Brazil GP: Verstappen claims brilliant victory, Gasly P2 as Ferrari implode

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Max Verstappen clinched a decisive victory after a crazy final conclusion to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman would pass Lewis Hamilton twice during the race as the two Ferrari's collided and a late incident between the world champion and Alex Albon promoted Pierre Gasly to a memorable podium.

Story of the race

Verstappen would keep the lead from the start as Hamilton moves ahead of Sebastian Vettel into second through the Senna S.

Charles Leclerc starts his climb through the field for 14th, passing four cars on the opening lap including Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris on the main straight.

The Monegasque continued to offer the early action as he made his way through the field, this as the gaps spread out at the front.

Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen would then touch at Turn 4 with the Australian damaging his front wing and also picked up a five-second penalty.

With little change in the order, Hamilton attempts the undercut on the Red Bull, confirming a two-stop strategy in the process.

The early stop works to get ahead of Verstappen as the Dutchman is blocked at the pit exit by Robert Kubica, with the Pole also picking up a penalty as a result.

Lewis' lead would only last one lap though as the Red Bull simply blew past on the main straight to retake the lead.

Vettel goes a little longer than the two ahead and opts for the medium at his first stop compared to the rest on softs.

Once again the order remains largely stable in the second stint as Gasly comfortably leads the midfield battle from the two Alfa Romeo's and Sergio Perez completes the top 10.

Unable to make any impression on the lead, Hamilton attempts the undercut again with the switch to mediums but is unsuccessful as Verstappen stays ahead.

That does promote Vettel into the lead for Ferrari, who was able to keep pace with the leaders despite being on the slower compound.

On the fresh rubber, however, it doesn't take long for the Red Bull to hunt down the four-time world champion and reclaim the lead.

Behind the leading trio, Valtteri Bottas appeared to have P4 wrapped up but a decision to pit for a second time dropped the Finn behind Leclerc on the hard tyre.

What should have been an easy pass was anything but, however, and that brought Albon back into the fight as he switched to the soft tyre for the final 20 laps.

Moments later though Bottas' engine would give up forcing him into retirement and requiring a Safety Car to recover his car.

Red Bull took the chance to pit Verstappen again for softs to cover Vettel but Hamilton stays out to claim track position. Leclerc also stopped to level the fight with Albon.

Fearing he would be a sitting duck on the straight, Hamilton was proved right immediately as Verstappen reclaimed the lead into Turn 1.

Albon also made a great move on Vettel for third in his quest for a first F1 podium.

That appeared guaranteed when Leclerc brilliantly passed his teammate into Turn 1 but as Sebastian tried to repass heading to Turn 4, the pair would touch wheels taking both cars out of the race.

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Another Safety Car would be called with Hamilton taking the chance to pit, that moved Gasly up into the podium places.

More drama on the first lap after the restart as Lewis regained third at Turn 1 but would clash with Albon in the middle sector, dropping the Thai driver down the field.

Gasly then had one lap to keep the Mercedes at bay to claim second and he'd manage it in a remarkable drag race to the finish line which saw the pair cross side-by-side.

The world champion had to settle for third and is under investigation for the late incident with Albon.

Sainz was able to make a one-stop strategy work to claim fourth in another epic recovery in the McLaren from the back of the grid.

On a big day for the midfield teams, the two Alfa Romeo's completed the top six as Kimi Raikkonen led Antonio Giovinazzi.

Ricciardo recovered from his earlier incident to claim seventh for Renault with Lando Norris eighth. Sergio Perez followed in ninth as Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10.

Outside the points, there was disappointment for Haas as worries their strong qualifying wouldn't stick were well-founded with Magnussen 11th and Romain Grosjean 14th.

Nico Hulkenberg made it both Renault drivers penalised for an incident with K-Mag as he passed the Dane before the start/finish line at the second Safety Car restart, dropping him to 12th.

And after his heartbreak contact with Hamilton, Albon ultimately crossed the line 15th.

Full results from the race in Sao Paulo can be seen below:

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