2021 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix highlights

Introduction

 

Lewis Hamilton won the 2021 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix after a sensational battle with his rival Max Verstappen in an absolutely enthralling return to Brazil for F1. Verstappen finished runner-up ahead of pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas.

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Hamilton enjoyed a terrific start from P10 on the grid and was clearly on the charge, teammate Bottas – who lost the lead to Verstappen at the start – letting him for P5 by on Lap 5. Hamilton then took P2 off Perez in a duel that began on Lap 17 and culminated in a Lap 19 pass at Turn 4. The first stops took place around Lap 25 but the action built up to a terrific crescendo after Verstappen took a second stop on Lap 41, Hamilton on Lap 44.

The Mercedes driver bore down on Verstappen and despite being shoved wide at Turn 4 – the stewards noting but not investigating – on Lap 48, Hamilton didn’t give up, trying it again on Lap 58 only to meet a stubborn defence. A lap later came the winning pass with DRS on the run-up to Turn 4, this time Verstappen having no choice but to concede. Hamilton ended up 10.4 seconds up the road in first place at the flag, cutting Verstappen’s championship lead from 21 points to 14 points.

Bottas, who took an opportunistic stop during the Lap 30 Virtual Safety Car period and another on Lap 41, finished third ahead of Sergio Perez, who started fourth, was up to second, but lost places to the two Mercedes. The Mexican however took the fastest lap at the expense of Hamilton, on the final tour, having pitted for softs on Lap 70.

The Ferraris pulled off a two-stop strategy to see Charles Leclerc home in fifth and Carlos Sainz – who lost three places amid contact with Lando Norris (P10) at the start – in sixth. Pierre Gasly picked off the Alpines after pitting twice, his Lap 50 change to hard tyres helping him pass Esteban Ocon (P9) and Fernando Alonso (P8).

Norris picked up a puncture on Lap 1 after Sainz nicked his rear-left tyre, but recovered from there to take the final point, his pitstop during a Lap 7 VSC leaving him on hard compounds right until the finish.

Sebastian Vettel missed out on the final point by a second to Norris ahead, and finished 11th having started P9, his Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll eventually retiring – as did McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

But it was Hamilton who stole the show here in Brazil – recovering from his disqualification from qualifying on Friday and clawing his way back up to P5 from dead last in Saturday’s Sprint before he took another grid penalty for an engine change on race day. From P10 he put in the drive of his life – and pulled off an impressive move on his title rival Verstappen to seal the victory in front of an ecstatic crowd at Interlagos.

Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:

The strategy was at the forefront of this finely-balanced 2021 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix, with similar performance between the frontrunners and a number of strategies that were on paper very closely matched. The track temperature was the biggest influence on the strategy today, with temperatures that were around 20 degrees higher than yesterday’s Sprint Qualifying, shifting the balance away from the softer compounds towards the harder compounds. The hard was the main race tyre, performing very well with some impressive lap times in these challenging conditions. With the first stint lasting a little longer due to safety cars, the drivers were able to gain more flexibility for the second stint. There was a clear tactical battle involving the ‘undercut’, especially among the frontrunners, and that’s the reason why the central stint on the hard tyre was so short for some of the top drivers. Lewis Hamilton did a very impressive job over the weekend: from the back of the grid in Sprint Qualifying all the way to the top step of the Grand Prix podium.

2021 Formula 1 Brazilian GP Race Results

Pos No Driver Country Team Time Points Overall
1. 44 Lewis Hamilton Great Britain Mercedes-AMG Petronas 1:32:22.851 25 318.5
2. 33 Max Verstappen Netherlands Red Bull Racing +10.496s 18 332.5
3. 77 Valtteri Bottas Finland Mercedes-AMG Petronas +13.576s 15 203
4. 11 Sergio Perez Mexico Red Bull Racing Honda +39.940s 13 178
5. 16 Charles Leclerc Monaco Scuderia Ferrari +49.517s 10 148
6. 55 Carlos Sainz Spain Scuderia Ferrari +51.820s 8 139.5
7. 10 Pierre Gasly France Scuderia AlphaTauri +1 lap 6 92
8. 31 Esteban Ocon France Alpine F1 Team +1 lap 4 50
9. 14 Fernando Alonso Spain Alpine F1 Team +1 lap 2 62
10. 4 Lando Norris Great Britain Mclaren Racing +1 lap 1 151
11. 5 Sebastian Vettel Germany Aston Martin F1 Team +1 lap 0 42
12. 7 Kimi Räikkönen Finland Alfa Romeo F1 Team +1 lap 0 10
13. 63 George Russell Great Britain Williams Racing +1 lap 0 16
14. 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Italy Alfa Romeo F1 Team +1 lap 0 1
15. 22 Yuki Tsunoda Japan Scuderia AlphaTauri +1 lap 0 20
16. 6 Nicholas Latifi Canada Williams Racing +1 lap 0 7
17. 9 Nikita Mazepin Russia Haas F1 Team +2 laps 0 0
18. 47 Mick Schumacher Germany Haas F1 Team +2 laps 0 0
12. 3 Daniel Ricciardo Australia McLaren Racing DNF 0 105
14. 18 Lance Stroll Canada Aston Martin F1 Team DNF 0 26

2021 Constructor Standings

Picture Pos Team Points
1. Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 521.5
2. Red Bull Racing 510.5
3. Scuderia Ferrari 287.5
4. McLaren Racing 256
5. Alpine F1 Team 112
6. Scuderia AlphaTauri 112
7. Aston Martin F1 Team 68
8. Williams Racing 23
9. Alfa Romeo Racing 11
10. Haas F1 Team 0

Here are the team-by-team highlights:

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