Brazilian Grand Prix – F1 – are living!


Gasly is buzzing. It’s his first podium, and he says he’s made many in other motorsport, but this is something special. He also enjoyed his finish with Hamilton, trying to get low in the car.

Hamilton says the gap to take Albon was there but then it closed and he massively apologises. Red Bull were quicker on the straights, he says, and he took a lot of risks, giving it everything he could to win. Barichello says Verstappen looked unbeatable today and Hamilton agrees there was nothing he could’ve done. He had the speed around the corners but not on the straights.

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Brazilian Grand Prix: F1 – live!

Verstappen tells Barichello that Hamilton was very quick and they twice played good moves to beat him. He says he controlled the race and had great fun out there. He was pushing glat-out to be close to Hamilton when they restarted and he knew he had DRS and great top speed so was confident he could pull it off.

But spare a thought for poor Alex Albon, whos podium was confiscated by a Hamiltonian shunt.

Brazilian Grand Prix: F1 – live!

Pierre Gasly, meanwhile, is a-whoopin an a-hollerin – he is ecstatic with that finish and rightly so. It wasn’t exactly vintage but, as Ryan Giggs would say, he’d’ve took it.

That was more or less a perfect weekend from Verstappen. Pole, then a brilliant drive, great tactics, and a win despite various unforeseen circumstances. He is going to be a danger next season.


Gasly is second – his first podium – with Hamilton third.

Max Verstappen wins the race. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Lap 71/71 Hamilton might find himself penalised for that, but Albon made an error offering the space. Hamilton’s car is slightly mangled.

Albon leaves the door open for Hamilton, Hamilton goes, and bashes him off the track. There goes his first ever podium!

Lap 70/71 Verstappen leads by 1.547s but HAVE A LOOK!

Lap 70/71 Verstappen absolutely streaks away! Albon is second but Hamilton nails Gasly and is in behind!

Lap 69/71 Off goes the safety car, and we’re going to have two laps of mania!

Lap 69/71 There’s bare debris on the track, so no chance of a swift restart. I’d love to check out Ferrari’s team meeting, because Vettel and Leclerc will have some opinions.

Lap 69/71 Presumably this is now going to be a safety-car finish, in which case Mercedes have pitted Hamilton off the podium! We can laugh, and so can he given he’s champion … but being a champion means not finding stuff like that laughable.

Lap 68/71 So who was at fault for that carash? Vettel seemed to blame Leclerc, but it was he who moved off the line, though in a sense both are unlucky – the contact was so minor, it’s amazing that it’s caused so much damage to both cars.

Vettel’s not happy. Photograph: Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images

Lap 67/71 Hamilton pits, and all of a sudden we’re going to have i don’t even know what! We might get some extra laps, but Hamilton is now fourth; how’s he improving on second from there, in whatever’s left?

Vettel and Leclerc clash, a puncture apiece, and both are out of the race! Back comes the safety car!

Lap 66/71 Leclerc diddles Vettel down the inside! That’s very nice … but they get close, kiss sides, and BOTH ARE OUT OF THE RACE!

Lap 65/71 This race is over as far as first place goes, but there’s all manner of shenaniga going on behind them. Vettel defends and attack from Leclerc, as does Giovinazzi from Ricciardo.

Lap 64/71 Vettel has DRS and he hacks at Albon! This is Albon’s first go up top with the big dawgs and he’s handling it well! He closes the door!

Lap 63/71 3.071s the lead now, and Hamilton only has 0.783s on Albon. Vettel and Leclerc are both within striking distance … and

Lap 62/71 Verstappen leads by 2.45s and it’s hard to see Hamilton closing that gap – there’s more chance he gets diddled by Albon, I’d say.

Lap 61/71 That pit was a great call by Red Bull. Hamilton just couldn’t keep up, though we need to say that Verstappen drove a gorgeous bend to force them home.

Lap 61/71 That was brilliant by Verstappen, and behind him, Albon nails Vettel and Leclerc to take third! And now he goes for Hamilton!

Lap 60/71 Verstappen goes! He bousts around the outside, Hamilton fights back, they’re wheel to wheel, and Verstappen has the legs on him! Verstappen leads!

Lap 60/71 “Come on mate, you’ve done this once already on the same compound,” Verstappen is told. Hamilton tries to back him into Vettel and off they go!

Lap 59/71 The safety car will go away at the end of this lap. Hamilton is not pleased with his predicament.

