Lewis Hamilton goes through the Turn 1 dummy he sent at Max Verstappen in F1 Sao Paulo GP before his eventual move at Turn 4 to lead and win.

Following the near contact in Turn 4 between Mercedes’ Hamilton and Red Bull’s Verstappen during the F1 Sao Paulo GP, the Brit’s charge didn’t end there. Having not being able to pass him initially, he waited for about 10 laps to have another go at him.

This time he was successful after the dummy sent at Turn 1 which forced Verstappen to weave a bit. He was shown the black and white flag for it but it didn’t matter to Hamilton as he got a good run and even before Turn 4, he had the move completed.

“I got into Turn 1, I got to kind-of dummy him as such into Turn 1,” said Hamilton. “I was either going to dive super-late into Turn 1, so then he had to block, and I got to be able to position the car correctly through Turns 1 and 2, and I already knew through Three that I would have a far better slingshot past him because I was closer.

“At that point, I just knew I was ahead going into the braking zone, so yeah. And after that it was really trying to keep him out of my DRS, which wasn’t too difficult, because I guess it’s hard to follow behind. It’s just the first one lap, I think the first lap, or the first lap he got around, just making sure, but it was fine after that,” summed up Hamilton.

He then pulled out a 10s gap to Verstappen, who perhaps slowed knowing there wasn’t any chance to re-pass. It worked out well in the end for Hamilton who cut his gap by 14 points. A mega sprint event followed by a solid main race was only a dream pre-weekend.

“Going into this weekend, since this year has been so difficult, I think for all of us, but we came in after the August break hoping we would be in a better position and we weren’t, and we’ve not really had a spectacular showing, so I would say we’ve had two races that we’ve been ahead but the others we’ve really struggled,” said Hamilton.

“I think coming here 19 points behind, obviously only one point ahead in the team championship, we really needed a solid result – but then obviously we had all these penalties, which just made it… mentally you could just think it’s over, it’s impossible but then nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. So that’s really just why we cultivated a positive mental attitude, and went in fighting, guns blazing.”

On Verstappen side, he had nothing eventually in the end. He defended as hard as possible, but was a sitting duck. The Dutchman was certain that Hamilton would get him. “The decisive moment, I knew when we went through Turn 3 that he was going to get ahead because he was super-close,” he said.

“But already, two laps before, I was really starting to struggle on traction and tyres, so I knew it was going to be really tough but you never know. I just tried to do the best I could and, of course, once he got by then, you know, I was hanging on with the tyres to the end,” summed up Verstappen.

When asked about what went wrong in the weekend and what can Red Bull doing going forward, Verstappen felt the new engine helped Mercedes a lot and their straightline performance came alive which made it difficult for anyone to pass or challenge.

“Around here there are not that many corners but high degradation,” said Verstappen. They took a new engine and there is just a bit more performance in that and we don’t have that, we just have a pretty flat performance which is great of course, when you are limited with engines, but of course, on a weekend like this where straightline performance is very important on a track like this, and of course the deg is important.

“I had to get my time somewhere to try and match Lewis and that was of course through the middle sector where the corners are, mainly, and that means that I had to use my tyres a bit more and at one point I just ran out of tyres to try and defend but that’s how it goes. I said before, slowly that performance delta will become smaller in terms of straightline speed so I’m not too worried about that.

“I don’t really think we did anything wrong. It was just a bit too painful for us on the straights and then try to recover that in the middle sector with basically how the track layout is and the hot conditions was a bit too difficult for us this weekend,” summed up Verstappen.

Here’s how Lewis Hamilton got Max Verstappen: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-sao-paulo-grand-prix-hamilton-snatches-lead-from-verstappen-in-brazil.1716429450088725037.html