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Valtteri Bottas thwarts Max Verstappen, as Lewis Hamilton charges through sprint field at Brazilian Grand Prix


Valtteri Bottas jumped Max Verstappen off the line and held the lead all the way to claim victory in the sprint race at the Brazilian Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton charged through the field to take fifth.

Verstappen started on pole following Hamilton’s disqualification, but he got a poor start and was jumped at the first corner by the Mercedes man.

Carlos Sainz also got past the championship leader on the first lap, but he was not in front for long as the Red Bull’s superior power made short work of the Ferrari.

Bottas and Verstappen were on different tyres for the 24-lap race, but the Finn managed his superbly to keep Verstappen at bay in the final stages of the race.

The two points for Verstappen were enough to extend his lead over Hamilton to 21 points, while Bottas’ three points kept Mercedes in front in the Constructors’ championship.

Hamilton started at the back of the grid following his disqualification from qualifying on Friday, but made four places off the start line and charged through the field.

The defending world champion picked off car after car, before racing up to Daniel Ricciardo. The McLaren had the same power unit as Hamilton’s Mercedes, and it took him four laps to make the move – going round the outside on the start-finish straight.

Once past the Australian, he made short work of Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc.

On the final lap, Hamilton lunged down the inside of Lando Norris, much to the delight of the crowd who let out a huge roar, for fifth place – meaning he will start the main race on Sunday in 10th after his five-place grid penalty for an engine change. All is not lost for Hamilton who had serious pace.

“It was definitely tough and I think I was, whilst the team were working away, delegating with the stewards, I was just trying to focus on my work with my engineers and keeping the morale with my mechanics high, focusing on the job at hand and not thinking about it,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.

“Of course, just before I heard about the result, and it was devastating, but you can’t let that hold you back.

“You’ve got to keep your head down and keep going so I quickly reset, got my mind focused on what I could do and giving it everything.”



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