Lap 59/71 Christian Horner says Mercedes would’ve done the opposite of whatever his team did, so they took the attacking option, conceding place for pace.

Lap 58/71 We’ve gone from not needing a safety car to having one on for TIME. Another two laps more, reckon commentary, on the basis that it’s a short circuit and the way needs to be clear for everyone.

Lap 58/71 When this gets going again, Hamilton won’t just have Verstappen on his arse – Vettel and Leclerc also have the tyres and speed to get into him.

Hamilton, with Verstappen ready to pounce. Photograph: Douglas Magno/AFP via Getty Images

Lap 57/71 “The safety car needs to speed up, man – jeez,” Hamilton tells his team.

Lap 56/71 Verstappen is on softs, and is desperate to see the back of the safety car to deploy his advantage.

Lap 56/71 Hamilton leads, and it looks like the two cars between them will move out of the way when the safety car does one. That’s going to be a while, though.

Lap 55/71 Whos going to pit … Hamilton or Verstappen? It’s Verstappen! Will he have the pace to chase him down?

Out comes the safety car!

Lap 54/71 Bottas did a good job, but nonetheless it comes out, and it’s going to be a sprint!

Lap 53/71 Hamilton has taken the lead down to 0.981! He’s nearly in DRS range, but Verstappen says he didn’t slow down enough for the yellow flags! More on that presently!

Lap 52/71 Smoke coming out the back of Bottas’s car, but he smashes the gas anyway, nabbing the DRS to have a shy at Leclerc … but he can’t get by and that’s that for him! He pulls out of the race and parks up safely to avoid a safety car situation.

Lap 51/71 Albon pits, so Leclerc moves up to fourth and Bottas to fifth. Meanwhile, Hamilton whittles Verstappen’s lead down to 1.149s…

Lap 50/71 Vettel and Ferrari realise it’s hopeless and pit. Verstappen now leads, by 1.520s from Hamilton. He then extends the gap to 1.624, and looks good for the W.

Lap 49/71 Bottas, in sixth, has a go at Leclerc with DRS and looks like he’s making it count … but no! Excellent defence from Leclerc, but Bottas has a pace issue.

Lap 49/71 Verstappen will be on Vettel in one lap’s time; “needs more power,” Hmailton tells his team. That’s not one you hear often.

Lap 48/71 Verstappen sets a personal best lap for the race that’s quicker than Hamilton by 0.3. Vettel is not long for this lead.

Verstappen, sets a new fastest lap. Photograph: Silvia Izquierdo/AP

Lap 47/71 Hamilton and Verstappen are lapping a second quicker than Vettel, and Hmailton is lapping 0.2 quicker than Verstappen.

Lap 46/71 Mercedes did well to get in first – the gap between Hamilton and Verstappen is less than it was before the stops. Vettel leads by 5.391…

Lap 45/71 In goes Verstappen and that’s another bazzing stop, 1.9s, and he exits the pits ahead of Hamilton, who also has Magnussen to contend with – he’s between them. Vettel now leads; do his tyres have the pace to keep him in front for another 26 laps?

Lap 44/71 Hammertime! Hamilton gets out ahead of Albon, in third, and Verstappen will surely respond immediately.

Lap 44/71 And Hamilton goes in! Can they get it done before Albon, in fourth, goes through the Senna S?

Lap 43/71 Verstappen leads by 2.814s, as Hamilton asks his team What’re you waiting for?” He’s had enough and wants to come in.

Lap 42/71 Bottas goes first! He’s on hards now, and comes out in sixth, ahead of Gasly. That’s good news for Red Bull, because he’s not now in Verstappen’s way

Lap 41/71 The next round of stops will decide this race – who’ll blink first? Hamilton is still complaining about his tyres, so perhaps it’ll be him.

Lap 40/71 Verstappen ploughs on, and it’s windy.

Lap 39/71 Bottas loses some pace – great news for Verstappen. The gap is 23s or so, and might Red Bull bring him in now while the going’s good?

Lap 38/71 Verstappen has to get through maybe ten more laps before he pits, and hasn’t opened enough of a lead over Bottas to be sure of coming out in front of him. That’s a right boon for Hamilton and Vettel.

Lap 36/71 Vettel can’t make an impression – he’s 12.889 behind Verstappen, and Bottas in fourth is 22.104s down. That’s a nice pit-stop window for the leader.

Vettel, looks unlikely to make up time of Verstappen. Photograph: Sebastião Moreira/EPA