Verstappen redemption with Brazil victory


Max Verstappen won a crazy Brazilian Grand Prix in which the sister Red Bull outfit scored a podium result as the Ferraris crashed into one another.

Poleman Verstappen had to pass Lewis Hamilton on track twice to score his third victory of the season, while Pierre Gasly beat Lewis Hamilton in a drag race to the finishing line after being handed second position 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 the soft compound under the safety and dropped to third.

Hamilton tried to pass Albon for second position 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.

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 2.4 seconds initially, which Hamilton had whittled down to 1.8 seconds 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 P14, 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, diving down the inside of Leclerc into the Juncao left-hander that follows.

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

The lead gap gradually extended to more than three seconds as Hamilton got annoyed, 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 position 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 position 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 two-time race winner 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 P14.

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.

So a fantastic race with Max Verstappen scoring his third victory of the season. This was a redemption from last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, when he was taken out by Esteban Ocon.

As for Pierre Gasly, this second position is a brilliant achievement for Scuderia Toro Rosso. This is his first podium finish and despite being dropped by the main Red Bull team over Albon mid season, Gasly scored a well deserved result.


Brazilian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1:33:14.678
2 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda +6.077s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +6.139s
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault +8.896s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +9.452s
6 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +10.201s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +10.541s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault +11.204s
9 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes +11.529s
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda +11.931s
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari +12.732s
12 George Russell Williams-Mercedes +13.599s
13 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari +14.247s
14 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda +14.927s
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault +18.059s
16 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
17 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari DNF
18 Charles Leclerc Ferrari DNF
19 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes DNF
– Valtteri Bottas Mercedes DNF

10 thoughts to “Verstappen redemption with Brazil victory”

  1. Brazilian Grand Prix race review as reported by

    Having come agonisingly close to winning at Interlagos last year before his coming together with Esteban Ocon, a brilliant performance from Max Verstappen saw him convert pole position into his third win of the 2019 season – while a mind-boggling final few laps saw both Ferraris sensationally clash and retire, and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton tip the other Red Bull of Alex Albon out of second, allowing Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly to finish a sensational P2…

    Verstappen was a deserving winner in the race, having been the strongest driver across both Saturday and Sunday. But while he was taking top honours, it was the action behind in the final few laps that really caught the eye.

    Following a late Safety Car brought out after a dramatic double retirement for Ferrari on Lap 66 of 71 – caused by Sebastian Vettel moving lightly over on team mate Charles Leclerc – Red Bull’s Alex Albon was looking good to take his first F1 podium.

    But with two laps to go when the race restarted, Hamilton tagged Albon, leaving him to finish P14, while Gasly was able to hold off Hamilton in a drag race to the line to claim his own first podium in F1 – with the stewards set to investigate the Hamilton/Albon incident after the race.

    Behind, a great day for Carlos Sainz saw him make it from P20 at the start to P4, as he finished ahead of the Alfa Romeo pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and the second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat rounding out the top 10.

    A power unit failure for Valtteri Bottas, meanwhile, saw the Finn retire from the action on Lap 52, marking Mercedes’ mechanical retirement since Austria 2018.

    The Brazilian Grand Prix practically crammed half a season’s worth of action into the final 10 laps. And while Verstappen made his eighth career win look relatively straightforward for him, it was the frantic action going on behind that will likely see the 2019 race at Interlagos remembered as a classic.

    Off the line, if Verstappen was nervous about having two drivers, in Vettel and Hamilton, with a combined total of 10 titles starting behind him, he didn’t show it, making an ideal getaway from pole to lead comfortably into Turn 1. Vettel was aggressive, meanwhile, moving sharply right to cover off Hamilton. But the newly re-crowned Mercedes driver had enough confidence to hang out around the outside and claim P2 through the Senna ‘S’, as Vettel slotted in behind him.

    Further down the order, Leclerc’s plan to scythe through his midfield rivals from 14th on the grid was halted briefly on the opening lap by a plucky Lando Norris, who, having been passed by the Ferrari in Turn 11, cheekily nosed back ahead into Turn 12, before Leclerc unleashed his pace advantage up the hill to move permanently ahead. Then the scything began in earnest for Leclerc, with the Ferrari man having moved easily past Pierre Gasly for P6 by Lap 10.

    Two laps previously, the mixture of Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen down into Turn 4 had proved predictably explosive, Ricciardo leaving his braking a split second too late, tagging the Dane’s Haas and rotating it, with Ricciardo damaging his front wing. Both drivers were able to carry on, Ricciardo stopping for a front wing before the stewards handed him a five-second time penalty. “****** idiot” was Magnussen’s own succinct judgement.

