- Lewis Hamilton and Alexander ALbon [Copyright: F1]

McLaren's Carlos Sainz may have scored his first F1 podium in Brazil GP after FIA stewards handed a time penalty to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

It was a chaotic end to F1 Brazil GP at Inerlagos as double safety car period created lots of changes in the results with Red Bull Racing in supreme position for a double podium. It was Max Verstappen leading Alexander Albon after the last re-start.

Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly was third with Hamilton just behind. They had just the one lap to the end as Hamilton hurried on to pass Gasly and set his sights on Albon. They battled all-through the lap but eventually made contact in the left-hander.

Albon was sent into a spin with Hamilton continuing on with a wing damage on the right side. Gasly retook second, meanwhile, as they had a drag race finish with the Frenchman holding off the 2019 F1 champion by 0.062s to score his first podium.

The move was put under investigation and the stewards eventually awarded Hamilton a five-second time penalty for causing a collision, which has helped McLaren's Sainz to possibly finish third and thereby register his first-ever F1 career podium.

It is unclear at the moment if the Spaniard will keep third place as he is suspected to be under investigation for using DRS under yellow flag. There is no official document from the FIA over the drivers who are being investigated so far but there could be multiple.

For now, it is Verstappen and Gasly in first and second, while Sainz is third from Alfa Romeo Racing duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi in fourth and fifth, Renault's Daniel Ricciardo in sixth and Hamilton slotting in seventh.

Hamilton readily apologised to Albon after the race as he felt the move was clumsy, while the Thai racer thought he left enough space for the British driver to dive in - both actually taking blame for the collision. The stewards, though, blame it on Hamilton.

The stewards stated:

"The Stewards reviewed video evidence from multiple angles including on-board cameras, broadcast cameras and CCTV. Car 23 was on his normal race line. Car 44 attempted to pass on the inside, but was unable to get far enough inside to accomplish the overtake and by the time he realized there would not be sufficient room he was unable to back out of the situation and the collision followed.

"The Stewards determined that Car 44 predominantly at fault for the collision with Car 23 at Turn 10 and therefore ordered a five second penalty. Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits."

In the other incident between Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, the stewards cleared both of any blame and issues a no further action note. It stated: "The Stewards reviewed video evidence and heard from the driver of car 5 (Sebastian Vettel), the driver of car 16 (Charles Leclerc) and the team representative .

"The Stewards determined that both drivers had the opportunity avoid or mitigate the incident and therefore that neither driver is predominantly at fault. Therefore the Stewards take no further action.

"Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Article 9.1.1 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits."

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[Image courtesy: F1] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]

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