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Max Verstappen wins Brazil Grand Prix

Verstappen – who had secured the coveted pole position in the qualifying time trials on Saturday – was first across the finish line on the 4.309 km (2.67 mi.)

IANS | Sao Paulo |

Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen, with the Red Bull team has won the Brazilian Grand Prix, the next-to-last contest in the world F1 season.

He came ahead of France’s Pierre Gasly, with Toro Rosso, and Spain’s Carlos Sainz, who made it into third place after Britain’s six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, with Mercedes, who had originally come in third, received a five-second penalty for a collision.

Sainz, driving for McLaren, had originally come in fourth after starting the race in last position in the 20-car contest on Sunday.

Verstappen – who had secured the coveted pole position in the qualifying time trials on Saturday – was first across the finish line on the 4.309 km (2.67 mi.) Interlagos raceway in Sao Paulo after an intense battle with Hamilton, who fought hard for the win but could not prevail and was knocked back to cross the finish line in third place, reports Efe news.

However, Hamilton lost that position because he made contact with Thailand’s Alexander Albon, a situation that was reviewed with the result that the Briton was penalized five seconds, thus depriving him of the podium finish.

Ferrari also suffered a setback during the race, with their two drivers – Germany’s Sebastian Vettel and Monaco’s Charles Leclerc – being knocked out after just a few laps after they collided.

Spain’s Sainz moved up handily and impressively during the course of the contest, to finish fourth, although he had started the race in last position. Even the fourth-place slot would have been his best finish so far this season with just one more race in Abu Dhabi to go, but – after Hamilton lost his third-place finish – this was the first time in his F1 career that the Spaniard has made it onto the 1-2-3 podium.

The race got crazy in the final stretch with the appearance of the safety car on several occasions, first with the departure of Finland’s Valtteri Bottas due to cooling problems in his Mercedes and later with the accident between the two Ferrari vehicles.

The final was an epic event with the incident between Albon and Hamilton, which Gasly was able to take advantage of, moving nicely into second place for the Toro Rosso team.

The two Alfa Romeo drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, while Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Renault, was seventh, Britain’s Lando Norris with McLaren came in eighth, Mexico’s Sergio Perez, with Racing Point, finished ninth, and Russia’s Daniil Kvyat, with Toro Rosso, finished 10th.

By clinching yet another F1 drivers’ title earlier this month at the US Grand Prix, Hamilton moved to within one of the record held by German racing legend Michael Schumacher, who won seven drivers’ titles between 1994 and 2004.

Mercedes clinched its sixth consecutive constructors’ championship at last month’s Japanese Grand Prix.