    With Hamilton having pitted from second place on Lap 21, leader Verstappen followed suit on the following lap, both drivers putting on softs to indicate that they would two-stop. But as Verstappen was trundling out of the pit lane, Williams released Robert Kubica right into the Dutchman’s path, with Verstappen having to jump on the brakes before being forced to follow the Pole out of the pits. That hold up – for which Kubica was handed a five-second penalty – was enough to allow Hamilton to take the net lead from the Dutchman.

    Only briefly though. Verstappen was a potent mix of furious and inspired, and as the pair of them nipped past Leclerc on his 24-lap old mediums through Turn 12, Verstappen appeared to have enough battery power in reserve to breeze easily past Hamilton into Turn 1 and reclaim that net lead. “Give me information when my ****** battery’s dead,” yelled Hamilton at engineer Pete Bonnington.

    Once the frontrunners had all pitted, then, it was Verstappen pulling away from Hamilton – at a rate that was enough for Hamilton to question both Mercedes’ decision to put him on softs and whether he had an engine issue – with Vettel on mediums ahead of Bottas on hards in fourth, Albon on mediums and Leclerc on hards sixth.

    Behind, Gasly was impressively holding onto P7 in the Toro Rosso, ahead of the equally impressive Alfa Romeo pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi in eighth and ninth, while Sergio Perez was having another great race, having climbed from P15 to P10.

    Hamilton stopped again for mediums on Lap 44, with Verstappen covering his move a lap later. Red Bull’s silky pit work meant that Verstappen was held for 1.9s to Hamilton’s 3.3s, allowing him to re-take the race lead when Vettel pitted for softs on Lap 50.

    Having repeatedly tried and failed to get past Leclerc, Lap 51 also saw some tell-tale smoke puff from the rear of Bottas’ Mercedes. A lap later, and his race was done. With a Safety Car brought out as the W10 was cleared away, Verstappen dived once more into the pits for softs, emerging in P2 as Hamilton stayed out. That meant that, with just over 10 laps to go, Hamilton finally had the lead from Verstappen – but he wasn’t optimistic, telling Bonnington: “I’m going to be a sitting duck”.

    He was right, with Verstappen passing him immediately into Turn 1 on the Safety Car restart on Lap 60, as Albon brilliantly muscled past Vettel for P3. Then on Lap 66, all hell broke loose…

    A fine move from Leclerc on his team mate saw him get past Vettel for fourth. But there were then shades of Turkey 2010 as Vettel got back ahead on the run down to Turn 4 and jinked slightly over on Leclerc. Leclerc’s front wing tagged Vettel’s rear-left tyre, causing enough damage to take both drivers out, and bringing out another Safety Car – with Hamilton taking the decision to make another dive into the pits for soft tyres, leaving him fourth.

    With acknowledged froideur having reigned between the two drivers at Ferrari recently, this, it seemed, might have been the starting gun of full-on civil war at Maranello.

    Ferrari’s loss was F1 fans’ gain, though, with a beautiful final two laps in prospect once the Safety Car had pulled in – and after Lance Stroll had also retired with front-right suspension failure – Verstappen heading Albon, Gasly, Hamilton and Sainz.

    At the restart, Verstappen was gone, streaking away to victory. But behind, Albon left too inviting a gap for Hamilton into Turn 8, with Hamilton tagging the Thai driver, swinging him round and demoting him to P14 by the race end – a cruel finish that robbed him of what would have been a certain first podium. The stewards, meanwhile, would be taking a closer look at the incident after the race.

    It was thus left to Gasly to defend from a rampaging Hamilton – and he did so brilliantly, holding off the Briton in a thrilling drag race to the line on the final lap to claim P2. Ironically that meant that it was Gasly, and not Albon – the man who replaced him at Red Bull – who was the first of the two to claim an F1 podium, and the second for Toro Rosso this season. Gasly’s screams into his radio at the race end told you all you needed to know about the release he felt, after what’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a year for the Frenchman.

    Behind the podium three, Sainz did a terrific job to make a one-stop work, allowing him to make his way from the back of the grid to fourth by the race end – while having taken just three points since the summer break, it was a red letter day for Alfa Romeo, with Raikkonen and Giovinazzi taking a haul of 18 points for finishing fifth and sixth, the team’s best result of the year.

