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Mercedes’ Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton may have sealed his sixth-title victory after a fantastic United States Grand Prix, but the Brazil race was all Red Bull.
Max Verstappen won a thrilling Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix for his team after the Ferraris collided and Hamilton was demoted from third to seventh.
Verstappen’s former team mate, Pierre Gasly, also made his first podium appearance in second place for Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso, a rare Honda-powered one-two.
Hamilton chased the Frenchman across the line for third but was handed a five-second penalty for tangling with Red Bull’s Alex Albon during the finale to the season’s penultimate round.
Hamilton said: “It was a great race, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was hopefully fun for people to watch, although the result is upsetting.
“I never want to collide with anyone. It was really unfortunate with Alex. Naturally I take it on me, it was my fault. I was coming from behind. He was doing a great job, so I apologise to him. I gave it absolutely everything and more. I was pushing so hard in every lap just to keep up with Max in front of me. We really didn’t have a lot of pace and I think we were probably going faster than we should have gone.
“Congratulations to Red Bull, they did the better job and deserved the win. They were extremely quick. I was basically a sitting duck on the straights. There’s one more race to go in this season so we will be pushing for a better result in Abu Dhabi.”
Hamilton’s demotion moved Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who started last after an engine problem in qualifying, to third and McLaren’s first podium since the 2014 season-opening Australian Grand Prix.