Bottas ahead of Verstappen in Brazil, Hamilton to start 10th


Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished third and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez finished fourth. McLaren’s Lando Norris will inherit Hamilton’s fifth grid position

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won the sprint race on November 13 and took pole position. Brazilian Grand Prix a dramatic day at Interlagos hastened the search for championship leader Max Verstappen for his first Formula 1 title.

Verstappen finished second in the sprint race and added two points to the standings. The Red Bull driver also saw his rival, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, receive another penalty and had to start on the 10th on November 14th, despite an impressive run from last to fifth.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished third and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez finished fourth. Lando Norris from McLaren will inherit the fifth position in the Hamilton grid. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc starts in sixth place.

“Starting Sunday’s race from the front row gives us the opportunity to play for everyone,” said Verstappen. Let’s try tomorrow.

Previously, Hamilton was forced to start the sprint race from the latter after being disqualified from qualifying session on November 12, where he was the fastest, due to a technical violation on the part of Mercedes. Mercedes did not appeal this decision.

Despite Hamilton finishing fifth in the sprint race, a separate five-spot penalty means the reigning champion starts 10th after Mercedes decided to replace their car’s engine in São Paulo.

For Verstappen, this was not all good news. A Dutch driver was fined for touching the rear fender of a Mercedes car. He is 21 points ahead of Hamilton in the standings, including two in the sprint race, with four races remaining this season.

Hamilton beat the Dutchman by more than 0.4 seconds in qualifying for the sprint race, but organizers said his Mercedes was under investigation for DRS exceeding the maximum opening distance. A technical violation usually results in an exclusion from the session. The decision was announced only after training on November 13 and before the sprint race.

“It was clear to the stewards that the additional deflection was due to additional play either in the DRS drive, or in the hinges at the end, or due to some combination or other malfunction in the mechanism, or due to improper assembly of parts,” the decision says. … “Thus, there is no doubt in the stewards that a test failure indicates any intention to exceed the maximum size through action or design.”

The decision also states that Mercedes claims the rear wing design has been tested by the FIA ​​several times during the season and has always been approved. Mercedes denies any intention of breaking the rules.

Hamilton’s suspension put Verstappen on pole in a 24-lap sprint race that earned the winner three points. Bottas overtook Verstappen in the first corner at Interlagos and never lost ground again.

Starting with the defense, Hamilton overtook his rivals at every turn on the São Paulo circuit.

“I rebooted quickly, focused on doing what I could do,” Hamilton said. “I just gave him everything I could.”

Bottas said he played “a little” with the soft tires to begin with.

“And then it was all about living to the end. It was quite difficult … but Max was still struggling to follow in some corners, so I’m glad it worked out perfect, ”said Bottas.

Verstappen was fined € 50,000 (US $ 57,200) by the stewards after analyzing a video taken from the stands of Interlagos. He may appeal the decision made by the stewards who stated that they did not harm the opponent’s car by touching.

Viewer footage shows Verstappen examining the rear wing of a Mercedes in Ferme Park, a safe place for cars on the track.

“Taking into account the fact that in this case, in the opinion of the stewards, no direct harm was caused, and that there were no precedents of punishment for this – on the one hand; but that this is a violation of the rules and could potentially be On the other hand, serious consequences, the stewards decide to take action in this case and impose a fine of 50,000 euros, ”said the stewards.

Article 2.5.1 of the FIA ​​Sporting Code states that “only designated officials may enter the Parc Ferme. Operation, inspection, adjustment, or repairs are prohibited without the permission of the same officials or applicable regulations. ”

The stewards said that the video clearly shows how Verstappen takes action.

“[He takes] takes off his gloves and places his right hand on the rear fender of his car. Then it goes to [Hamilton’s] car 44 and repeats the exercise, touching the rear wing in two places, once on both sides of the DRS actuator, but on the lower rear side of the wing, in the area of ​​the slot, but never near the actuator or end. fixation points, ”added the stewards.

“There is absolutely no movement of any wing elements on 44 when Verstappen touches the rear of the wing, and the stewards, after watching all the videos, posture and wing videos, are satisfied that the force was negligible. when Verstappen touched the wing. “

A free practice session on November 13, which was not very competitive, ended with driver Fernando Alonso having the best lap, beating runner-up Verstappen by more than 0.8.

The Brazilian Grand Prix is ​​the third qualifying sprint event of the season. The previous two sprint races were held at Silverstone and Monza.


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