SportFormula 1

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Takes Superb Win in Sao Paulo

Seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton hunted down Max Verstappen to win the Sao Paulo Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday and cut his rival’s lead to 14 points in one of the greatest drives of his career.

Verstappen finished second with Valtteri Bottas third for Mercedes after a controversial, roller-coaster weekend in Brazil.

“I don’t remember another weekend like this,” said Hamilton after the race.

“It’s quite overwhelming, to be honest.”

“This has been probably one of the best weekends, if not the best weekend, that I have experienced since … probably in my whole career.”

The Briton was fastest in Friday qualifying at Interlagos for Saturday’s sprint that set Sunday’s grid, and then demoted to the back of the field after his car’s rear wing failed a technical inspection.

He went from 20th to fifth on Saturday, dropping back to 10th on Sunday’s grid after an engine penalty but hungry for much more.

The win was Hamilton’s sixth of the season and record-extending 101st of his career.

Mercedes moved 11 points clear of Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.

“It was a good battle but at the end, we just missed a little bit of pace. We gave it our all today, it was a lot of fun,” said Verstappen.

“We still have a good points lead. Today was a bit of damage limitation on a weekend that was difficult for us. I’m confident that in the coming races we will bounce back.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished fifth with teammate Carlos Sainz sixth.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was seventh, ahead of the Alpine pairing of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

Two of the remaining three are circuits new to F1 — Qatar and Saudi Arabia — before the finale in Abu Dhabi.