Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2019 Results: Max Verstappen Wins Ahead of Pierre Gasly

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2019

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 17: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 and Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 and the rest of the field at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 17, 2019 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing won the penultimate Formula One race of the season, earning victory on Sunday at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Pierre Gasly claimed second and his first podium for Toro Rosso after a frantic end to the race after two safety-car periods.

Lewis Hamilton came third after fighting with Verstappen for victory until the final laps, but the world champion collided with Red Bull's Alexander Albon at the end and was later dropped from the podium after being given a five-second penalty.

Formula 1 @F1

RACE CLASSIFICATION ...and breathe! How they crossed the line at Interlagos #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #F1 https://t.co/KU2VGwTTjo

Pole-sitter Verstappen was the quickest off the line, but the drama unfolded behind him as Hamilton accelerated past Sebastian Vettel to claim second at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

Vettel aggressively chased the world champion over the first lap, but the British superstar defended his line and position.

Formula 1 @F1

LIGHTS OUT AT INTERLAGOS! Watch the race start 👇🎥 #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #F1 https://t.co/MYVPQhF8MC

Verstappen's intent was clear from the start, and the Red Bull driver created a gap between himself and the chasing pack.

Ferarri's Charles Leclerc ripped through the field after starting 14th on the grid, and the 22-year-old was up to seventh after eight laps.

Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen collided as they tussled for track position. The incident saw Magnussen spin off the track, forcing Ricciardo into the pit lane to replace a damaged front wing.

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 8/71 Ricciardo goes for a move on Magnussen, but spins the Haas round 😱 #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #F1 https://t.co/YnlRIkaT3F

Ricciardo was handed a five-second penalty for his part in the collision with Magnussen, and Hamilton continued to chase Verstappen hard for the lead.

Vettel struggled to find significant pace, and the grand prix was turning into a two-horse race at the front.

Hamilton was first into the pits, switching for softs on a two-stop strategy, and Verstappen responded with a pit stop of his own.

Red Bull gave their driver the perfect stop, but traffic impeded Verstappen on his way out.

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 22/71 Verstappen pits a lap later, and almost collides with Kubica in the pit lane! He emerges behind Hamilton... #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #F1 https://t.co/sxQtIVxO8G

There were cheers from the crowd as Verstappen quickly caught Hamilton, and the Dutchman sped past his rival.

The pair fought hard through the DRS zone, and the world champion retook the lead on lap 25 with an audacious passing move.

However, Verstappen reclaimed the lead again as his tyres warmed up, and Hamilton radioed his team to say he couldn't match the Red Bull's pace. The champion explained he thought he was on the wrong tyre and should have been given a set of mediums.

Ferrari opted to change to the hards for Leclerc and mediums for Vettel, but the Prancing Horse couldn't find the consistency of pace they desired before the midway point.

Further stops for Mercedes and Red Bull saw Hamilton complain about a lack of power on his radio, and Verstappen maintained a slender lead with 20 laps remaining.

Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire on lap 53, pulling his Mercedes off the track with smoke coming from his engine.

Formula 1 @F1

⚠️ SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED (LAP 54/71) ⚠️ Bottas is out! The Finn parks up his smoky Mercedes at Turn 4 #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #F1 https://t.co/TWQB56Vh19

The safety car was deployed, and Red Bull switched strategy as a result, bringing in Verstappen for new tyres.

A grandstand finale was set up when the safety car finally came in with 12 laps to go, and Red Bull's pace appeared to give them the edge.

Hamilton deliberately backed up the field before the safety car exited, with others not allowed to pass him, but Verstappen pushed hard and forced his way back to the front when the racing started once more.

Red Bull had perfectly timed their tactics, and Verstappen left Hamilton in his shadow as he edged away for the victory.

There was drama between the Ferraris in the closing stages as Leclerc and Vettel touched, and both cars sustained punctures, ending their race.

Hamilton went for broke after a second safety car when the Ferraris clashed, but the Brit hit Albon in the final moments, allowing Gasly to pass.