bottas-beats-verstappen-in-sprint-as-hamilton-storms-back

Bottas beats Verstappen in Sprint as Hamilton storms back

Lewis Hamilton the star of the show at end of day of high drama as overtaking surge dramatically turns blow of qualifying exclusion around; Mercedes enjoy further boost as Bottas wins from Verstappen; Watch Sunday’s Sao Paulo GP at 5pm live on Sky Sports F1

Last Updated: 13/11/21 8:39pm


    Watch as Max Verstappen loses two places on the opening lap of the Sprint at the Sao Paulo GP

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    Watch as Max Verstappen loses two places on the opening lap of the Sprint at the Sao Paulo GP

    Watch as Max Verstappen loses two places on the opening lap of the Sprint at the Sao Paulo GP

    Valtteri Bottas won the F1 Sprint for Mercedes to deny Max Verstappen the full points haul and pole position for Sunday’s Sao Paulo GP, as Lewis Hamilton sensationally charged back from last to fifth place to cap an extraordinary Saturday at Interlagos.

    Verstappen increased his championship lead over Hamilton to 21 points by finishing second from first on the grid but the big winner of the mini race was arguably his British rival, who overtook 15 cars in the space of 24 laps as part of a stirring comeback drive through the field after his earlier disqualification from the qualifying results had left him at the back.

    Due to a further penalty for an engine change this weekend, Hamilton will drop back five places to 10th for tomorrow’s main starting grid – but is firmly back in the fight for the leading positions on the evidence of Saturday.

    The results of the sprint, once penalties are factored in, set the grid for the 71-lap race, which is now set up thrillingly given the comeback pace of Hamilton and his Mercedes.

    “What a drive from Lewis Hamilton! What’s he going to do over 71 laps tomorrow?” asked a stunned Martin Brundle in the Sky Sports F1 commentary box.

    “Hamilton will start tomorrow’s race 10 positions higher up, and the race is three times longer. He can win it from there.”

    Lewis Hamilton moves into 10th place after starting from the back after overtaking Daniel Riccardo at the Sao Paulo Sprint

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    Lewis Hamilton moves into 10th place after starting from the back after overtaking Daniel Riccardo at the Sao Paulo Sprint

    Lewis Hamilton moves into 10th place after starting from the back after overtaking Daniel Riccardo at the Sao Paulo Sprint

    Choosing to start the sprint on the more durable medium tyres, Verstappen immediately lost the lead at the start to a soft-shod Bottas – and then dropped to third behind Ferrari’s fast-starting Carlos Sainz after running wide under braking on the opening run down the back straight.

    Verstappen soon overtook the Ferrari to move back into second but could not reel in Bottas over the remaining laps, with the Finn impressively keeping his soft tyres in good condition despite the looming threat of Red Bull’s Dutchman.

    Red Bull lost another position from the starting grid with Sergio Perez, who could not re-pass the impressive Sainz and so finished outside the points on offer for the sprint in fourth.

    It means Mercedes actually increase their slender Constructors’ Championship advantage over Red Bull to two points ahead of the Grand Prix. By finishing third for the final point, Sainz moves Ferrari slightly further clear of McLaren.

    Lewis Hamilton overtakes Lando Norris to move up to fifth place on the final lap of the Sao Paulo Sprint.

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    Lewis Hamilton overtakes Lando Norris to move up to fifth place on the final lap of the Sao Paulo Sprint.

    Lewis Hamilton overtakes Lando Norris to move up to fifth place on the final lap of the Sao Paulo Sprint.

    Hamilton’s final overtake was arguably the best of the lot as he swept down the inside of McLaren’s Lando Norris into Turn One on the final tour for fifth place.

    Sao Paulo GP: Sprint Result – Top 10

    1) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

    2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

    3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

    4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull

    5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

    6) Lando Norris, McLaren

    7) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

    8) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri

    9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine

    10) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

    More to follow…