Max Verstappen takes brilliant Brazilian Grand Prix victory after chaotic climax

Phil Duncan
Max Verstappen won a chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix, leading Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton home - REUTERS

Max Verstappen won the Brazilian Grand Prix as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc crashed out following a dramatic late finish.

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly finished a surprise second after he took advantage of Lewis Hamilton banging into Alex Albon on the penultimate lap.

Hamilton, with damage to his car, took the flag in third, but his podium is subject to a post-race investigation.

Verstappen, out to seek revenge at Interlagos 12 months after he was punted out of the lead by backmarker Esteban Ocon, looked to have been denied another victory here after Robert Kubica almost collided with his Red Bull during the first round of pit stops.

Verstappen slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting the Williams and ending up in the wall, allowing Hamilton to get the jump on the Red Bull.

Max Verstappen drove faultlessly to take his eighth Grand Prix victory Credit: AP

But in a spellbinding 75 seconds, Verstappen fought his way past Ferrari's Leclerc and then latched on to the back of Hamilton's Mercedes before diving underneath the world champion at the opening bend.

Verstappen's skills were tested for a second time when the safety car was deployed after Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes engine conked out.

Red Bull opted to pull Verstappen in from the lead to give their driver fresh rubber for the remaining 15 laps. Hamilton, running in second, was told by his Mercedes team to stay out if Verstappen stopped.

But the Englishman, on old tyres, was a sitting duck for the speedy Verstappen, who used Hamilton's tow before sailing around the outside of the Mercedes at the first corner after the safety car pulled in.

The Ferrari drivers then sensationally collided as they diced for fourth place. Leclerc had just passed Vettel at the Senna Esses, but on the run down to the left-handed fourth corner, the German appeared to cut across his team-mate. Both sustained terminal damage, before pointing the finger at one another in a series of furious radio outbursts.

That led to a third safety car period. Hamilton took on fresh tyres, dropping him to fourth. He immediately drove past Gasly at the restart but then collided with Albon in the battle for second, denying the London-born Thai his first podium. He would finish out of the points in 14th.

"I massively apologise to Albon," Hamilton said. "The gap was there but it closed at the end. It was definitely my fault.

"I raced my heart out and left nothing on the table. I took a lot of risks today."

7:20PM

Right that's it from me today

Nothing from the stewards about anything yet but we shall see. A lot to unpack from that race and I will be trying to do that in my post-race analysis which will be up on telegraph.co.uk/sport tomorrow. Thanks for joining me. A dead rubber but again, a brilliant race in Brazil. 

Here is the incident between the Ferraris. I've written a lot about them this season. Tooooo many mistakes. By far. 

7:18PM

Alex Albon talks post-race after crashing with Lewis Hamilton and missing out on a podium

I need to look at it back, to be honest. We came out of turn nine. I had some gap to Lewis, I thought we were okay where we are. I thought I'd go in a little hot and turn to cover him, to make sure he doesn't get any ideas. Once you dive there's a blind spot. I didn't expect him. It's kind of that thing where you are just waiting for it. It's a shame because I think he would have overtaken me anyway. He was looking racy. 

7:13PM

Updated constructor standings (pending today's result)

7:12PM

Updated driver standings (pending today's result)

That moves Pierre Gasly back up to P6 in the standings...and with a nine point gap to Albon.  

7:11PM

Leclerc and Vettel react to colliding 

 Leclerc:

From my side I overtook in turn one. In turn three I had to close because I was aware Seb would try again and he did, which there was little space but I left the space. He started to squeeze me and we were very close. As soon as he went to the inside we touched. I haven't seen Seb yet but I think we are mature enough to put that behind us. 

Vettel: 

I didn't have much space on the right and had a better run out of turn three and tried to pass. It's a shame for the team we didn't finish the race, that has priority.  

7:06PM

Christian Horner reacts to a Red Bull win

Pretty tense. Gutted for Alex at the end, it should have been a 1-2 finish. Redemption for Max, 12 months down the line. He's driven a brilliant race. Passed Lewis twice. 

