Lewis Hamilton (36) started at full back – but moved up 15 places in Saturday’s sprint race in Brazil. Max Verstappen increased the World Cup lead to 21 points.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas won the race ahead of Red Bulls Verstappen and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. Sergio Perez finished fourth – ahead of Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying on Friday in Brazil two hours before the race – after a technical delegate found an offense in the world champion’s wing. So, he had to start from the back – as number 20 – on Saturday.
Hamilton earned a five-place penalty at the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix in Brazil, because Mercedes had to change his engine.
This means the world champion will have a starting track of 10 on Sunday, while Max Verstappen will retain his second starting position, behind Valtteri Bottas.
Lewis Hamilton is ineligible to qualify
“I wasn’t expecting so many places to advance,” says Hamilton, according to Formula1.com. He says the car was sparkling.
Hamilton is fighting for his eighth World Cup title, Verstappen for his first. Max Verstappen lifted the World Cup lead to 21 points ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix. In a sprint race, there are three points for the winner, two points for second place and one point for third place.
Max Verstappen was fined half a million kroner earlier on Saturday for touching Hamilton’s rear wing – while the cars were in the so-called ‘Park Ferm’ on Friday.
Saturday’s sprint race exceeded 24 laps, for a total of 100 kilometers, about a third of a normal Grand Prix race.
There were some jokes about touching cars:
Max Verstappen had the best starting track, but Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took the start and maintained the lead throughout the race. Bottas gave up the lead in favor of Verstappen at the start of the Grand Prix in Mexico last weekend.
– It was the key in the beginning. We played on soft tyres, and that was an advantage at first. But we weren’t sure if they would run the entire race, says Bottas in an on-site interview afterwards.
– We were on stiffer tyres. It wasn’t that easy. But the speed was good, Verstappen says.
– I couldn’t drive today, but I’ll make another try on Sunday!
1. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes.
2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull.
3. Carlos Sainz, Spain.
4. Sergio Perez, Red Bull.
5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes.
6. Lando Norris, McLaren.
7. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari.
8. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri.
9. Esteban Ocon, Alpine.
10. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin.
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