    Yet another strong race day performance from Daniel Ricciardo saw him shake off his Magnussen contact to take his third top eight finish in a row as he claimed P7, while Norris, Perez and Kvyat rounded out the top 10.

    So, for Verstappen, it was redemption after his near-win back in 2018. But aside from a fine performance from the Dutchman, the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix will be remembered for what was a truly explosive finale – and perhaps one of the most frenetic in F1 history.

  2. Lewis Hamilton has been summoned to the stewards for the clash with Alex Albon that denied the Red Bull driver his first Formula 1 podium in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    F1 rookie Albon was running second in a Red Bull one-two after a late restart, aided by Hamilton pitting during a safety car that was caused by Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc colliding.

    Hamilton re-passed Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso at the restart with two laps to go and then immediately attacked Albon for second, but the two collided and Albon spun, finishing 14th, while Hamilton finished third behind Gasly.

    Race control said the incident would be investigated after the race and Hamilton has now been summoned to see the stewards at 16.45 local time.

    “I massively apologise to Albon,” said Hamilton after the race. “I went for a move that, the gap was kind of there, but obviously it closed right at the end.

    “Completely my fault.”

    Hamilton said he “raced my heart out” in a thrilling grand prix, which he led twice thanks to strategic decisions but faded late on.

    Mercedes described the decision to pit under the final safety car, while running second, as a “slightly impetuous” decision “driven by battling a slightly faster Red Bull today which put us under pressure to do something different”.

    Hamilton said he “gave it everything” and “left nothing on the table”, adding: “I took a lot of risks today.”

    “We threw everything and the sink at it,” said Hamilton. “We could keep up with them [Red Bull’s race winner Max Verstappen] through the corners, but they were just outshining us on the straights. I think there was nothing we could do.”

    Hamilton almost re-passed Gasly for second on the final lap, drawing alongside the Toro Rosso exiting the penultimate corner, but lost out in a drag race with the Honda-powered car.

    “He [Gasly] did a great job,” said Hamilton. “He was very fair with how he positioned the car.”


  3. UPDATE: Hamilton loses podium after penalty for Albon clash. has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton has been stripped of his third-place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix due to a post-race penalty.

    Hamilton had clashed with Red Bull driver Alexander Albon on the penultimate lap of the race in the battle for second place, taking the Anglo-Thai racer out of contention and himself dropping behind Pierre Gasly.

    He took the chequered flag in third place and stood on the podium, but was due to visit the stewards afterwards as the incident remained under investigation.

    However, the stewards have now come to a verdict without seeing Hamilton, instead using “video evidence from multiple angles including on-board cameras, broadcast cameras and CCTV”.

    “Car 23 [Albon] was on his normal race line,” the verdict read. “Car 44 [Hamilton] attempted to pass on the inside but was unable to get far enough inside to accomplish the overtake and by the time he realised there would not be sufficient room he was unable to back out of the situation and the collision followed.

    “The Stewards determined that Car 44 [was] predominantly at fault for the collision with Car 23 at Turn 10 and therefore ordered a five-second penalty.”

    The penalty drops Hamilton, who acknowledged after the race that the clash was “completely my fault”, to seventh in the final order.

    McLaren’s Carlos Sainz should inherit the podium place after finishing fourth, but the Spaniard could still face an investigation for illegal DRS use.

    However, at the time of writing, no formal investigation had been announced.

    Albon, who ended up finishing 14th, said after the race that he was “upset” but had no hard feelings towards Hamilton.

    Asked by whether Hamilton’s apology made it any easier to accept the outcome, he said: “It’s all right. Of course he didn’t mean to do it. I’m not angry at Lewis.

    “I feel like it’s one of them things. Of course I wanted the podium and I felt like we deserved it today, but yeah. That’s it really. I’m a bit upset [but] it’s racing.”

    Asked for his view of the incident, Albon said: “So, thinking about it or reviewing it back, Turn 9, I saw him in my mirrors, I thought he wasn’t close enough to do the overtake so I didn’t defend it.

    “I went in a little bit quick anyway just to try and cover it. I saw he kind of went for it but it didn’t feel at the time like he committed completely. It’s one of them things when you go side by side like that at that angle, it’s completely blind, so you kind of give space, but you don’t know really where he is and you just have to turn in and you have to hope there is no one there. And yeah, we tagged, and that was kind of the incident.

    “To be honest I thought if he wasn’t going to overtake me [there], then he was going to overtake me into Turn 1. He had the pace. Of course I think he wanted to get past me quickly to get to Max [Verstappen, race leader] at the end of the race, which I understand.”