7:03PM

Well, Verstappen was supreme

But he still had to overtake Hamilton twice to win the race. He had to work for it. I think Hamilton will take a penalty for that incident with Albon, as much as Albon left the door open for him. If that's the case then it'll be a shame that Sainz won't be able to stand on the podium. But that is very much to be confirmed. 

7:01PM

The Dutch national anthem rings out around Interlagos

It is the national anthem which sounds most like a Christmas hymn. 

7:00PM

Ahhhh

Always good to have someone else consult the history books for you, I guess. 

6:59PM

A Honda 1-2

When was the last time that happened? I will have to consult the history books...

6:56PM

Hamilton apologises to Albon for their crash

I massively apologise to Albon, the gap was there and obviously it closed at the end. It was completely my fault. They outclassed us today. I left nothing on the table and I took a lot of risks today. We threw everything and the sink at it. We could keep up with him in the corners but they were outshining us on the straights. 

It's a real shame, to be honest. Hamilton will be up on the podium but he may well lose that. I don't think they will get it done quickly enough for the podium ceremony. Vettel and Leclerc being looked at and a few other cars being looked at for using DRS under double waved yellows.  

6:55PM

Pierre Gasly reacts to his first career podium and P2

It's such a special moment. I don't know what to say. To get it with these guys with Toro Rosso, they gave me a fantastic car since I came back. I have been many times on the podium [in previous series] and you kind of forget it. That's what I love about motorsport. I tried to push as much as I could. Great finish with Lewis as well. Big congrats to these guys as well. 

6:52PM

Max Verstappen reacts to a brilliant win

I mean, Lewis was very quick. I had to keep pushing. We had to really be on top of our pit stops. Two times we had a good move with him. From there onwards I could control the race with the tyres I had. It was a lot of fun out there. I was pushing flat out in my out lap to be close to him and it was my only time. We knew that we had great top speed the whole weekend. Very happy to get past. 

6:50PM

Pierre Gasly's team radio at the end of the race is an absolute mess!

He just screams for about 20 seconds. He deserves it. What a year he has had. 

Provisional Top 10:

  1. VER
  2. GAS
  3. HAM
  4. SAI
  5. RAI
  6. GIO
  7. RIC 
  8. NOR
  9. PER
  10. KVY

If Hamilton takes a five second penalty he will finish P7. It was so close at the end. Wish Albon was up there with them, he drove a brilliant race.  

6:48PM

MAX VERSTAPPEN WINS THE 2019 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX

THAT WASN'T THE BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX. THAT WAS THE BRAZILLIANT GRAND PRIX!

Gasly second by a metre! What a drive for him. After being ditched by Red Bull he has driven superbly. Vettel is stuck in the middle of the track. Throughout it ALL, Max Verstappen drove brilliantly. 

Perhaps Hamilton will take a five second penalty for that incident which would promote Sainz to the podium! 

6:46PM

FINAL LAP

Disaster for Albon. He gave Hamilton an open invitation to overtake him there and he took it. But not very well. Now Hamilton is trying to beat Gasly to the line...

Verstappen the leader btw...

6:45PM

Lap 70 of 71 - Gasly loses third instantly

To Hamilton. Hamilton is back in this race now...but second might be the best he can do. He'll have to fight Albon! 

Hamilton tries to go through the inside of the hairpin at the end of the lap and goes too deep! They collide! Albon was on for a podium but he's dropped down to P15 now.  Hamilton takes some front wing damage but is still third. He'll take a penalty for that, surely...

6:43PM

Lap 69 of 71 - SC in this lap!

OHHHHH. MY. WORD. THIS'LL BE GREAT FUN. 

6:43PM

Lap 69 of 71 - This was the moment it all went wrong for Ferrari

For about the 189th time this season. I mean, really guys. REALLY!

 This could be a Honda 1-2-3 with Albon and Gasly on the podium! Sainz in P5 after starting from the pit lane. 

6:41PM

Lap 68 of 71 - Debris across the track...

It damages Stroll's suspension and he's had to retire as well. 

That'll be it, I reckon. 

Top 10:

  1. VER
  2. ALB
  3. GAS
  4. HAM
  5. SAI
  6. RAI
  7. GIO
  8. RIC
  9. NOR
  10. PER

Chaos, absolute chaos!

