face an uphill task in Abu Dhabi to reclaim sixth place in the Constructors' Championship, but we will go there fighting and give it everything."
Alfa Romeo Racing
Kimi Raikkonen (4th): "It's great to finally be able to celebrate our best result of the season as a team. It was a positive day and finally we were able to get the result we worked so hard for. We kept on our own most of the race, but at the end we were in the middle of the action. I am disappointed we couldn't get past Sainz for what turned out to be the final podium position: we had the speed, got a good run on him twice but couldn't get past. But you always want something more: in the end, it's good to get big points with both cars."
Antonio Giovinazzi (5th): "I am really, really happy today, for both myself and the team. What a great race, it was a fantastic way to celebrate my contract for next year with two cars in the points. We had a great start, the best this year – we made up three places and went straight into the top ten, but we still had a lot of work to do. The strategy was great, the restarts were very important, especially the final one when I was under pressure from Daniel [Ricciardo]. The last ten laps were crazy, it was quite intense but we managed to stay ahead. Everyone in the team did a wonderful job and we can be really happy with our work. We are improving race after race and we can now focus on Abu Dhabi and on finishing the season in the right way."
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "We can be really happy and proud with this result. To bring two cars in the points just outside the podium is the reward for the hard work of everyone in the team. We didn't let our head drop in the races where we were unlucky and now we can celebrate our best result of the season. There was no defining factor today: everyone did a great job - in the cockpit, in the pitstops, on the pitwall and back at base. We have made a lot of progress in the last few races, but it wasn't until today that it showed. Now we can look forward to the chance to do another good race in Abu Dhabi and finish the season on a high."
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Pierre Gasly (2nd): "This is just incredible! My first podium in Formula 1 and with Toro Rosso. I kept working every race on myself, I always thought that if I could be in the right place at the right time something will come, and today it happened, it's just amazing - I have so many emotions! I've always said the team is my Italian family, I love their spirit and passion, they always push like hell and today was the best present I could give back to thank them for their massive constant effort. You dream a lot about being in F1, you dream about your first podium, but then when it happens all of the emotions coming through me are just unpredictable, it's just the best day of my life right now. I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me since the start of my career and have gotten me to where I am today."
Daniil Kvyat (10th): "Starting from P16 I knew it wasn't going to be easy today. There not much to say, it was a difficult race until my safety car restart on the last lap, as I was able to overtake three cars, getting at least one point. It's the second podium for Toro Rosso this year and I think we are the only midfield team who achieved that, so we can be really pleased with our effort. We scored many points today, taking back the sixth position in the Championship. Today's result is a great achievement for the team."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "It was a fantastic race today, especially for the spectators as the safety car periods really made it a show, very exciting. Toro Rosso, Honda and Pierre Gasly together showed a fantastic performance. Pierre was competitive straight away, from Friday onwards, and he showed great pace again yesterday in Qualifying, where he finished the session in P7. He started from P6 on the grid (due to LEC's penalty) and he had a good start to the race, with a very clever first stint in managing his Option tires and avoided overheating. On his first pit stop, he changed to the Prime tire and he had even better pace than expected, and then on the last set of Options he already had a five-second advantage over the others. He reacted well to Kimi Raikkonen's challenge because he was able to pick up the pace and go a couple of tenths faster to hold his position - this was very impressive as he was able to do this without overdriving and overheating the tires. It was a great drive from him, so he really deserves his second-place finish. Ferrari and the others have certainly helped, but Pierre anyhow had the pace to finish in P5 or P6 without these collisions, and today he drove his best race at Toro Rosso. Daniil's race was much more difficult, but he was able to score a point. It was tricky for him on the Prime tires because it took a long time to get t hem into the ideal working range, and it was the same for a few of our competitors as well. On Options it was much better, and I think that without the safety car he could have had a chance to finish further ahead. Having said this, we are still happy with the point he scored as it also helped reclaiming the sixth position in the Constructors' Championship. I also want to congratulate Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Max, for their amazing victory. We are looking forward to Abu Dhabi now, where we still have a chance to fight for an even better position. Let's hope we can find a good setup and put everything together for the last race of this season."