  4. Ferrari Formula 1 teammates Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have been summoned to see the Brazilian Grand Prix stewards over the collision that took them both out of the Interlagos race.

    The pair were battling for fourth soon after the first safety car restart when the incident occurred.

    Leclerc had overtaken Vettel into the first corner but his teammate had the better run onto the following straight and moved back ahead, only to make contact with the sister car as he did so.

    While Leclerc had to park immediately with broken suspension, a rear puncture meant Vettel did not get much further.

    Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto suggested “both of them have got at least a small percentage of responsibility” for the clash in an interview with Sky.

    “I think the drivers need to feel sorry for the team – because at the end, they were free to fight,” added Binotto.

    “Free to fight but they know that silly mistakes are something we should avoid for the team itself.

    “And today it has been a very small contact I have to say, but there will be time to analyse it, there will be time to look at the video, I don’t want to do that in the heat.

    “With the drivers, I had already a chat with them and I don’t want to judge now, they should not judge now, there will be a time to do it all together.”

    Both drivers expressed fury about the other over team radio but then calmed by the time they talked to television crews.

    “I didn’t have much space to the right and obviously had a better run out of Turn 3 and tried to pass, that’s it,” said Vettel, who called it “a shame for the team obviously”.

    Leclerc suggested Vettel “started to squeeze me a little bit to the inside, and we were very close. Everything happened very quickly, and as soon as he went to the inside we touched”.

    But he added: “I’m pretty sure we are mature enough to put that behind us”.


  5. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton accepts full responsibility for Alex Albon collision. has the full details.

    Lewis Hamilton said he accepts full responsibility for the Brazilian Grand Prix collision with Alex Albon that led to him being penalised by the Formula 1 stewards.

    Hamilton knocked Albon’s Red Bull into a spin at the tight Bico de Pato corner on the infield while trying to reclaim second with one lap to go following a late pitstop for fresh tyres during a safety car period.

    Though Hamilton crossed the line in third and took part in the podium ceremony, he was already under investigation and was given a five-second time penalty soon afterwards – dropping him to seventh in the results.

    He had expressed remorse for the incident in immediate post-race interviews and underlined after the penalty that he had no qualms about accepting blame for the tangle.

    “I’ve got a penalty. I totally accept the blame as I was coming from behind,” said Hamilton. “You don’t hardly ever see me do that, collisions with anyone.

    “In hindsight, I could have waited to come across the line, but hindsight is always a great thing.”

    The clash cost rookie Albon what would have been his first F1 podium. He finished 14th.

    “We’ll live to fight another day and that won’t be the last time that he’s in position for a podium and he’ll have many more great races,” said Hamilton of Albon.

    “So I hope, as hard as it is a pill to swallow, that he can learn from the experience also.”

    Albon admitted he was “upset” to lose a potential second place but understood why Hamilton tried the move.

    “Of course he didn’t mean to do it. I’m not angry at Lewis,” he added.

    He suggested that Hamilton had been in a hurry to overtake him because he still felt he had an opportunity to catch leader Max Verstappen, which Hamilton confirmed.

    “It’s always a big question of when is the right time to try it,” said Hamilton. “We only had a lap and a half to go. An opportunity came up, I was quicker through Turn 9 [Pinheirinho].

    “And I was in shooting distance, so I gave it a shot. Ultimately, in my mind, I’m trying to catch Max. It’s highly unlikely, but that was the goal.”

  6. Pierre Gasly described the moment of finishing third position as “Insane” and “the best day of my life”. has the news story.

    Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly says his Brazilian Grand Prix podium was “insane”, “really emotional” and “just the best day of my life”.

    The 23-year-old racer, who is contesting his second full campaign in grand prix racing, was unable to score a podium in his 12 races with Red Bull’s main team this year, and was replaced by Alex Albon after the summer break.

    But a race of high attrition among the top cars in Brazil gave Gasly a shot at a milestone result in Toro Rosso machinery, and when Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clashed with Albon on the penultimate lap, Gasly moved past both and into second place.

    Gasly could be heard screaming in elation on team radio after the chequered flag, and admitted afterwards that he’d been completely blindsided by the opportunity to score a top-three finish.

    “It’s just the best day of my life,” he said. “As a kid, you dream about being in Formula 1. And then when it happens, it becomes the best day of your life. And then after you dream about your first podium…

    “To be fair, I didn’t think this will happen [after] coming back with Toro Rosso during the second part of the season, but I just kept working on myself, tried to push the team as much as I could, telling them ‘OK, we need to make the best out of all the opportunities we have until the end of the year’. And today it just came to us.”