6:40PM

Lap 67 of 71 - I'm afraid that's Vettel's fault again

Not sure what Mercedes are doing with Hamilton. He's down to P4 now but this race may now finish under the safety car...

Both Ferrari drivers not happy with each other there. 

6:39PM

Lap 66 of 71 - The two Ferraris collide!

They get very close on the back straight! Vettel comes back at Leclerc after he lost the position, moves across on Leclerc, clipping across his front right. Leclerc's front suspension has gone and Vettel's got a huge puncture. What disaster for them!

Vettel's puncture Credit: SKY SPORTS F1

SAFETY CAR OUT! Hamilton pits!

6:36PM

Lap 65 of 71 - Verstappen leads by 3.7s

The two Ferraris are getting a little closer now....

6:35PM

Lap 64 of 71 - Albon and Vettel tussle at the start of the lap

Vettel tries one around the outside at turn one, briefly gets the place but Albon fights back and retakes third. Excellent driving, quicker on the power. That gives Hamilton a second or two breathing space in second. Verstappen cruising to victory now but it's so, so tight behind him...

6:34PM

Lap 63 of 71 - Albon within DRS range of Hamilton

Hamilton had some kind words to say about the young Red Bull driver a few weeks ago. It'll be interesting to see how stoutly he defends the Red Bull now...

6:33PM

Lap 62 of 71 - Verstappen cruising at the front now, brilliant pace

Vettel is giving Albon hell right now but Albon is within DRS range of Hamilton. Hamilton's concerns now lie behind him rather than in front of him. Verstappen is 2.7s ahead. Both Red Bulls went around the outside of their rivals at turn one at the restart for position. Brilliant stuff. 

6:31PM

Lap 61 of 71 - Top 10

  1. VER
  2. HAM
  3. ALB
  4. VET
  5. LEC
  6. GAS
  7. SAI
  8. RAI
  9. GIO
  10. RIC

Brilliant racing here. 

6:31PM

Lap 60 of 71 - Verstappen takes the lead!

VERSTAPPEN DOES IT AGAIN!He goes through and takes the lead at turn one!  He's back where he wants to be. Superb move. Clinical. Hamilton tried to fight back but couldn't do it. The Red Bull is mighty around this track. Hamilton backed them up and backed them up so they were within inches of each other but Verstappen was just too good. 

Albon gets past both Vettel at the restart! He's up into P3! Can he close up on Hamilton now?!

6:29PM

Lap 59 of 71 - SC in this lap!

FINALLY! 

Hamilton REALLY backs the pack up at the end of the lap, bolts and then slows down again, trying to throw Verstappen to the wolves behind him...this'll be interesting!

6:28PM

Lap 58 of 71 - More lapped cars unlapping themselves

This is going to be a thrilling finish. Can't see Hamilton holding onto first here. He may even struggle to stay on the podium on his old tyres. 

6:28PM

Lap 57 of 71 - Full running order under SC

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. VET
  4. ALB
  5. LEC
  6. GAS
  7. GRO
  8. SAI
  9. RAI
  10. GIO
  11. PER
  12. RIC
  13. KVY
  14. NOR
  15. STR
  16. MAG
  17. HUL
  18. RUS
  19. KUB

OUT: BOT

COME ON GET ON WITH IT. All of the lapped cars are out of the way, there's no reason for them to hold on. David Croft on Sky Sports F1 says they are waiting for the lapped (now non-lapped) cars to get far enough ahead so that they aren't caught within a lap or two of the restart by the leaders. But, reeeeeallly, why? We can't wait around forever.  The longer the SC is out, though, the better for Hamilton. 

6:24PM

Lap 56 of 71 - Interesting call from Mercedes

But they will have track position at least. But it's not like there are only a few laps left. It'll be 11, 12 and maybe 13 laps to go once the SC comes in. The lapped cars are unlapping themselves. Plenty of them but hopefully the safety car will be in soon. I can't see Hamilton holding on here. Leclerc will have a decent run at a podium here on his fresh tyres. 

