Lewis Hamilton completes stunning Brazilian Grand Prix comeback

Lewis Hamilton completed a spectacular comeback win in the inaugural Brazilian Grand Prix to keep alive his hopes of a fourth Formula One title. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was handed a 10-second penalty for overtaking…

Lewis Hamilton completes stunning Brazilian Grand Prix comeback

Lewis Hamilton completed a spectacular comeback win in the inaugural Brazilian Grand Prix to keep alive his hopes of a fourth Formula One title. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was handed a 10-second penalty for overtaking Hamilton off the track with less than a lap remaining, but the German was unable to deny the Mercedes driver’s swift retaliation.

After an ambitious overtaking move by Vettel when he bumped into Hamilton during the opening lap, the German was pushed into the barriers and hit by the Williams of Lance Stroll. Vettel was handed a one-race ban at the end of the weekend and Mercedes were seeking a similar punishment for Hamilton.

With Hamilton on pole and holding a 21-point championship lead over Vettel, a 5.9-second penalty in Brazil was seen as proving just too much. “Amazingly awesome, the best race I’ve ever been part of,” the Briton said on Twitter. “Thanks to everyone who worked so hard.”

It was the biggest single race result of Hamilton’s career and Mercedes celebrated with an arch blue smoke column and jubilant fans singing and chanting their favourite national anthem.

“Without the penalty I think he would have won the race,” Hamilton said. “I had to really dig deep to fight back.” Vettel, who finished second, accepted the penalties, although he saw it differently. “I don’t understand why the penalty happened,” he said. “I don’t know what to say. It seems not fair. If we had a 60-second time reduction I think it would have been much closer.”

The race ended three laps early when a crash involving Pierre Gasly with 13 laps remaining forced the race to be called off on a hot afternoon. Gasly had taken the place of Daniel Ricciardo.

“That’s what we have to try and do, try and control the race,” said Ricciardo of the Red Bull team principal Christian Horner’s move to protect the title hopes of Gasly and Max Verstappen.

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