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Commentary

F1 Brazilian Grand Prix Live Commentary and Updates - FP2 & Sprint

Live commentary and updates on Saturday practice and sprint for Formula 1's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

By: Megan White, James Newbold

Summary

Summary
  • Bottas holds off Verstappen to win Brazilian F1 sprint race after beating the Red Bull off the line
  • Verstappen also briefly dropped behind fast-starting Ferrari of Sainz but soon reclaimed second
  • Sainz holds on for third on the softer tyres, ahead of Perez
  • Hamilton relegated to back of the grid for DRS infringement and grabs fifth from Norris on the final lap after storming drive
  • Mercedes driver will start Sunday's race from 10th once five-place engine change penalty is applied

Leaderboard
1. Bottas, Mercedes
2. Verstappen, Red Bull
3. Sainz, Ferrari
4. Perez, Red Bull
5. Hamilton, Mercedes
6. Norris, McLaren
7. Leclerc, Ferrari
8. Gasly, AlphaTauri
9. Ocon, Alpine
10. Vettel, Aston Martin

Status: Stopped
That's all from us today - we'll catch you again tomorrow for the Brazilian, er, SAO PAULO Grand Prix! Take care.
That was a surprisingly frenetic sprint - here's the report if you missed anything in those 24 laps: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-brazilian-gp-sprint/6778376/
Bottas: "The start was the key thing for me. We gambled a bit on the soft because we knew it could be good for the start."
Felipe Massa is in charge of wreath distribution, which the drivers have quickly discarded.
A replay of Hamilton's start - he'd done both Haases and Williams before he'd even got to Turn 1. Not a bad effort.
"Lewis, make sure you don't touch any cars when you get out," Pete Bonnington says to his driver. Hamilton got close to an endplate there, luckily there was no contact.
Coffee fanatic Bottas was on the espresso train to victory today, taking his shot at pole. He's made his macchiato on this sprint.
Hamilton will start from 10th tomorrow, so Norris will start from fifth on the grid. "It's not over yet," Hamilton says.
Sainz hangs onto the final point with third, keeping Perez at bay, but Hamilton absolutely had the bit between his teeth in that race - getting fifth on the final lap!
But it's Valtteri Bottas who claims the sprint victory from Max Verstappen!
Hamilton with a fantastic dive on Norris at the start of the final lap - grabbing fifth place!
Hamilton resists the urge to throw a dive on Norris on the penultimate lap, and hangs back for another tilt on the final lap.
Gosh, those clouds are incredibly menacing.
Three laps remain, and Sainz is still managing to keep Perez at bay. Hamilton is almost within a second of Norris behind them.
Hamilton is now up to sixth, clearing Leclerc into Turn 4 with DRS - and could break into the top five if he can get Norris next.
Perez has a think about a lunge on Sainz, but the Ferrari driver keeps ahead at the start of lap 20. Five to go.
"Six laps to go, his softs are going to be hurting," says Perez's engineer Hugh Bird, as Sainz is still ahead.
Lap 18, and Verstappen's dropped to 1.1s behind Bottas - perhaps just taking his time and getting out of the Mercedes driver's immediate wake. Sainz continues to struggle on the softs now.
Like Ocon, Gasly was light work for Hamilton with DRS, and the Mercedes driver is now up to seventh place. Leclerc is next up, just under 4s ahead. It's doable.
"Bide your time, Max," says Verstappen's engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, as the Dutch driver is now right behind Bottas.
Easy pickings for Hamilton at the start of lap 16, as he clears Ocon in eighth. Gasly's next up.
Hamilton begins lap 15 with a pass on Vettel, bringing him up to ninth place. Ocon's next, and doesn't have DRS.
Verstappen now has DRS with 10 laps remaining, and is reeling Bottas in at a vast rate of knots.
...but Hamilton's too far behind Vettel in the final couple of corners and can't get a run into Turn 1. Vettel's getting DRS off Ocon, which is helping the Aston driver.
Hamilton finally clears Ricciardo at the start of lap 13, with Vettel and Ocon now ahead. He's all over Vettel on the infield section...
Gasly's stabilised in seventh for now, after an iffy start; he's keeping a second and a half over Ocon behind him, and the AlphaTauri driver is now trying to get in DRS range of Leclerc.
Sainz is still keeping Perez behind, which might let Norris get a little closer. The other McLaren of Ricciardo, meanwhile, is keeping Hamilton at bay.
Norris has a real go at Leclerc into Turn 1, going for a big dive but Leclerc holds him off - but the McLaren driver tries again into Turn 4 and gets fifth place from the Ferrari driver! Great battle.
Hamilton sticks on the DRS and steams past Alonso, diving past for P11. Ricciardo's next up on his list.
Sainz is beginning to struggle with tyres now, with Perez still all over his gearbox. We're a third of the way through this race already, on lap 8.
Verstappen gets the gap to Bottas down to 2s with a 1m12.187s.
Hamilton's got past Giovinazzi and now has Alonso ahead of him, gunning for P11. Whatever he gets today, he'll have a five-place penalty on tomorrow's grid.
Sainz meanwhile is losing ground to Verstappen, and has Perez and Leclerc right on his tail. Perez tries a move at the start of lap 6, but the Spanish driver holds on.
Verstappen's switched on his mediums and is now closing on Bottas slightly, who's still 2.4s up the road.
Verstappen kicks off lap 4 by clearing Sainz with DRS, steaming past at Turn 1. Hamilton further down does the same to clear Tsunoda, and the Mercedes is now right on Giovinazzi's tail.
Verstappen is complaining of gear synch issues, but he's putting the pressure back on Sainz, who got a good getaway on the soft tyre.
Lap 3, and Bottas is in the lead from Sainz by 2s, with Verstappen, Perez, Leclerc, Norris, Gasly, Ocon, Vettel and Ricciardo making up the top 10.
Raikkonen's had a spin after contact with team-mate Giovinazzi into Turn 1, which has thrown him right down the order. Hamilton moves up to 14th now, after clearing Stroll.
Leclerc in fifth is under attack from Norris, both cars have passed Gasly who's gone from fourth to seventh.
Hamilton's up to 16th already, as the midfield is full of battles on this opening lap!

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