Max Verstappen continued to flex his muscles on a dominant campaign with yet another victory in Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
The win was Verstappen’s 17th Formula 1 victory on the season, breaking his own record after last week’s triumph in Mexico City.
The 26-year-old swept the weekend after scoring the pole, sprint and the race win.
“The starts were very important today; both of them were very good,” Verstappen said. “Then after that the whole race was about the management of the tires. We were good on any tire, but I think especially that middle stint, we could create a bit of a gap, so I thought that was very strong there.
“It all looked quite good but with the high [degradation] around here, you were constantly correcting the car, so your focus always needed to be there, but luckily it worked out great today.”
After an early jump to the front, the red flag was quickly displayed due to Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen colliding. One final restart saw Verstappen jump ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. From there, Verstappen cruised to a decisive victory.
Norris claimed the runner-up spot, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso locking down the final podium position over Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.
Alonso’s teammate Lance Stroll gave Aston Martin a double points effort in fifth.
Ferrari had a mixed bag on the day after Charles Leclerc retired prior to the start due to a hydraulics issue. Carlos Sainz crossed the finish line in sixth.
The remaining top 10 was occupied by Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon.
“I feel like I drove a better race today than I did yesterday, in relation to how I was managing the tires to the best of my ability,” Hamilton said. “It’s difficult to say why we struggled so much this weekend. There are moments with this car when it works and others when it doesn’t. It’s very inconsistent throughout the lap and we need to figure that out.
“Today, we were slow on the straights but still sliding through the corners, so it was difficult. We will go away and look at things to find out what we should have done differently. It was a day to forget but hopefully there are lots of learnings from it too. I am also so proud of everyone in the team,” Hamilton continued.
“They are still working as hard as they can and holding their heads up high. That’s what we have to continue to do and we will keep pushing to improve.”
An oil temperature issue forced Mercedes’ George Russell to exit the race early. Haas F-1’s Nico Hulkenberg was the lone finishing driver from the American team in 12th.