Brazilian Grand Prix: F1 driver ratings as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battle in Sao Paulo thriller

The seven-time world champion battled from tenth to claim one of the most thrilling victories of his F1 career at Interlagos

Jamie Braidwood
Sunday 14 November 2021 18:55
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Lewis Hamilton claimed a memorable win at the Brazilian Grand Prix to cut Max Verstappen’s lead at the top of the Formula One drivers’ standings.

After starting the race in 10th place, Hamilton charged to a famous victory at Interlagos, passing Verstappen with a bold move over the closing stages, to keep his hopes of retaining the title alive.

The Mercedes driver was forced to start Saturday’s sprint race at the back of the grid due to an infringement in DRS regulations, and also had to serve a five-place grid penalty after taking an engine penalty.

Valtteri Bottas finished third ahead of Sergio Perez, who claimed the bonus point for the fastest lap, while the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz rounded out the top six.

Here’s how the drivers rated at a thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix.

1. Lewis Hamilton 10/10 - A stunning drive from 10th to first, topped off by a sensational move to overtake title rival Verstappen with 10 laps to go. After starting Saturday’s sprint race at the back of the grid, this was one of the finest weekends of the seven-time champion’s illustrious career. The title race is still alive.

2. Max Verstappen 8 - Made a superb start to take the lead at the opening corner for the second race in a row, but was eventually caught by the charging Hamilton. Held off Hamilton’s first attack after pushing him wide, but was a sitting duck for Hamilton’s vital move at Turn 1.

3. Valtteri Bottas 7 - Lost out to Verstappen and ran wide to lose second place to Perez. Reclaimed the podium place after Mercedes were able to undercut the Red Bull. Questioned the Mercedes strategy, along with Hamilton, but was catching Verstappen over the final laps of the race. It was too late to secure a one-two, however.

4. Sergio Perez 7 - Was involved in an entertaining battle with Hamilton, in which he regained his position after being overtaken, but was ultimately unable to hold him up. Pitted in a late bid to steal the fastest lap from Hamilton, and got it with a 1:11 on the final lap of the race.

5. Charles Leclerc 6 - Got ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz and helped Ferrari secure an important result with a consistent drive, one that sees that extend their lead over McLaren.

6. Carlos Sainz 5 - Had little impact on the race despite starting third, and fell away following his contact with Lando Norris. Was able to recover but finished behind his teammate.

7. Pierre Gasly 7- Made two wonderful moves late on to retake seventh place from the Alpines. Continues to overperform in the AlphaTauri and pick up points.

8. Fernando Alonso - 7 Secured an solid eighth place, after starting in 12th, following a one-stop strategy in the Alpine.

9. Esteban Ocon - 6 Backed up Alonso’s eighth place by picking up another couple of points for Alpine.

10. Lando Norris 3 - Made a great start off the line but suffered a puncture as he touched former teammate Sainz, which saw him drop into last place. Was able to claim a point.

11. Sebastian Vettel 5 - After being involved in some entertaining midfield battles in recent weeks, the four-time champion had a quiet race in Sao Paulo.

12. Kimi Raikkonen 5 - Gained several places after getting in a tangle with Mick Schumacher midway through the race.

13. George Russell 6 - Held off a challenge from Antonio Giovinazzi over the closing stages of the race and gained four positions overall.

14. Antonio Giovinazzi 4 - A poor result after a promising couple of weeks. Was unable to pass Russell late on.

15. Yuki Tsunoda 3 - Received a 10-second penalty after colliding with Lance Stroll, which saw him lose his wing early in the race.

16. Nicholas Latifi 4 - Was out-performed by teammate Russell despite starting ahead of him.

17. Nikita Mazepin 5 - Finished ahead of Schumacher but was still well short of Latifi.

18. Mick Schumacher 4 - Lost his front wing after being clipped by Raikkonen.

RTD - Lance Stroll - Forced into a retirement due to the damage sustained in his collision with Tsunoda.

RTD - Daniel Ricciardo - Retired due to engine failure. Was running in 10th at the time and was unable to salvage some points on a poor weekend for McLaren.

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