F1: Lewis Hamilton’s astonishing victory in Brazil 

British driver’s win at Interlagos is surely up there with the finest of his career

Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium at Interlagos
(Image credit: Carl De Souza/AFP via Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton has done many extraordinary things in his long career, said Rebecca Clancy in The Times. But his thrilling victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday is surely up there with the finest. For this was a race the seven-time F1 champion really had no right to win. As if beating Max Verstappen weren’t challenging enough, he faced the additional disadvantage of being handed two separate penalties over the weekend, said Nate Saunders on ESPN. On Friday, a fault with his car’s drag reduction system caused him to be “disqualified from qualifying” – which meant he started Saturday’s sprint qualifying race at the back of the field, in 20th position. And though he drove heroically in that 24-lap contest, passing 15 drivers, it still only earned Hamilton tenth place on Sunday’s starting grid thanks to the second sanction imposed on him: a five-place grid penalty Mercedes had incurred for changing Hamilton’s engine.

Such circumstances “might have left a lesser man bowed”, said Giles Richards in The Guardian. Not Hamilton. Drawing on every ounce of his fighting spirit, he again “launched himself through the field”, overtaking seven drivers in the first five laps. When he passed Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Pérez, on the 19th lap, the race became a riveting two-car spectacle, as “Hamilton hunted Verstappen”. Passing the Dutchman was never going to be straightforward, and one attempt briefly led to “both drivers going off the track”. Finally, on lap 59, Hamilton made his “decisive move” – after which he “stretched his legs” and finished a remarkable ten seconds in front.

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