Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children
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Lewis Hamilton’s victory at Interlagos on Sunday was heralded as one of the best of his career by many, but Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso had differing views on the outcome. The Mercedes F1 superstar clearly had the quicker car heading into Brazil after his engine change and that showed in qualifying.
A five-place grid penalty was to follow for Sunday’s Grand Prix but Hamilton was then dropped to the back of the pack for Saturday’s sprint race after his rear wing was found to be in breach of technical regulations.
He went on to fight his way up to fifth, but he would still have to start back in 10th for the main race.
The pressure was on for Hamilton to make a clean getaway and move up the pack to catch title rival Max Verstappen.
Hamilton made a fast start and quickly found his way past the two Ferraris before Valtteri Bottas moved aside for P3.
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The hunt was then on for Hamilton to catch Sergio Perez and Verstappen, with the former being passed on lap 19.
It set up a fascinating battle for the second half of the race between the two championship contenders with Hamilton eventually getting the job done on lap 59 and taking the chequered flag to rapturous applause from the Brazilian crowd.
Damon Hill and many others joined in celebrating Hamilton’s heroic performance, but Alonso was not so impressed.
“As a driver, it’s like playing basketball and there’s one basket for you and one for the others,” Alonso said.
“They (Mercedes) score their points with a bigger basket and you have to score yours with a smaller one. So you always lose.”
He added: “I just imagine young children watching this sport and seeing one car pass two others in the straight line. We shouldn’t let them lose hope that they can be champions.”
But Leclerc fought Hamilton’s corner, insisting the seven-time world champion deserves full credit for getting the most out of his Mercedes.
“I don’t agree,” Leclerc said.
“Obviously Lewis has a very strong car at the moment, but I think he managed to go beyond what that car could give.”
There are now just 14 points separating Hamilton and Verstappen at the top of the standings with three races remaining.
The season continues this weekend in Qatar in what will be the fourth venue to host a night race.
The Losail International is expected to be one of the fastest tracks on the F1 circuit, which could potentially suit Mercedes better.
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