Sports Desk, Nov 14 (EFE).- Seven-time world Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, on Sunday won the Brazil Grand Prix in Sao Paulo, the 19th race on this year’s world F1 circuit, beating out Dutch driver Max Verstappen (with Red Bull), who remains in the lead for this year’s championship in the point count, 14 points ahead of the Briton with three races to go and 78 total points available.
Hamilton, who after a series of penalties started in 10th position at the Interlagos raceway, quickly moved up nine spots during the course of the contest, to increase to 101 his historic win record, with Finnish Mercedes colleague Valtteri Bottas, who started in the coveted pole position, coming in third and Mexico’s Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s fellow driver with Red Bull, coming in fourth.
On just the first lap, Hamilton moved up four spots, then moved up past two more drivers on the next two laps, and by the beginning of the fifth lap he was in third place, although his teammate Bottas had been ordered aside on the first corner after an instruction from his Mercedes team.
With just 12 laps remaining in the 71-lap race, the Briton passed Verstappen, and then never looked back until he crossed the finish line.
“Wooo, yes, come on guys,” the 36-year-old Hamilton shouted to his teammembers and pit crew on the radio. “Thank you so much! Let’s keep going, let’s keep pushing!”
“I never thought I would be able to close the championship gap because things kept going against us,” said Hamilton after the race. “But it just shows for everyone (to) never give up, whatever you are facing. You just have to keep pushing, never stop fighting, and that was my approach this weekend. It feels like the first because I have not won in a long time.”
The win was the Briton’s first since he took the Russian Grand Prix in September and just his second since the summer break in August.
Spain’s Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) came in sixth and ninth, respectively.
Monaco’s Charles Leclerc, also driving for Ferrari’s “Scuderia” team, was fifth, while France’s Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) and Esteban Ocon (Alpine) were seventh and eighth in the Sao Paulo race.
Briton Lando Norris, with McLaren, finished in tenth.
Next weekend, Hamilton and Verstappen will face off once again on Formula One’s first outing in Qatar before racing in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi in December to wrap up the season.