Lewis Hamilton wins the 2021 Brazilian F1 Grand Prix after a weekend of setbacks.
By George Ferreira
The Brazilian Grand Prix never fails to amaze, in years gone by we have witnessed competitive races at the São Paulo racetrack and even had a fair few championships be decided at the legendary track, From Hamilton passing Timo Glock on the last lap to pry the championship away from Massa for McLaren in 2008 to Fernando Alonso beating out Kimi Raikkonen in 2005 and beating the legendary Michael Schumacher to win a back-to-back championship in 2006. It is safe to say that the Brazil Grand Prix always delivers and this years was no different, with Lewis Hamilton beating out his championship rival Max Verstappen after a fierce battle between the two drivers which saw Lewis Hamilton pass the Dutchman on Lap 59 with DRS on the run up to turn 4 of the track after being forced wide when he attempted the same move one lap prior. The win sees Hamilton cut Verstappen’s lead in the championship from 21 points to 14 points with 3 races left to finish the season. Fellow Mercedes Driver Valtteri Bottas finished 3rd to cap off a successful weekend for Mercedes but it was a large mountain that in particular Hamilton had to climb over the weekend.
Problems arose for Mercedes at the end of the second free practise session in which Hamilton managed to finish P1 for the sprint qualifying, edging out Max Verstappen by over four-tenths of a second. However, whilst in Parc Ferme, Verstappen was spotted touching and examining the rear wing of the Mercedes which handed the Red Bull driver a 50,000 euro fine and after the stewards further investigated the wing, Hamilton was disqualified meaning he would begin the sprint qualifying from last position. The stewards released a statement as to why the penalty was given explaining that there is a gap between the upper and lower parts of the rear wing. The gauge that is used to measure the gap could not pass through the inner section of the wing but could at the outer section. Whilst the same wing design had been approved by the FIA at the start of the season something caused the wing to fail at Brazil, Mercedes decided not to appeal the disqualification instead deciding to let the British Driver do the talking on the track and boy did he respond. In the 24 laps of the Sprint Qualifying Lewis Hamilton was able to go from last place to finish 5th, this was possible after an incredible first lap which saw Hamilton jump up to 14th a staggering 6 overtakes in one lap.
Whilst Hamilton finished 5th in the sprint qualifying he actually started 10th on the grid on race day after replacing his engine, the 5th engine change of the season. With this many people perhaps had written off Hamilton and saw this as an easy win for Verstappen further extending his lead but it wasn’t to be a walk in the park as Hamilton with a new engine, the backing of the Brazilian crowd and Bottas allowing Lewis to pass him to go after the Red Bulls, they simply could not compete with the straight-line speed of the Mercedes.
After the race Lewis Hamilton described the weekend as one of the best weekends he had ever experienced in his career. After giving it his all Hamilton stood on the podium with a Brazilian Flag behind him just like his idol Ayrton Senna often did after a victory. The F1 circus now rolls on into Qatar and no doubt this win giving Mercedes a much-needed morale boost in the pursuit for the championship and with Red Bull looking over their shoulder as their rival refuses to throw in the towel.