Brazilian GP: Bottas beats Verstappen in F1 sprint, Hamilton 5th

Valtteri Bottas beat Max Verstappen to win Formula 1's Brazilian sprint race, with Lewis Hamilton recovering from last on the grid to finish fifth.

At the start, Bottas's soft tyres appeared to give him considerably better grip off the line, as he powered alongside Verstappen despite appearing to react slightly slower to the lights going out.

The Finn was alongside the polesitter at the apex of Turn 1 and surged ahead, as Verstappen quickly came under pressure from Carlos Sainz, who had also been given softs for the start and used them to pass Sergio Perez for third place at Turn 1.

Sainz was all over Verstappen down the second straight and at the Turn 4 right at the end the pair went side by side, with the latter having to go off track and rejoined behind the Ferrari, Verstappen hitting the kerbs at the edge of the runoff hard as he did so, kicking up a plume of dirt.

But he was able to chase after Sainz as Bottas moved clear in the lead, shadowing the Spaniard for a few laps before using DRS to move back into second with an easy move to the inside of the first corner at the start of the fourth tour of 24.

Verstappen shot after Bottas, setting a string of fastest laps as he closed the Mercedes driver's lead, which had at one stage with Sainz behind reached 2.5s, to under two seconds as they quickly raced clear of the Ferrari – the leading pair the only drivers able to lap in the 1m12s bracket.

The Dutchman continued to chip away at Bottas's advantage as the race went on, getting within DRS range by the start of lap 15.

But he was unable to get much closer over the next couple of laps and dropped back beyond one-second adrift as Red Bull told him to "bide your time".

Heading into the final tours, which featured heavy clouds building up behind Turn 4, Verstappen did surge back to briefly run within the DRS range, but he never got close enough to make a move and he finished 1.1s adrift, as Bottas claimed his second F1 sprint race win of the season.

Bottas will therefore start Sunday's race from pole ahead of Verstappen – the reverse of how they lined up in this event.

In third, Sainz fended off the attentions of Perez for the rest of the event, coming home 18.7s behind Bottas.

In the pack behind, Hamilton, on the medium tyres, gained five places on the first lap alone, with the world champion immediately getting into 14th at the start of the second tour.

He made steadier progress from there, using DRS to dispatch AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda and then passing Antonio Giovinazzi and Fernando Alonso to reach the edge of the top 10 by the start of lap nine.

But with Daniel Ricciardo running ahead in 10th, much as was the case for Bottas in last Sunday's Mexico City race, Hamilton struggled to pass the customer Mercedes-engine-running McLaren.

At the end of lap 12, Hamilton got close enough to Ricciardo to close in with DRS and steam ahead on the outside line to Turn 1 at the start of the next lap, quickly pulling clear to chase Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin in ninth place.

After a couple of laps trailing Vettel, Hamilton powered by in near identical fashion to his pass on Ricciardo and then easily raced by Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly on the grid hatchings in successive laps to reach seventh place at the start of the 17th tour.

From there he had a few laps in clear air closing the gap to Charles Leclerc, unlike Sainz the second Ferrari driver was running the mediums, with Hamilton reaching the 1m12s just as far ahead the leaders had slipped back to the 1m13s.

At the start of lap 20 Hamilton was right with Leclerc, using DRS to blast by on the inside line into Turn 4 to rise to sixth and head off after Lando Norris, who had earlier muscled his way past Leclerc on his rise from seventh on the grid.

Hamilton roared up to his countryman's rear over as the final laps ticked down, eventually seizing fifth with a bold lap move to Norris's inside at the start of the final lap.

He eventually finished just 20.8s behind Bottas, with Norris, Leclerc, Gasly, Ocon and Vettel completing the top 10 in the order Hamilton had passed them.

Hamilton will start 10th for Sunday's grand prix as a result of his grid penalty for taking a new internal combustion engine for this event.

The only incident of note concerned the two Alfa Romeo drivers, who collided at the Turn 1 apex at the start of the race's second lap, after they had gone either side of Alonso (who finished 12th) in an early scrap over 11th.

Raikkonen locked up as he swung towards Giovinazzi on the inside of the right-hander, with the Italian's right-front touching his teammate's left-rear and spinning him around and into the runoff at the edge of the track.

Over the rest of the race, Raikkonen recovered two spots to beat the Haas drivers to 18th.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes -
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 1.170 1.170
3 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 18.723 18.723
4 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 19.787 19.787
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 20.872 20.872
6 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 22.558 22.558
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 25.056 25.056
8 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 34.158 34.158
9 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 34.632 34.632
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 34.867 34.867
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 35.869 35.869
12 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 36.578 36.578
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 41.880 41.880
14 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 44.037 44.037
15 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 46.150 46.150
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 46.760 46.760
17 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 47.739 47.739
18 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 50.014 50.014
19 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 1'01.680 1'01.680
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 1'07.474 1'07.474
shares
comments
Brazilian GP sprint qualifying race as it happened
Previous article

Brazilian GP sprint qualifying race as it happened

Next article

Hamilton: Brazil F1 DSQ "devastating" ahead of sprint recovery

Hamilton: Brazil F1 DSQ "devastating" ahead of sprint recovery
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021