6:22PM

Lap 55 of 71 - Leclerc stops from P5, Albon stays out

How will this work out? Bottas's car is nearly out of the danger zone so the SC should be in this lap. Verstappen has two lapped cars between himself and Hamilton but this is going to bunch up. Hamilton asks for more power...

6:20PM

Lap 54 of 71 - I thought that would be okay for Bottas to park there

But it was in an awkward place, really, as close to the gap in the barriers he was there. Hamilton told to do the opposite of what Verstappen does strategy-wise under the safety car! Verstappen pits and goes onto the soft tyres! This race just got even more interesting...Hamilton stays out, of course. 

6:19PM

Lap 53 of 71 - "Lewis didn't slow down enough," Verstappen says about Hamilton under the yellow flags

Red Bull say they saw it. Not sure anything will come of that. The yellow flags are still out in sector one and two but not for very long. OR WILL THEY?

SAFETY CAR OUT!

6:17PM

Lap 52 of 71 - Bottas retires, pulling up at the end of the back straight

He finds the gap in the barriers. Not a great race from him but that's cost him a few points. Not that it matters, he's guaranteed second in the championship. Hamilton now within DRS range of Verstappen. Both set exactly the same lap time last time around. 

6:16PM

Lap 51 of 71 - Bottas's engine is about to go, I think

Blue smoke coming out of the back of it. I don't think it's long for this world...

6:15PM

Lap 50 of 71 - Vettel has stopped

And comes out in P4. He's within a second of Albon but I doubt he'll be there for long. Indeed he won't be, Albon stops. Albon not really in Verstappen's league pyramid structure this weekend. Hamilton has closed to within a second of the lead now...

6:14PM

Lap 49 of 51 - McLarens both into the points, P9 and P10

But Sainz is about to come under attack from Raikkonen in P11 on the fresher soft tyres. 

6:13PM

Lap 48 of 71 - Verstappen sets his fastest lap

And takes four tenths out of Hamilton, who wants more power. I think this is going to be very tough for Hamilton to win this one here. It'll require a mistake from Verstappen. Leclerc still driving the widest Ferrari in the world, keeping Bottas behind at turn one, jinking around at turn one. 

6:11PM

Lap 47 of 71 - Top 10

  1. VET
  2. VER
  3. HAM
  4. ALB
  5. LEC
  6. BOT
  7. GAS
  8. RAI
  9. GRO
  10. NOR

6:11PM

Lap 46 of 71 - Vettel leads

But he will likely have to stop again. Even so, he's only 5.1s ahead of Verstappen and on much older tyres. Even if he stays out he won't win this race. He's lapping over 1.5s off the pace of Verstappen.

Hamilton has taken two tenths out of Verstappen that last lap. Will the Dutchman respond? Meanwhile Bottas is stuck behind Leclerc in P6. He can't quite get enough pace on the back straight to get close enough for a lunge.

6:08PM

Lap 45 of 71 - Verstappen retains the lead

Hamilton, though, has closed the gap to 1.5s with that earlier stop but it hasn't worked out as well as the first stop did. Slowly, slowly, catchee Maxy. 

6:07PM

Lap 44 of 71 - It's hammer time

Hamilton is told this out lap is critical. He knows, he says. Of course he does. Why do they tell him? Verstappen comes in at the end of the lap and will surely retain the lead? It's a 1.9s stop from the Red Bull mechanics. It's going to be close...

6:06PM

Lap 43 of 71 - "What are you waiting for? I can't get any close than this!" - Hamilton

He wants to be brought in. He's closed to 2.7s to Verstappen. Does he need a bit more time for the undercut? He won't want to get the lead and then be vulnerable at the end of the race. He comes in at the end of the lap...it's onto the mediums. 27 laps to go...

6:05PM

Lap 42 of 71 - Bottas pits again

He goes onto the mediums. His definite one-stop strategy has turned into a definite two-stop. Those hard tyres were not working out for him. 

6:04PM

Lap 41 of 71 - Hamilton not happy with his tyres

"These tyres are ----, man," he says on the radio. What does ---- mean? Does it mean ----, ----, or even ----? It surely couldn't be ----, could it?

