With just four races remaining races in the 2021 season, the F1 circus arrived at Interlagos last November with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen locked in a thrilling championship fight.
Verstappen led Hamilton by 19 points – with the Mercedes man needing a victory to claw back some ground to his rival if he had any hope of defending his crown. The fact it was a Sprint weekend only added to the spice.
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Hamilton was on a mission, and duly qualified on pole position – only to see his hard work disappear at the stroke of a steward’s pen, when he was disqualified from the session over a technical infringement with his DRS system.
He was permitted to start the Sprint, but from the very back of the grid – effectively a 20-place grid drop. And just to compound his misery, he also had a five-place grid penalty to serve in the Grand Prix itself for exceeding his engine allocation.
But rather than discourage him, the penalties seemed only to energise Hamilton – and what followed was one of the standout performances of his career, and a race weekend he himself described as “one of the races I would say that I’m most proud of given the adversity that we experienced through the weekend”.
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Firstly he battled his way up to an incredible P5 in the Sprint, before taking his P10 grid slot for the Grand Prix itself, and passing car after car until he finally caught his rival Verstappen, leading to a grandstand finish.
Hit play on the video above to hear Hamilton talk through the Sprint and the Grand Prix as he watches back the footage from this time last year – and who knows, with the seven-time champ yet to score a race win this season, could he break that duck at Interlagos this weekend?