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Brazilian Grand Prix 2021

International media: Hamilton does the samba to keep title hopes alive

According to the international media, the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen is far from decided following Sprint Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton Brazil Sprint
To news overview © Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix after beating Max Verstappen off the start line and controlling the rest of Sprint Qualifying.

Nevertheless, Verstappen's second place extended his advantage over Lewis Hamilton to 21 points in the Drivers' Championship.

Arguably the biggest story from Saturday was Hamilton's remarkable recovery from last on the grid - having been excluded from qualifying - to fifth place. It was a drive that went a long way to rescuing his damaged title hopes.

Hamilton does the samba

"Hamilton does the samba" read the headline in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

"From behind, the Mercedes driver drove to fifth place, while teammate Bottas beat [Hamilton's] title rival Verstappen," their report continued.

"As a result, the battle for the title is still alive! It's not possible for normal people to overtake 15 drivers in 24 laps. That is only possible when your name is Lewis Hamilton.

"Hamilton's performance made Sprint Qualifying a true spectacle and revived [memories of] Ayrton Senna."

Verstappen still in control

"Verstappen running away, but Hamilton flies" is the headline from another Italian outlet, Corriere dello Sport.

"It was the comeback of an angry Hamilton," they continued. "Yet it was Verstappen who came one step closer to his first world title during Sprint Qualifying.

"Despite his great performance, Hamilton did not get further than fifth place and therefore Verstappen gained a few more points in the battle for the title."

Breaking down Hamilton's charge

"It was a starring performance from Hamilton, who scythed through the field in clinically aggressive style, demonstrating superlative pace in his Mercedes," wrote the BBC.

"In the context of an exceptionally difficult weekend, Hamilton will consider it a job well done after what was arguably one of his best performances of the season.

"He gained five places on the first lap and after that made superb progress through the midfield cars and then deep into the top 10, passing cars lap after lap.

"A lot of the moves were simple DRS-assisted passes, but the one on [Lando] Norris at the end was a lovely dive up the inside at the Senna S, the first corner.

"With the pace he showed on Saturday, Hamilton looks to have a chance of possibly even a podium finish on Sunday.

"But with Verstappen starting second, the seven-time champion is still likely to leave Brazil with his title hopes taking a substantial hit."

A day of pent-up tensions

Bottas made it back-to-back pole positions with his first place in Sprint Qualifying. In Spain, much of the focus was also on Hamilton's recovery.

"On Saturday, at seven o'clock in the evening, everything seemed to be over for Hamilton," wrote Marca. "Two hours later, the battle for the World Championship was completely open again.

"A heroic Bottas stayed ahead of Verstappen, and Hamilton pulled out all the stops, gaining no fewer than 15 places in 24 laps!

"Hamilton saved the championship and, more importantly, his self-esteem by passing drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc on the track.

"There is life in the championship again after a day of pent-up tensions."

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F1 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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