Max Vertsappen WINS Brazilian Grand Prix Sprint Race after Lando Norris started in pole position
- Ferrari seemed to be struggling during the race, but it was Mercedes who suffered
- Norris said he was still “satisfied” with his performance despite the loss to Vertsppen
Lando Norris’s hopes of victory disappeared in an instant. The Brit started the Brazilian sprint race on pole, but do you know who came through straight away to take the lead at the first corner.
So the victory for Max Verstappen, the bullet that can no longer be deflected.
There was only a slim chance that things would be different, or at least that the race for top spot would continue during this entertaining 24-lap sprint around the undulating amphitheater of Interlagos, but Norris failed to break Verstappen’s path , who started second.
The pair launched perfectly and were evenly matched within those few meters. Had Norris immediately turned left to claim the inside line around the first corner, who knows?
Norris’s McLaren had real pace, which was a surprise to him. By Thursday he had written off all hope of success; too many turns in second and third gear for the characteristics of his car, he thought.
Lando Norris had hoped for a win today, but Vertsappen turned out to be too much
The race was tough and included several takeovers in a mad dash to the finish
The 23-year-old had to fight for second place after being passed by his compatriot George Russell on the first lap, a strong move from within. Four laps later, Norris reaffirmed his lead over the Mercedes, and it would remain that way.
Sergio Perez, who started and finished third, but made a bad start. Russell finished fourth, 25 seconds behind, and Lewis Hamilton seventh, an astonishing 34 off the pace. In the end, the Silver Arrows didn’t have the push they expected.
But both Russell and Hamilton had looked stronger in the early stages. Hamilton was brave and made a late move as he passed Perez on the first lap and charged through the outside of Turn 4. Most of the afternoon’s passages took place there.
Hamilton was passed by Perez three laps later. The seven-time world champion almost slipped further back when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc tried to force himself through the battle. He was unable to do so, but he did complete three laps before the end.
Worse, when AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda passed him.
Perez, fighting for his place at Red Bull after dismal recent form, also beat Russell mid-race after swapping positions as one alternated in the other’s DRS zone.
The Mexican can be pleased to have extended his lead over Hamilton in their battle for second place in the world championship by four points to 24, with only Sunday’s Grand Prix here and those in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi ahead .