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São Paulo Grand Prix Winners and Losers

The São Paulo Sprint weekend provided fans with close racing, crashes, and a red flag.

Fernando Alonso

The São Paulo Sprint weekend provided fans with close racing, crashes, and a red flag. The final lap of the Grand Prix saw a Latin showdown for third place between Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen continued his prolific season with a 17th win finishing ahead of Lando Norris who started in sixth position.

We take a look at who we think will think fondly of the race at Interlagos and which drivers have deleted the race from their minds.


Max Verstappen – The triple world champion stayed out of trouble at the start and although he was kept honest by Norris it seemed as if the win was never in doubt. “The starts were very important today. Both of them were very good. After that, the whole race was about the management of the tyres. In the middle stint, we could create a bit of a gap,” the Red Bull driver said. 

Fernando Alonso – The sport’s most experienced driver, with 375 starts, produced a masterclass in defensive driving to hold off Sergio Perez on the final lap. The 42-year-old clinched Aston Martins’ eighth podium of the season by the finest of margins of 0.053s. The Latin duo had a drag race across the line. “It shows that we will always keep fighting until the very last lap, the last corner,” Alonso said. 

Lando Norris – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and Verstappen said Lando Norris kept them honest at Interlagos. The Briton finished P2 in Saturday’s Sprint and the GP and tried to keep up with the RB19. Norris’ consistency is a strong quality, and the team will be happy to walk away with 27 points from the weekend. “On Lando’s side, we have somewhat mixed feelings. On the one hand, we can be satisfied that he was the only car quick enough to contend with Verstappen,” team boss Andrea Stella said. 


Mercedes – The Brackley-based team headed into São Paulo off the back of competing for podium spots in the last two races. However, the wheels came off in Brazil, a country where George Russell earned his maiden win for the team last year, as Russell retired and Lewis Hamilton finished eighth.”There are moments the car works and then moments it doesn’t,” said Lewis. “It’s so inconsistent throughout the lap. So, we have to figure out what it is. We’re slow on the straights and then slow through the corners, sliding through them. Hopefully, there’s lots of learnings from this weekend.”

Charles Leclerc – The Ferrari driver managed to land a spot on the front row of the grid for the Grand Prix. However, disaster struck as his car’s hydraulics failed on the formation lap. It led to a crash into the barriers and ultimately the end of his race. The radio message to his engineer summed up the Monegasque driver’s season: Why the **** am I so unlucky, why the **** am I so unlucky?” 

The drivers have a week’s break before the Las Vegas GP takes place on the 19th of November.

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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