F1 Rejects Mercedes’ Request To Review Verstappen’s Brazil Move
In search of a record-breaking eighth world championship, Hamilton trailed Verstappen by 14 points in the drivers’ standings heading into the weekend. However, after his stunning victory in Brazil, where Hamilton came from tenth on the grid to take victory, the momentum was firmly with the Mercedes driver. Overtaking was tricky on the Losail circuit and Hamilton made it count with a superb performance from lights-to-flag to take the race victory.
Verstappen escaped punishment after appearing to run Hamilton off the track in Brazil but wasn’t so lucky in Qatar and was hit with a five-place grid penalty after ignoring yellow flags during Saturday’s qualifying session. He limited the damage, however, coming home second with Fernando Alonso third, a first podium since 2014. Sergio Perez finished fourth in the second Red Bull with Esteban Ocon fifth for Alpine. Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin beat the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc with Lando Norris’ McLaren and the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel rounding off the top 10. Follow all the latest updates and analysis below:
Williams drivers both surprised by tyre punctures
George Russell and Nicholas Latifi in the Williams cars both suffered punctures to the front left tyre towards the end of the race after trying to make a one-stop strategy work.
“It was something that we spoke about prior to the race, that the front left was wearing so much,” Russell explained. “It was a bit of a surprise it came when it did though, but we weren’t in the fight for anything meaningful. A shame but we didn’t lose out on anything.”
Canadian Latifi concurred, saying: “No warning, so that was the confusing part for me. It was obviously a consideration but we thought we could manage it. I didn’t feel limited from that tyre and then it went a lap later.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:59
McLaren slipping behind in fight with Ferrari
After Daniel Ricciardo failed to score points for the third consecutive race, and Lando Norris dropped down to ninth due to a late puncture, McLaren are now 39.5 points behind Ferrari in the battle for third in the Constructors’ Championship.
The teams former driver Jenson Button told Sky Sports F1 he thinks it will be “very difficult” for them to overhaul the Scuderia now.
“Their pace is there,” the 2009 world champion said. “Lando was quick today, not quite as much as Fernando but still fast. He said it wasn’t the team’s fault, but the ones who had punctures pushed the tyres too far.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:50
Driver ratings as Alonso impresses but Gasly and Ricciardo struggle
The big story at every Formula 1 Grand Prix these days is tug-of-war between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the top of the championship, but there are 18 other drivers out there and the vast majority of them were involved in more eventful races today than the two title rivals.
Take a look at our full, in-depth driver ratings below where all 20 men are given a thorough assessment.
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:35
Horner praises Verstappen’s Qatar recovery
Horner has also been praising championship leader Max Verstappen after the Red Bull man took second-place despite starting seventh at Losail. “Max’s recovery today, his first lap was stunning,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “Mercedes had a quicker car but we were able to come after them a bit. His first few corners were sensational.”
“We’re down to I think five points in the constructors’, and eight ahead in the drivers’. So we’re going to go home, work hard and try to improve the car as much as we can for the new track to come.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:32
Christian Horner apologises and makes Wolff jibe
Christian Horner has apologised on Sky Sports F1 after being summoned by the stewards for breaking the international sporting code in relation to TV comments he made about marshals earlier today, but also took aim at Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff over his behaviour.
“I’d like to make it clear that marshals and volunteers do a wonderful job, and my frustrations I voiced earlier are not with an individual marshal but with the situation and the inconsistency,” he said. “If any offence was caused I apologise for that. It’s with the stewards now.”
When asked about how he is handling the pressure by Damon Hill, Horner responded by referencing the moment in Brazil when Wolff pointed down the camera lens and celebrated Hamilton’s overtake, saying: “I think we’ve been dealing well with our emotions, I don’t swear and point at cameras, but if I think you’re being an arse I’ll tell you you’re being an arse.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:31
Alonso proud of “deserved” first podium in seven years
Fernando Alonso has been telling Sky Sports F1 about what he feels is a “deserved” first podium since Hungary in 2014.
“It was great, it was fun. I think Turn 2 with Gasly was very important to have a clean race after that, and then to have a clean race after that.
“Obviously the win is the win, so [a podium] cannot rank too high. But this is like… Finally! We have been close before but I was wondering if I could ever get a podium again in my career, and next year who knows what could happen?
“There is still a long way to go for us, but it would be great to be fighting [with Hamilton and Verstappen next year]. I am glad to share the podium with them, in the last few years there have been some strange podiums because of things which happen in the race, but today we deserved it.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:24
Verstappen says penalty was no surprise in jibe at FIA
Asked about his reaction to receiving the grid penalty pre-race for ignoring yellow flags in qualifying, Max Verstappen told Sky Sports F1: “No surprises there, I knew last night that I never get presents from them [the FIA]. We just need to try and says focused, and as we’ve seen here anything can happen.”
On the controversial remarks made by Christian Horner and Toto Wolff this week, and the fallout from the clash with Lewis Hamilton in Interlagos, the 24-year-old said that he tries to ignore everything other than driving.
“Racing is not complicated,” he said. “It has a brake pedal, a throttle, and a steering wheel. Anything else going on around it I don’t pay attention to.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:14
Hamilton revelling in the pressure of title fight
Lewis Hamilton says he is revelling in the pressure of his battle with Max Verstappen for the championship title.
“The last two weeks have been just amazing, but there’s no time for celebrations. I’ll be back in training tomorrow morning and working hard. [Red Bull] are obviously still very fast, so we still have our work cut out.
“I’m loving it. I love the close battle and the pressure, and the demands it puts on us. The next two races we need an even better performance, so we’ll be bringing out AAA performance.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:05
Christian Horner summoned to stewards
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has been summoned to the stewards at Losail for an alleged breach of the sporting code.
More details as we have them.
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:03
Toto Wolff says Red Bull woke up Hamilton’s “lion” in title fight
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has been talking about Lewis Hamilton’s victory and his chances of winning the F1 title.
“It’s funny, because the initial feeling is bittersweet, because both championships matter,” he told Damon Hill on Sky Sports F1 It’s great for Lewis [in the Drivers’ Championship], and the car seems really fast. That’s a great indication for what is to come in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Saudi should be a good track for us. We will get our spicy equipment out for that and see what we can do. We need Valtteri up there too.
“[Lewis] is totally in the zone. The lion has been woken up. They [Red Bull] woke the lion at Interlagos last week.”
On the pressure of the first real fight Mercedes have endured with a rival time in the turbo-hybrid era, he added: “I really enjoy the ride because it’s such fun when it’s so tough, that’s exactly why we’re in this sport.”
Dan Austin21 November 2021 16:00