The 2021 São Paulo Grand Prix was a banger for 7 times World Champion, who got a 5 place grid penalty for taking a new power unit. That meant his title rival Max Verstappen of Redbull had further chance to score more points and have a firm grip on the world championship. The Redbull Driver also had a shaky weekend as he was transferred a €50,000 penalty for touching Hamilton’s W12’s rear wing in the Parc Fermè. It was found to be against the regulations by 85mm. He was further disqualified from the Qualifying and had to start from the back of the grid in the sprint qualifying race on Saturday. He had a blistering pace throughout the sprint and finished P5 but, again he got demoted to P10 because of the new power unit this made the job of Max Verstappen easy, who only had to overtake his Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas who was starting from Pole, Max got the lead early in the race with his number 2 driver, Sergio Perez also overtaking the Finn and taking the second place.
Hamilton's win snatched seven points from Verstappen's title lead, consisting of the two Dutchmen, won on Saturday's sprint race. With three races to go, Verstappen is now 14 points ahead. Thereupon the race, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Hamilton over-the-radio: "That's how you overcome a 20-place disqualification". To that, Hamilton replied: "It was 25, but you're right!"
It has been a good damage control weekend for Verstappen, given the enormous pace of Hamilton and Mercedes. Verstappen seemed happy to downplay Hamilton's point swing but was booed on the scaffold by Brazilian fans. His mid-race defence against Hamilton was tough, almost dangerous when he forced Hamilton into the starting area. If Hamilton had not gone out of the corner, the two would have contacted again, as they crashed in Monza. Race director Michael Masi noticed the incident, but the stewards decided that an investigation was not warranted. Verstappen received a black and white warning flag a few laps later after crossing the trail at Turn 4 to prevent Hamilton from overtaking.
Valtteri Bottas, who had started from pole position, finished third after another disappointing race start in which he gave up two stances on one lap.
Sergio Pérez finished fourth for Red Bull but got the bonus point for the fastest race lap and picked him up from Hamilton. Ferrari was fifth and sixth remotely, with Charles Leclerc ahead of Carlos Sainz, while Pierre Gasly was seventh ahead of the two alpine drivers and Lando Norris, who suffered a puncture on the first lap, and had to recover.
Driver Ratings for Drivers who finished on the Podium
1. Lewis Hamilton 10/10
Started: 10th - Finished: 1st
Hamilton's driving in Brazil 2021 will go down in history. You will find it tough to select a logical weekend performance in F1 than what Hamilton did in Sao Paulo.
2. Max Verstappen 7.5/10
Started: 2nd - Finished: 2nd
It was a barely scruffy, Brazilian GP, from Verstappen, who failed to put a strong lap together in Q3. He probably would not have had a pole stance but should have been closer.
3. Valtteri Bottas 8/10
Started: 1st - Finished: 3rd
Bottas had a substantial weekend contemplating how promising Hamilton was. He did, precisely what Mercedes required by leaping Verstappen in Sprint Qualifying and clenched his own.
Written by- Tusshar Singh
(Edited by Nishat Aftabi)
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