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Denied Hamilton beats Verstappen and causes outburst at Wolff

Denied Hamilton beats Verstappen and causes outburst at Wolff

08-11-2022 12:33 Last update: 14:29

Lewis Hamilton with a Brazilian flag and Toto Wolff freaking out. This is how last season's edition of the Brazilian Grand Prix ended. Read a recap of the heavily charged race weekend in Brazil here.

Mercedes finds momentum

With four races to go in the championship, the tension was palpable between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing. Everything was being done by both sides to clinch the championship. Mercedes had the best car in the closing stages of the season, but in America and Mexico, Max Verstappen still managed to win and extend his lead over Lewis Hamilton.

In Brazil, the duel between the two reached a boiling point. It started on Friday, because like in 2022, last season's race weekend included a sprint race. So on Friday, qualifying took place. Hamilton would grab a new engine and associated penalty that weekend, but his task became a little more difficult on Friday.

During qualifying, Hamilton set the fastest time, but his car was eventually disqualified. The rear wing would have opened further than allowed with DRS. Verstappen had touched the rear wing in Parc Fermé and he was fined for this. That the wing would have been damaged by Verstappen as Mercedes claimed, the FIA would not go along with that.

For Hamilton, it was fortunate that it was a race weekend with a Sprint. Now he could start his catch-up race on Saturday from 20th place. As a result, he climbed to fifth place. On Sunday, Hamilton got his new Mercedes engine in the back of the car and was able to chase Verstappen from P10.

Hamilton versus Verstappen

Verstappen started the Sprint from P1 but lost that lead to Valtteri Bottas. On Sunday, however, the roles were reversed and Verstappen was able to control the race from the front. However, nothing could withstand the unleashed Hamilton. He lapped the entire field and was soon on Verstappen's tail. However, the latter did everything he could to keep Hamilton behind him. In an attempt to pass the Dutchman, Hamilton even had to swerve as Verstappen himself did not make it through the corner either in his attempt to defend. In the end, Verstappen could do little about Hamilton's pace and had to settle for P2.

The pent-up anger was also evident at Wolff. Who had been uncomfortable all weekend after Friday's disqualification and became visibly furious after Verstappen's defensive manoeuvre. When Hamilton eventually did pass Verstappen, the team boss made it clear by addressing the camera.

Thus, Hamilton won the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of Verstappen and Bottas. Sergio Perez finished fourth and did another good thing by taking the point for the fastest lap away from Hamilton. Hamilton nevertheless celebrated with a Brazilian flag. He then also got the support of the crowd, where Verstappen was booed.