6:03PM

Lap 40 of 71 - Full running order

  1. VER
  2. HAM
  3. VET
  4. BOT
  5. ALB
  6. LEC
  7. GAS
  8. RAI
  9. GIO
  10. PER
  11. RIC
  12. GRO
  13. NOR
  14. KVY
  15. SAI
  16. STR
  17. HUL
  18. MAG
  19. RUS
  20. KUB

Verstappen saying the wind is picking up now. It must be true. 

6:01PM

Lap 39 of 71 - I can't see Vettel going to the end on these tyres

But he might be able to go onto the soft tyres very late on and run at the front two who may be on more worn medium tyres. Who will stop first out of Verstappen and Hamilton, though?

6:00PM

Lap 38 of 71 - Bottas seems to think the wind is moving around as well

Strange. Nobody seems to think it's that windy but it could be changing direction. 

5:59PM

Lap 37 of 71 - Hamilton takes another tenth out of Verstappen

Steadily eating into the lead. 

5:58PM

Lap 36 of 71 - Top 10

  1. VER
  2. HAM
  3. VET
  4. BOT
  5. ALB
  6. LEC
  7. GAS
  8. RAI
  9. GIO
  10. PER

It's stabilising out front at the moment. Vettel lapping a bit slower now. 

5:58PM

Lap 35 of 71 - Verstappen leads Hamilton by 3.1s

Hamilton sets his fastest lap of the day to take near enough 0.3s out of Verstappen that time. 

5:57PM

Lap 34 of 71 - This is a very interesting strategic race

Hamilton is really throwing it into the corners but he's losing two tenths a lap to Verstappen now. Verstappen has a pit stop in hand ahead of Bottas now. Vettel is told he's faster than the leaders. He's not at the moment but his pace overall is fairly decent. I don't think Vettel will get to the end on these tyres. Hards may have been the better choice, as they did with Leclerc. Bit of a nothing strategy, I think. 

5:55PM

Lap 33 of 71 - Hamilton falling back now

"It's got windier, right?" he barks on the radio. I think it's his tyres that are the problem rather than the wind. His lap times aren't awful but he's consistently a tenth or two behind Verstappen. Vettel is also a little quicker but it's all much of a muchness at the moment but Hamilton's tyres will give up sooner and Vettel will have track position. Vettel is in this race, for now. 

5:53PM

Lap 32 of 71 - Top 10

  1. VER
  2. HAM +2.9s
  3. VET +12.5s
  4. BOT +20.8s
  5. ALB +26.4s
  6. LEC +39.4s
  7. GAS +43.5s
  8. RAI +47.5s
  9. GIO +50.8s
  10. PER +54.4s

5:52PM

Lap 31 of 71 - 5s time penalty for Kubica for an unsafe release

Right into Verstappen's path. Hamilton has set his personal best but he's lost a couple of tenths on Verstappen. Vettel still going okay, though but is nine seconds away from Hamilton. 

5:51PM

Lap 30 of 71 - Both McLarens pit

Sainz comes out in P15 and Norris in P13. The race may come to them at the end but it's not been a brilliant day for them. 

5:50PM

Lap 29 of 71 - Charles Leclerc into the pits

And he goes onto the hard tyres. A definite one stop. Vettel may have to stop again from third. Vettel is currently 13 seconds off the lead. Hamilton in second 2.265 away from Verstappen ahead but without the pace to challenge. The front two definitely have to stop again, though. Vettel has good pace at the moment. Quicker than the front two, in fact, despite being on the harder medium tyres. 

5:48PM

Lap 28 of 71 - The Verstappen/Kubica incident in the pit lane is being investigated

But that was not Verstappen's fault in any way. Hamilton saying he can't keep up with Verstappen. He's two seconds behind now. Hamilton came out ahead of Verstappen after their pit stops but by the end of Verstappen's out lap he was right up by the Mercedes and then soon ahead of him at the start of the next lap. Hamilton is not happy about how it's turned out. 

5:46PM

Lap 27 of 71 - A fairly chaotic few laps

But here's the top 10.

  1. VER
  2. HAM
  3. LEC*
  4. VET
  5. BOT
  6. ALB
  7. NOR*
  8. SAI*
  9. GAS
  10. STR*

*yet to stop

5:45PM

Lap 26 of 71 - Hamilton thinks he has an engine problem?

