SAO PAULO: Defending Formula 1 drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton kept on the heels of championship leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull and cut down the lead with a brilliant victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, surging ahead from a 10th-place start on the grid to the first position with a scintillating drive on Sunday.
Hamilton won the race after a sensational battle with his rival Verstappen in an enthralling return to Brazil for F1. Verstappen finished runner-up ahead of pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton got off to a terrific start from 10th position on the grid and was clearly on the charge. His teammate Bottas — who lost the lead to Verstappen at the first turn — letting him by for the fifth position on Lap 5. Hamilton then surged to the second position, getting the better of Sergio Perez in a duel that began on Lap 17 and culminated in a Lap 19 pass at Turn 4. The first pit stops took place around Lap 25 but the action built up to a crescendo after Verstappen took a second stop on Lap 41, followed by Hamilton on Lap 44. IANS