With four races to go, the F1 drivers lined up for the Sao Paulo grand prix determined to show the best they had for either a place on the weekend’s podium, or the season’s standings.
Perhaps more than anyone else, Lewis Hamilton eyed the win, and at the end of the race, he showed the world that it wasn’t just mere hope; he was determined to race it out and hold that bottle of fizzy wine.
With Red Bull’s speed in the previous meeting, and Hamilton’s own confession that Sao Paulo’s track was almost impossible for overtaking, the Briton’s tenth place start was thought by many, if not all, as the start of a race that would hand Verstappen his first F1 championship.
Contrary to expectations and bids, the 36-year old overtook each of the 8 racers ahead of him and left the best (Verstappen) for last with 12 laps to go, earning a brilliant and almost monstrous win.
The victory, which closed the gap between Hamilton and Verstappen to 15 points with three races to go, earned the seven-time champion praise from every corner, and his future teammate, Russell, wasn’t an exemption.
The 23-year old was so fascinated by his senior’s skills that he decided to have another look afterwards to perhaps borrow a few pointers, and what he termed Hamilton was just right. I’ll be watching that one back later. “Congrats, you’re an absolute beast,” Russell stated in his congratulatory tweet to Lewis.
Russell finished 13th in Sunday’s race, and is determined to give his best at Williams before next year’s Mercedes move. “We need to give everything every last few races…” he observed.