The team says everything is okay but a bit hot. Bottas pits from the lead meaning Verstappen and Hamilton are back out in front on their own. Bottas goes onto the hards so that's a definite one-stop strategy. Leclerc in third, still out on the mediums. 

5:44PM

Lap 25 of 71 - Ferrari out for Vettel

He pits from the lead. Will this be a one-stop strategy from them? Vettel goes onto the mediums, so probably. 

5:43PM

Lap 24 of 71 - Hamilton not very happy about something

I think about his battery being dead. Effing and jeffing on the radio. Was that why Verstappen came from nowhere at the end of that lap? Meanwhile Hamilton goes around the outside of Albon at turn one, a nice clean move. He's right up to the back of Verstappen again. 

5:42PM

Lap 23 of 71 - Verstappen takes Hamilton for the net lead!

Verstappen comes from nowhere! He gets Hamilton down the inside of turn one! Hamilton tries to get back into turn four but isn't close enough. Woah. That was a really poor move from Williams and Kubica in the pits there, Verstappen was pushed right into the wall. 

5:40PM

Lap 22 of 71 - Hamilton being held up by Leclerc at the moment

But not for too long as he goes around the outside of the long right-hander towards the end of the lap. Verstappen follows Hamilton in passing Leclerc and he's up to the back of him already onto the pit straight! This'll be close!

5:39PM

Lap 21 of 71 - Will Red Bull react and bring Verstappen in?

Yes, they do. Wise. He was approaching traffic and it could have been risky. Quick stop needed...he's also onto the softs. But a new set but Kubica comes out RIGHT in front of him and he has to get on the anchors...Verstappen comes out behind Hamilton! That is terrible news for Red Bull...

5:38PM

Lap 20 of 71 - Hamilton stops

And goes onto the soft tyres. That's a certified two-stopper!

5:37PM

Lap 19 of 71 - Hamilton the quicker man at the moment

Who will blink first? Is the undercut more powerful than the overcut? Bottas is almost nowhere. Front two have the problem of coming out behind Leclerc on the mediums, though. That's the issue. He'll run for a long time on those but on fresh tyres he may be easy pickings...

5:35PM

Lap 18 of 71 - Sergio Perez pits

But he wasn't really a prospect for the points. Hamilton closes Verstappen down by a couple of tenths.

5:34PM

Lap 17 of 71 - Bottas and Mercedes thinking plan B

Whatever that is. A two-stopper presumably. Expect a stop soon from him then. 

5:33PM

Lap 16 of 71 - Verstappen responds to Hamilton

But again the two are lapping very similarly. 1.13.556 vs 1.13.658 the last time around. Vettel now 6.4s behind Verstappen. Leclerc not making great inroads into Albon for P5. Bottas a bit lonely in P4. 

5:32PM

Lap 15 of 71 - Ricciardo given five second time penalty for that incident with Magnussen

Not great. That drops him back to...well, it drops him back five seconds further back from the man in P19 as the Aussie is currently last. Frustrating season for him. 

5:31PM

Lap 14 of 71 - Fastest sectors

 No real surprise. The first and last sectors are mostly flat out. The middle sector is the tight and twisty section. 

5:29PM

Lap 13 of 71 - Hamilton starting to close the gap

It's down to under two seconds at the end of the lap. Vettel not quite keeping up with their pace. Hamilton on the attack, it seems. 

5:28PM

Lap 12 of 71 - Verstappen still going nicely

10 seconds separates the top four but Bottas isn't really in this race. It's a three horse race. 

5:27PM

Lap 11 of 71 - Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.3s

Not much in it at all. Vettel clinging on to the front two, five seconds or so away from Verstappen now. 

5:25PM

Lap 10 of 71 - Leclerc gets Gasly for P6

Slicing through the field, into the top six now after just 10 laps. Not even 10 laps! He's four seconds down the road from Albon in P5. Verstappen leads by 2.4s from Hamilton, not much happening out front. Vettel a further 2.4s behind Hamilton. 

