The 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix was one of the best GP's for a very long time and was just the thing F1 needed as it was once again beginning to slowly slump back down to its boringness in the opening few months of the season. Max Verstappen took his first win in six months, whilst Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz Jr. took their first podiums in Formula One whilst there was heartbreak for Alexander Albon, who looked destined for at least a podium finish. Call me indecisive, but there was a three-way tie for the top spot.
Here are the eight best performances from the Brazilian Grand Prix:
1: MAX VERSTAPPEN (10/10)
It’s been a tough second half of the season for Verstappen, having only claimed two podiums since returning to the sport after the Summer break, but man did he bounce back in Brazil. After taking pole position he duelled with the six-time World Champion that is Lewis Hamilton and came out victorious. Not many people can say that.
But it wasn’t just the duelling and overtaking. Verstappen seemed calm and measured, always managing his tyres and expectations, keeping to the strategy, keeping his cool during the two SC restarts, something of which is nervewracking even for the best in the world. It’s quite amazing how Verstappen has taken three wins, with all of them being the best races of the season. Is there a pattern emerging?
1: PIERRE GASLY (10/10)
I can’t put into words how well Pierre Gasly did this weekend, not just in the race. Stupendous? I feel liek that is an understatement. Qualifying P6 was a superb effort, and thanks to all the last quarter of the race carnage, Gasly was running in P2, and somehow managed to keep Hamilton at bay. Need I say more? That drag race on the final turn of the race? Pure, racing perfection.
1: CARLOS SAINZ JR. (10/10)
Dead last to P3. Dead last to P3. On Sunday morning it looked like Sainz would be lucky if he scored points, the next thing you know, he’s scored his first podium in his F1 career. Sure, he didn’t get to celebrate it on the podium due to the Hamilton penalty, meaning it was slightly bittersweet, and yes, Sainz was fortunate in the first SC period, but he still had to hold off the chasing midfield pack. McLaren’s first podium since 2014. A BIG moment in both of their careers.
4: KIMI RAIKKONEN (9.5/10)
Silent but deadly best describes Raikkonen’s best performance in F1 since Interlagos last year where he claimed his last podium to date. He was only 0.6 seconds off making it two in a row. The Iceman had a great qualifying, starting P8, and from the get go we could see this was a reinvigorated Kimi, challenging the Haas’s, keeping his trademarked coolness at the end of the race to claim Alfa Romeo-Sauber’s best result since 2013.
5: DANIEL RICCIARDO (8.5/10)
It was quite an interesting race for the Honey-Badger. The Australian started P10 but an early collision with Kevin Magnussen, resulting in a five second penalty looked like it would mean his race would be over. But credit to the seven-time race winner, who looks to be getting more and more comfortable in that Renault with every race, he was able to work his way up the field, and yes, was slightly fortunate with the safety car, but this P6 will be one of his highlights of the 2019 season.
6: ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI (8.5/10)
For all the unnecessary pressure Giovinazzi got from the media at the start of the season, The Italian has been not too far behind his World Champion team-mate in recent races, and this P5 was the perfect example from starting on the sixth row on the grid. It was the Alfa Romeo drivers best result in Formula One to date, eclipsing his P9 at his home race in Monza, with the twenty-five year old now having scored fourteen points this season, not too far behind the likes of Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll.
7: ALEXANDER ALBON (8/10)
Heart-breaking doesn’t put the feelings we are all feeling at the moment for Albon, who looked set to take his first podium in F1 in his rookie year, and Red Bull’s first 1-2 since Malaysia in 2016, however Albon still drove the socks out of the Red Bull in Interlagos.
A slow first half of the race made us all think this would be another P5 or P4 at best, but the Thai-Brit driver expertly overtook Sebastian Vettel to get into P3, but as he was running P2 in the final laps, he and Hamilton collided. It was Hamilton’s fault, and he got the necessary penalties, but nevertheless it shows Verstappen will get a run for his money next year at Red Bull.
8: LANDO NORRIS (7.5/10)
Norris's race might have been rightfully overshadowed by the fact that his team-mate claimed his teams first podium in over five years, however the Briton still managed to finish in the top eight, continuing his recent run of good form, scoring ten points in the past two races. It wasn't vintage Lando, but it was enough to make it into the top eight this weekend.
So what do you think? Who drove the best in Brazil? Was it the race winner Verstappen, or first-time podium takers Gasly and Sainz in what was the youngest podium in Formula One history? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.