Skip to main content

Five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, helping his Mercedes team to take the Formula One constructors’ title for the fifth straight year. Off the track, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen confronted Force India’s Esteban Ocon after a race collision.

British driver Hamilton secured his 10th victory in the season, finishing 1.4 seconds ahead of Verstappen. The turning point of the lively race came on lap 44 when then leader Verstappen tried to get past backmarker Esteban Ocon, a former Formula 3 rival.

Ocon refused to let Verstappen pass and their collision caused both cars to spin. Verstappen had been building his lead over Hamilton, who was using medium tires as he waited for rain that never came in Sao Paulo.

Open this photo in gallery:

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates with team members after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix on Nov. 11, 2018.RICARDO MORAES/Reuters

Verstappen managed to stay in the race after the incident and get closer to Hamilton in the final laps, but it wasn’t enough for his second consecutive victory.

“I hope I can’t find him in the paddock now,” Verstappen said of Ocon.

The Frenchman, who did not apologize, finished 15th after a 10-second stop and go penalty.

Later Verstappen confronted the Force India driver in an incident that is being investigated by stewards.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium at Interlagos. His teammate Sebastian Vettel, who is second in the overall standings, finished sixth.

It was Hamilton’s second victory at Interlagos, the same track where he won his first title 10 years ago. He also won in 2016.

Hamilton celebrated his win and his team’s fifth title with samba dancers on the podium.

“This is what everyone works for, we really pulled together as a unit this year,” Hamilton said. His teammate Valtteri Bottas finished fifth.

Mercedes now has an insurmountable 620 points against Ferrari’s 553.

It was Hamilton’s 72nd victory in Formula One. It was also one that he doubted because of engine problems toward the end of the race.

“We were managing that in the last part of the race, we were losing some power,” Hamilton said, admitting it was the Verstappen-Ocon incident that put his Mercedes back in contention.

In the first part of the race Hamilton kept the advantage he acquired by taking his 10th pole position of the season. Bottas overtook Vettel for second place, and for a moment it seemed Mercedes had the race in the bag already.

Verstappen, the winner of the Mexican GP two weeks ago, started in fifth and quickly overtook the two Ferraris, beat Bottas on lap 10 and showed he would challenge Hamilton for the win.

After the world champion pitted on lap 19, it appeared Mercedes had made the wrong decision by giving Hamilton fresh tires before his rivals. Verstappen only stopped 16 laps later.

With 31 laps to go, Verstappen successfully challenged Hamilton and started building a lead before clashing with Ocon.

The British driver initially opened a lead of five seconds over an irritated Verstappen. But the Dutchman started climbing back on every lap, thanks to Hamilton’s engine problems and medium tire deterioration.

Montreal’s Lance Stroll was 18th.

The final race of the season is at Abu Dhabi on Nov. 25.

Interact with The Globe