5:24PM

Lap 9 of 71 - Top 10

  1. VER
  2. HAM
  3. VET
  4. BOT
  5. ALB
  6. GAS
  7. LEC
  8. RAI
  9. GRO
  10. GIO

5:24PM

Lap 8 of 71 - Ricciardo punts Magnussen off the track

He tries one down the inside of turn four which is a very, very, difficult place to overtake. Ricciardo locked up on the inside and damaged his own front wing, knocking the Haas of the track. Oh dear. 

Magnussen slips to P18 and Ricciardo down to P20 after his front wing change in the pits. 

5:22PM

Lap 7 of 71 - Grosjean holding his place in the points in P9

But the other Haas of Magnussen has slipped back to P13. Leclerc takes Raikkonen at the start of the lap for P7. He's closing up on Gasly now. 

5:20PM

Lap 6 of 71 - Verstappen's lead stabilises at 2.5s

Albon has slipped back nearly a second on Bottas there. Lost a lot of time the last lap around. Not sure what happened but he's now out of DRS range. 

5:19PM

Lap 5 of 71 - Leclerc up to P8 as he goes down the inside of Grosjean at turn one

Albon is putting Bottas under pressure and he's within DRS range. Mercedes, apparently, think Verstappen is going for a two-stop strategy due to his pace. 2.5s at the end of the lap. Not sure about that, to be honest. Vettel 1.4s behind Hamilton, keeping him honest. 

5:18PM

Lap 4 of 71 - Top 10

  1. VER
  2. HAM
  3. VET
  4. BOT
  5. ALB
  6. GAS
  7. RAI
  8. GRO
  9. LEC
  10. MAG

Sainz up to 15th now, putting one on Perez at the start of the lap. He saw a gap, it was small, but he made it. Nice work. 

5:17PM

Lap 3 of 71 - Verstappen going great guns

He's over two seconds clear at the end of lap three. 

5:16PM

Lap 2 of 71 - Verstappen leads Hamilton

Some brilliant action in the midfield between Ricciardo and Norris at the start of the lap. Ricciardo got Norris at the start of the lap and into turn one but Norris waited around the outside of turn three and went around the outside. Then he nearly forced the Renault onto the grass...Norris keeps his place but he's donw in P12 now...

Verstappen leads by 1.7s from Hamilton. 

5:14PM

THE 2019 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX IS GO!

It's a long way at the front...

Good start by Vettel initially but Hamilton fights back into turn one...he squeezes around the outside of Vettel and into second! Verstappen keeps his lead with a big gap into sector two. That's what we wanted to see! Leclerc is up to P13 and tries to get around Ricciardo...and Norris! The two came so close to coming together there...

Verstappen leads at the end of lap one...

5:12PM

The grid forms up

Verstappen leading Vettel and Hamilton. Bottas and Albon just behind. Then Gasly. It's nearly time...

5:11PM

The formation lap is go!

Everyone away cleanly as Max Verstappen leads them from the front. 

5:09PM

Starting tyres

Top 10 all on softs. Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Leclerc, Kvyat and both Williams on mediums. Everyone else on softs. 

5:04PM

Bit of a rough day for McLaren yesterday

Sainz didn't set a time in Q3 and starts 20th. Points will be hard from there. Norris moves up a place due to Leclerc's penalty and starts P10 but with a fresh set of tyres. So I think a few points from where he is would be a good result. He could do with a bit of luck for once. 

5:00PM

While you've got a few minutes

Bookmark Oliver Brown's long read on Lewis Hamilton. It's worth 15 or 20 minutes of your time. 

4:58PM

Predictions?

Hard to see past Verstappen, really. But I think Hamilton could be a thorn in his side. Bernie Ecclestone, meanwhile, thinks Vettel is going to win. He's speaking to Sky Sports F1 at the moment and seems a little stumped about being asked about Lewis Hamilton's sixth world titles. "I think...I don't know..." he says. I wonder if he was going to say that his dominance is bad for the sport. Probably...

4:55PM

It'll be a shame to lose Nico Hulkenberg from the grid

But he seems to have run out of available seats. He said he hopes to return to the grid but, at his age, it's very difficult to come back from that. I think Red Bull should have considered him next year over Albon, although I can see why they didn't. He took his one and only F1 pole position here back in 2010. The grid for 2020 is looking very similar to 2019 with just Kubica moving out of Williams and Hulkenberg moving away from Renault. 

