Sunday best: Hamilton shocks Verstappen to win Brazilian GP

Nov 13, 2021, 9:27 PM | Updated: Nov 14, 2021, 11:55 am
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, front, steers his car followed by Red Bull's Max Verstappen , during the ...

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, front, steers his car followed by Red Bull's Max Verstappen , during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton ended “the hardest weekend I’ve had” with a stunning victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, and gained momentum in his Formula One title fight with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, beat Verstappen despite starting from 10th position on the grid due to a penalty — the second Hamilton faced this weekend in Sao Paulo.

Verstappen, the winner of the race’s previous edition in 2019, finished second and saw his lead in the driver’s championship shrink to 14 points, with three races left. The winner of a race gets 25 points.

“Let’s keep pushing,” Hamilton said on team radio after his sixth victory of the season. He took a Brazil flag to celebrate his win in the car and on the podium, just as his idol Ayrton Senna did.

Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas finished third and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was fourth with the Mexican clocking the fastest lap of the race. The Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were fifth and sixth, respectively.

Verstappen led most of the race after the first turn, when he overtook polesitter Bottas. But Hamilton, who rose from 10th to third position in just six laps, went ahead of Verstappen on lap 59, putting a raucous crowd on their feet at Interlagos.

Hamilton finished the race with a 10-second advantage over Verstappen and said he felt like he had won his first race before a joyous crowd at Interlagos.

“I was pushing as hard as I could,” an emotional Hamilton said after his 101st victory. “From last on the grid (for Saturday’s sprint race), and then another five-place penalty — I think that’s the hardest weekend I’ve had. Things kept going against us, but it just shows, never give up, keep fighting. Never, ever stop fighting.”

Verstappen will also leave Brazil 50,000 euros ($57,200) poorer. He was fined after being seen touching the rear wing of Hamilton’s Mercedes on Friday.

“We were just missing a bit of pace, but we gave it our all and had fun,” the Dutchman said. “We still have a good points lead, today was a bit of damage limitation. The coming races we will bounce back.”

Organizers at Interlagos celebrated the return of the series to the traditional track, which will host the race for nine more years. All 170,000 tickets were sold for the three days of action, with thousands of fans gathering in front of the podium — many of them unmasked despite health protocols.

Formula One cut Brazil from its 2020 calendar because of restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sao Paulo Grand Prix, renamed for this year, was allowed to open for full capacity only weeks ago when the state government eased restrictions for November.

Qatar hosts the next race on Nov. 21, followed by Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

____

More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Chase Elliott's tire burns after he contacted the wall during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Te...
Associated Press

NASCAR drivers fuming over concussions suffered in new car

NASCAR drivers are angry and concerned about their safety in the new Next Gen cars as the playoffs roar into one of the most chaotic and dangerous tracks on the circuit. Alex Bowman will miss Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway with a concussion diagnosed four days after he crashed. Bowman hit the wall early at […]
13 hours ago
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals' Josh Tupou (68) duri...
Associated Press

Tagovailoa in concussion protocol, no timeline for return

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa underwent additional testing Friday and remained in the concussion protocol a day after hitting his head against the turf. Tagovailoa had a headache Thursday night and Friday morning, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said. The team was waiting for results from the MRI, which McDaniel said […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives against Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (...
Associated Press

AP source: Celtics agree to terms with big man Blake Griffin

BOSTON (AP) — Veteran big man Blake Griffin has agreed to a contract with the Boston Celtics, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday. The person confirmed the move to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. It was first reported by ESPN. […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Morocco fumes over Adidas design of Algerian soccer jersey

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — The Moroccan government called on sports apparel company Adidas to pull off the market its new jersey collection for Algeria’s national soccer team, alleging that the featured mosaic pattern amounted to “cultural appropriation” of Moroccan heritage. Morocco’s Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication said in a statement that the design on […]
2 days ago
FILE - Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett stands on the field during an NFL preseason foo...
Associated Press

Browns’ Garrett: Crash a ‘wake-up’ call, grateful to survive

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Myles Garrett knows he’s lucky. His life could be very different or even over. Speaking for the first time since losing control and flipping his Porsche after practice on Monday, the Browns’ star defensive end expressed relief that he survived the crash he caused by driving too fast. “Definitely grateful to […]
2 days ago
FILE - Texas players sing "The Eyes Of Texas," after defeating Kansas State 22-17 in an NCAA colleg...
Associated Press

College athletics sees surge in nonprofits paying players

The new world of college athletes getting paid for endorsements has created a rapidly expanding pop-up industry: Brand new nonprofits that set up athletes to promote charities for a fee. The nonprofits are pitched as feel-good partnerships, but they also raises questions. Is their mission to support charities and their communities or do they exist […]
2 days ago
Sunday best: Hamilton shocks Verstappen to win Brazilian GP