Consecutive penalties could not prevent Lewis Hamilton from coming upstream, finishing first in the Brazilian Grand Prix, thereby narrowing the gap with Max Verstappen.
Hamilton beat Verstappen at Interlagos
Hamilton completed 71 laps at Interlagos on the afternoon of November 14 – the morning of November 15, Hanoi time, with a time of 1 hour 32 minutes 22,851 seconds – 10.5 seconds faster than Verstappen. Mercedes’ main driver, thereby, having his sixth victory from the beginning of the F1 2021 season. The first place in Brazil also helps Hamilton close the gap with the Red Bull driver from 21 points before Sunday afternoon’s race to 14. the point.
Hamilton had to start last in the Sprint qualifying round, when the invalid rear spoiler ranking result was canceled. He was then dropped five places from the start due to an extra engine change over the norm. Hamilton, therefore, faced many difficulties when he had to start 10th in the official race Sunday afternoon. The impressive performance in the Sprint showed the superior power of the W12, but Hamilton shined even more in the official race.
The British driver quickly climbed to sixth at the end of the first lap then took fourth place, just below teammate Valtteri Bottas , after just three laps. In the next round, the British driver easily rose to third place behind two Red Bull duos, when Bottas was asked by the home team to let his teammates pass. The appearance of a safety car in round 7 makes Hamilton even more convenient.
With outstanding power from the W12, the Mercedes driver quickly caught up with Sergio Perez and attacked fiercely. After an unsuccessful overtaking phase, on lap 19 Hamilton overcame the Mexican driver and broke away from the opponent’s grasp. Now the distance between Verstappen and Hamilton is still approximately 4 seconds.
In the middle of the race, Hamilton twice entered the pit to change tires, and both later than Verstappen, to keep the tires for the final stage of the race. By lap 48, the British driver was able to keep up with Verstappen . Hamilton’s attack caused Verstappen to react violently, the Dutch driver’s defense when sticking to the inside lane made both cars forced to turn wide. The track supervisor kept an eye on the collision, but ultimately no penalty was issued in this sensitive situation. Mercedes reacted furiously, claiming that Verstappen had broken the law by forcing Hamilton to sidestep.
After that, Hamilton retired to wait and then returned to attack when the race was 11 laps. The British driver cleverly forced Verstappen to run into an unfavorable lane, and then passed the opponent right before the turn, leaving the opponent no chance to counterattack.
After the race, Verstappen regretted: “We tried everything we could. Today’s race was too exciting, but we just lacked a bit of speed. Despite the little damage this lap, I am still confident in the race. races to come. Red Bull will be back.”
Hamilton said: “It was a great race. I tried as hard as I could. From the last starting position and then a five-place penalty penalty made this week the most difficult race I’ve ever been in. My father reminded me of the 2004 F3 race in Bahrain, where I started last and finished 10th and finished first.”
“The closer we get to the official race into the weekend, the more I never thought we’d be able to close the gap like we are now, because everything kept going against us. But the difficulty only showed. that you have to keep pushing and never stop fighting. That’s how I approach and get through this challenging race,” added the defending champion.
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