15 minutes to go until lights out. 

4:48PM

Haas have a had a rotten - and largely very strange - season

And yesterday's performance in qualifying is another chapter. They have scored just two points since the summer break but yesterday both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen made it into Q3... running the Australia-spec versions of their cars. Absolutely staggering. I wouldn't expect too much from them today, though. 

Romain Grosjean starts seventh in the Haas Credit: Getty Images

4:43PM

Strategy chat

Looks a solid one-stopper, really. 

 Charles Leclerc starts on the medium tyres, nothing there from Pirelli suggesting going medium-softs is the way to go, though. The Ferrari will be quick enough to slice its way through the field, though. Will anyone else in the bottom 10 and with a free tyre choice bolt the mediums on?

4:38PM

Constructor standings after 19 of 21 rounds

4:35PM

Driver standings after 19 of 21 rounds

Leclerc can wrap up P3 in the championship today but it looks unlikely, to be honest. He's up against Verstappen and Vettel and both are well ahead of him on the grid. 

4:29PM

Chances of rain?

Slim to none. 

The weather forecast for today's race Credit: metoffice.gov.uk

4:26PM

Verstappen said that he wants to make up for last year's race

When he was a very, very strong favourite to win the race and was driving superbly. Until this happened...

He has said it was perhaps some Verstappen-family karma after his dad Jos took out race leader in Juan Pablo Montoya in 2001 on the same track.  

4:18PM

The grid for the race

1. VER 2. VET

3. HAM 4. BOT

5. ALB 6. GAS

7. GRO 8. RAI

9. MAG 10. NOR

11. RIC 12. GIO

13. HUL 14. LEC

15. PER 16. KVY

17. STR 18. RUS

19. KUB 20. SAI

Leclerc slips down 10 grid spots for an engine change. Gasly keeps doing it for Toro Rosso and gets the "class b" pole position for Toro Rosso. 

4:02PM

And here's a video of Senna driving Senna's MP4/4

The crowd seem to like it...

3:57PM

Speaking of nice, Bruno Senna took his uncle's MP4/4 for a spin around Interlagos

3:51PM

Max Verstappen's pole lap in full

 Nice. Just nice. 

3:38PM

Good afternoon F1 fans

And welcome to our liveblog for qualifying for the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. It's the penultimate race of the season and, although it'd have been nice to have either championship still alive, these dead rubbers can often produce exciting races with that end-of-term feeling. The good news is that we have three different cars in the top three on the grid. The bad news is that Max Verstappen, who sits on pole, is going to take some beating today. 

He was just over a tenth of a second ahead of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari and just under two tenths away from Lewis Hamilton in third. It was a decent effort from both Vettel and Hamilton but neither of them had enough to challenge the supreme Verstappen, who was quickest in Q1, Q2 and Q3. 

Verstappen took his second pole position of the season in Brazil yesterday Credit: Getty Images

Here's what he had to say after his second pole position of the season yesterday. 

I’m very happy with pole here today and the car and engine were performing really strongly together. We made a few improvements overnight and even after FP3 we made some final touches to the car and it really came alive in qualifying. Straight away from Q1 the car was flying and even though Q3 was a little more tricky as the temperature increased the car still felt good.

Going purple in the middle sector and to be on pole by over a tenth here is a strong performance for us and Honda. Normally we have a quick race car so hopefully that will be the same tomorrow and I really enjoy driving on this track. I’m expecting an exciting and hopefully an enjoyable race, so now we just have to finish it off tomorrow.

Vettel, meanwhile, is reasonably confident of his chances in the race, but seemed concerned about tyre wear. Ferrari are on much better form here than in Austin two weeks ago, but whether they can continue that through the race remains to be seen. 

We improved the car, it felt better and it was coming alive in quali, I am reasonably optimistic that we are in good shape for the race, but we will have to wait and see. It is supposed to be a bit warmer and it will be important to look after the tyres and to make the right strategy calls.

As ever, I'll be here for the next few hours to take you through all the build-up, live updates and reaction from the Brazilian GP.