Brazilian GP: Verstappen wins from Gasly after crazy finish

Max Verstappen won a crazy Brazilian Grand Prix in which Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly claimed his first Formula 1 podium in second and the two Ferraris collided with each other.

Brazilian GP: Verstappen wins from Gasly after crazy finish

Poleman Verstappen had to pass Lewis Hamilton on track twice to score his third victory of 2019, while Gasly beat Hamilton in a drag race to the line after being handed second place when Hamilton and Alex Albon collided on the penultimate lap.

A collision between teammates Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc caused a safety car and set up a four-lap climax to a thrilling race, with Albon in second because Hamilton had made a switch to soft tyres under the safety and dropped to third.

Hamilton tried to pass Albon for second on the penultimate lap but Albon turned in, 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.

The world champion is under investigation for the incident.

Poleman Verstappen maintained the lead at the start as Hamilton attacked Vettel on the outside into Turn 1 and grabbed second.

Hamilton fell away from Verstappen through the first stint as Verstappen held a lead of around 2.4s initially, which Hamilton had whittled down to 1.8s when he dived into the pitlane at the end of lap 20.

That committed him to a two-stop strategy by switching to 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.

He caught Leclerc, who was yet to stop having started 14th, at the end of the lap but still moved ahead of Verstappen because Verstappen was baulked by the Williams of Robert Kubica in the pitlane.

Williams released Kubica but the Pole was slow away and swerved into Verstappen's path at the exit, forcing Verstappen to take evasive action and then sit behind the Williams until they rejoined the circuit.

That allowed Hamilton ahead, but Leclerc put up a stern resistance through the rest of the lap, which meant Verstappen – also on fresh softs – closed back up immediately.

Hamilton passed Leclerc on the outside of the fast left-hander at the end of the middle sector but Verstappen followed him through immediately, darting down the inside of Leclerc into the Juncao left-hander that follows.

Verstappen was then immediately on Hamilton's tail and blasted past into Turn 1, as Hamilton ran out of battery power at the end of the lap and bemoaned his team for a lack of information.

The lead gap gradually extended to more than three seconds as Hamilton grew irate, insisting he could not close the gap and requesting to stop to try to force the undercut again.

Mercedes obliged on lap 43 of 71, but Red Bull covered the move one lap later again and Verstappen retained track position.

He proceeded to keep Hamilton at arm's length until a safety car emerged with 18 laps remaining, when Valtteri Bottas, who was in a frustrated fifth place behind Leclerc, was forced to retire after an apparent engine failure.

Bottas slowed exiting Turn 3 after smoke emerged from the back of his Mercedes before pulling to a halt on the inside at Turn 4, which was initially dealt with using double waved yellow flags but required a safety car when a recovery vehicle was deployed to retrieve the Mercedes.

Hamilton stayed out while Verstappen dived into the pits for another set of softs, and Hamilton opted not to pit next time by either – giving him the lead, but with tyres 11 laps older than Verstappen's.

When the race resumed, Hamilton led Verstappen, Vettel, Albon and Leclerc – with Vettel and Albon sticking with tyres 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 to thwart Verstappen's attack, but Verstappen drew level on the outside into the first corner and toughed it out to reclaim the lead into the second part of the Senna S.

Behind, Albon aggressively took third from Vettel, then rebuffed the Ferrari's attempt to reclaim the place into Turn 3.

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 somehow resisted.

Two laps later, Leclerc mugged teammate Vettel on the inside into the first corner, but when Vettel fought back on the run down to Turn 4 he moved left and the two Ferraris hit each other.

The impact broke Leclerc's front right wheel and forced the furious youngster into retirement, while Vettel – who 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.

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 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.

Behind the top three, Carlos Sainz Jr matched McLaren's best result of the year by making the most of the chaos to finish fourth despite starting last after failing to take part in qualifying.

Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi nailed Alfa Romeo's best result of the season in fifth and sixth, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who fought back from a broken front wing and a five-second penalty early on in a collision with Kevin Magnussen to finish seventh.

Lando Norris finished eighth for McLaren, with Racing Point's Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat completing the points finishers.

Cla Driver Chassis Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull
2 France Pierre Gasly
Toro Rosso 6.077
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 6.139
4 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 8.896
5 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 9.452
6 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 10.201
7 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 10.541
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 11.204
9 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 11.529
10 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso 11.931
11 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 12.732
12 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 13.599
13 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 14.247
14 Thailand Alex Albon
Red Bull 14.927
15 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault 18.059
16 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams
17 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari
18 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari
19 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point
Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes
shares
comments
Why F1's 'misleading' tyre graphic is better than you think

Previous article

Why F1's 'misleading' tyre graphic is better than you think

Next article

Remorseful Hamilton summoned to stewards over Albon clash

Remorseful Hamilton summoned to stewards over Albon clash
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Sub-event Race
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021