    Gasly was top of the midfield cars in qualifying, and comfortably headed F1’s ‘second tier’ throughout the race as he looked poised for a seventh-place finish.

    But as Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes expired and the two Ferrari drivers clashed, he thought back to his breakthrough result in Bahrain last year.

    “I felt good in the car the whole weekend and I think we managed to get the car exactly where I wanted,” he said. “I said ‘OK, if we finish best of the rest again in the race this will be amazing for us’.

    “So that’s what we were doing. The whole race we had a good pace. I was controlling the gap with the guys behind but we always had quite a safe margin.

    “I could push quite nice and even at the beginning of the race, I could see Albon and Charles [Leclerc] wasn’t pulling away so much. So I think the car was working really well.

    “When they [the top teams] started to battle, first the Ferraris, I was like ‘OK, this looks quite similar to Bahrain 2018 in P4’. And then after I knew Lewis will try something [on Albon].”

    Gasly said he got used to the feeling of standing on the podium throughout a successful junior single-seater career, but had come to “really miss” it since joining the F1 grid.

    “it’s something you want to experience and especially in Formula 1. And to be in second place between Max [Verstappen] and Lewis [Hamilton, who was later penalised], my first podium in F1 is just insane, amazing and really emotional for me.”

  7. The Brazilian Grand Prix stewards have ruled that neither Charles Leclerc nor Sebastian Vettel was “predominantly to blame” for the collision between the Ferrari Formula 1 teammates.

    Vettel was repassing Leclerc for fourth during their late-race battle at Interlagos when they made contact on the straight approaching the Descida do Lago.

    Both retired as a result of damage from the incident, and they were summoned to the stewards shortly after the race.

    After discussing the collision with the two drivers and a team representative, the stewards decided no penalty was necessary.

    “The stewards determined that both drivers had the opportunity avoid or mitigate the incident and therefore that neither driver is predominantly at fault,” read the official verdict. “Therefore the stewards take no further action.”

    With both drivers having retired from the race, penalty points on their licences would have been the most likely option had the ruling been that a punishing was required.

    Hulkenberg penalised for safety car breach

    Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg did receive a penalty for overtaking the Haas of Kevin Magnussen for 16th before the startline during the first safety car restart.

    Five seconds were added to Hulkenberg’s race time, dropping him from 11th to 15th, and he also had one penalty point added to his licence.

    The stewards noted that the positions were swiftly reversed because Magnussen repassed Hulkenberg at the first corner, but “determined that this was a regular pass and that car #27 [Hulkenberg] did not give way in a deliberate manner” so did not count this as handing the place back in atonement.


  8. Mercedes admitted that offering a late pitstop to Lewis Hamilton was “plain dumb”. has the details.

    Mercedes Formula 1 team technical director James Allison has called the decision to give Lewis Hamilton the opportunity to pit under the final safety car in Brazilian “dumb” and a “rookie error.”

    Allison also admits that the team was wrong to put the decision in the hands of the driver himself, especially as Hamilton was given incorrect information on how many places he would lose by stopping.

    Hamilton was running second behind Max Verstappen in the closing laps of the race when the clash between the Ferraris triggered a safety car. He slowed and was approaching the pit entry when his engineer Pete Bonnington twice repeated the message, “Let us know if you want tyres, you will lose one place.”

    After a pause, Hamilton initially said: “’You make the decision.” This, however, was followed by “I’ll come in, I’ll come in” just as he reached the pit entry.

    In reality, Hamilton lost two places as both Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly got past him, and then when the track finally went green he had only two laps in which to make use of his fresh tyres.

    Having passed Gasly he made contact with Albon, was re-passed by Gasly, and crossed the line in third place. He subsequently received a five-second penalty, dropping him further down the field.

    “Having not had the shiniest of races to that point, we then just did something plain dumb, which was – we thought we were exchanging a place for fresh rubber with enough laps left to get that place back properly and then have a go for the lead,” Allison explained.

    “That was just factually incorrect because we were exchanging two places, we hadn’t factored [in] Gasly and secondly with the amount of debris on the track, there was just a lot more laps taken up by the safety car than we’d anticipated.

    “And that was just, I think, that your rookie error of a not quite quick enough car on the day and trying to stretch too far for victory. It wasn’t on, we just made a mistake.”

    Allison placed no blame on Hamilton for responding to the offer to pit for fresh tyres.