Claudio Balestri, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Performance: "What a Race! This is a great day for Toro Rosso and Honda. It's thanks to a fantastic team effort here at the track, in our Operations Rooms in Faenza, Bicester and in Sakura that we could achieve such an amazing result together – the second step of the podium! Today we didn't make any mistakes; we had a good start, good pace during the whole race, we managed our tires when the track temperatures were very high, especially at the start. Pierre drove impeccably and was able to keep Lewis (Hamilton) behind in an incredible last lap, finishing his race P2. Amazing! As for Dany, his race was a bit more difficult, having to fight with all the other cars around, but he was able to finish the race in P10, bringing another point to the team. Now we will go to Abu Dhabi on a high and ready to fight again. Fifth position in the Constructors' Championship is not unreachable."
Masamitsu Motohashi, Honda Chief Engineer: "At the very end of the race, we managed to get second place with Pierre after a very close fight with Hamilton. Really, I am lost for words. This is our second podium of the year with Toro Rosso, which is a wonderful achievement and it puts them in a very strong position to finish at least sixth in the Championship. At the start of the weekend, we had some PU issues, but thanks to the hard work of everyone in the team and our Honda crew, we recovered well and this is a great reward for all the hard work. We have worked with Pierre for the past two seasons now and so this is a great result in what was in some ways a difficult year for him. Our congratulations go to him and our friends at Toro Rosso and let's not forget that Daniil also managed to finish in the points. This is a great boost for the team, but we must now aim to do even better next year."
Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director: "This is our first win in Brazil since Ayrton Senna's epic victory in 1991. Today's win was down to an aggressive and intelligent race from Max and a well-executed strategy from the team. To take a third win this season is a great result for everyone at Honda and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Congratulations also to Pierre Gasly on a fantastic drive in which he got the most out of the car to record his first F1 podium and also to Toro Rosso for their second top three finish of the year. Pierre performed well throughout the race especially in that last lap fight with Hamilton, which I'm sure will be a real boost for him. I am happy for him in what has been a difficult year. The car-PU package worked very well with both our teams and that has to be a good sign for the final race of the season and when we look ahead to next year. We would like to dedicate this win to our founder, Soichiro Honda, whose birthday it would have been today. Finally, congratulations to McLaren, with whom we scored that last win in 1991, for finishing on the podium today."
ROKiT Williams Racing
George Russell (12th): "It was definitely crazy in those last few laps and that gave us half an opportunity. I gave it my everything to take advantage of the situation and overtake a car here or there. It wasn't meant to be though and that's the maximum we could do. However, it was nice to be in the mix and fully fighting in the closing stages."
Robert Kubica (16th): "The first lap of the race was good, I was able to fight with some quicker cars in the first stint. Afterwards I lost the pace, especially with hard tires. We had to protect the rear tires, but, by saving these, we were unable to put any energy into the fronts, making them ice cold with no grip."
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: "Once again, the Interlagos track produced a thrilling race, and while we weren't in contention for points, it presented us with a great chance to practice our race operations. The team did a fantastic job around both safety cars and put our drivers in strong positions to race the cars around them. The tire compounds and track temperature today permitted multiple strategy options and while the safety cars meant that we didn't get to see the baseline strategies play out fully, it did lead to an exciting race. We opted to start both cars on the medium compound before splitting tire strategies once we saw the hard tire behaving well on some of the early adopters. The safety cars then gave us opportunities to switch to fresher soft tires towards the end. Unfortunately, the hard didn't perform as well on our car and this, coupled with an aggressive pitstop release, compromised Robert's race. The strategy allowed us to beat a Haas on merit and we then benefited from others' misfortune and penalties as we finished the race in P12 with George and P16 with Robert. After a long and challenging season, this was a thoroughly enjoyable race, which we managed well and gave ourselves the best chance of making up places. This is fair reward for the tremendous effort that everyone has put into a difficult season."
Revised Provisional Results
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