    “In fact, this was entirely our fault,” he insisted. “Because we saw what we thought was a fleeting opportunity. It was not at all clear to us that it was the right thing to do. But there was a possibility.

    “We thought, well, let’s let’s give Lewis a chance to give his view, which we shouldn’t have done because we didn’t give him the right information. We said one place and it was two and secondly, we should have just made the call ourselves. So he uhmmed and ahhed for a second or two before diving in the pits, because he likes racing. But that was our mistake.

    “I think from the moment that we made the call it was like a heart-sink moment after he emerged from the box behind Gasly and then we just were thinking: ‘Why do we do that?'”

  9. Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto has labelled the Brazilian Grand Prix clash between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc a “silly action” that will be dealt with at the Formula 1 team’s headquarters.

    Leclerc passed Vettel for fourth place at the first corner towards the end of the Brazilian GP and the two made contact on the run to Turn 4 moments later, when Vettel tried to re-pass on the outside.

    Though Vettel moved over on his teammate and triggered the clash, neither driver was punished as the stewards determined nobody was wholly at fault.

    Binotto said Ferrari’s review would not be about establishing blame or whether to punish either driver.

    “It’s not a matter of fining [them] or who we blame,” said Binotto. “I think that today they were free to fight. They knew that.

    “The reason for that is we secured second place in the constructors’ championship and they were battling for their own position in the driver’s championship.

    “[But] ‘free to fight’ doesn’t mean to do silly actions, especially between two teammates, between the two Ferraris. For me, today was simply a silly action.”

    Asked by for his thoughts on the incident, Binotto said it would not be handled fully until they returned to the team’s Maranello base next week.

    “I have not reviewed it yet,” said Binotto. “I don’t want to do it today. I think that when doing seems in the heat you may have the wrong conclusions.

    “I heard both drivers, but there will be time together with them to discuss again what happened today, and there will be time for the team to analyse all the video and the data.

    “Whatever will be the judgment, the most important thing is that we are disappointed and sorry for the team.

    “First, the two drivers should be sorry for the team. Because it was a very small crash with big consequence. But that is a silly thing that should not happen.

    Four-time world champion Vettel and his new-for-2019 teammate Leclerc have had tense moments in their first season paired together this year, although this has related to Ferrari’s use of team orders rather than any flashpoints involving contact.

    Ferrari has switched between implementing orders on its drivers and allowing them to race one another, a tactic Binotto does not regret.

    “When we try to managed the drivers this season we have been criticised by doing it,” he said. “When you are free to fight we may be criticised because they are free to fight.

    “There is always a reason for what we are deciding to do and today was right to let them race.”


  10. Following the time penalty for Lewis Hamilton and the alleged use of DRS under yellow flags, McLaren and Carlos Sainz have officially claim a third place finish in Brazil. provides the news story.

    Carlos Sainz’s first Formula 1 podium and McLaren’s first in five years is secure, after the FIA looked into alleged illegal DRS use in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    Sainz inherited third place after Lewis Hamilton picked up a five-second penalty for hitting Alex Albon out of second on the penultimate lap of the race at Interlagos.

    While no formal investigation was announced, the FIA did request data from some teams – including McLaren – after complaints that DRS was used illegally under yellow flags during the grand prix.

    That meant further changes to the results were possible, but Sainz has now been awarded his third-place trophy.

    Sainz tweeted: “PODIUM! A bit weird not being there after the race, but still extremely happy. “Today’s race was just unbelievable. The one-stop strategy was difficult but paid off. Congrats to the whole team!”

    It is the Spaniard’s first podium in 101 starts, and McLaren’s first since the 2014 season-opening Australian Grand Prix – 119 races ago.

    Team principal Andreas Seidl told “It’s a great achievement obviously, I’m very happy for the entire team after putting in a lot of hard work here at the track and back home at the factory.

    “It’s great to achieve this podium, the first one for Carlos in his career, also the first one for us for a long time.

    “It’s great motivation to make sure we keep working hard and fight for podiums in the future down to our own performance.”

    Sainz is seventh in the championship after a superb season in which he has previously earned a best result of fifth, three times, and he will end the year the best-placed driver who spent the full year in a midfield team.

    His breakthrough podium was all the more unlikely given he started the race last after failing to take part in qualifying because of an ignition wiring problem.

    As he was starting at the back anyway, McLaren gave him an all-new Renault engine for the grand prix.

    Seidl said: “We always go into the race with the spirit to never give up. Of course we couldn’t have dreamed of that result.”

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