5 things we learned from the Brazilian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen claimed his third victory of the season following a superb drive in Brazil.

But the penultimate round of the Formula One season will be remembered for Sebastian Vettel’s collision with Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from Sunday’s race.

1. How do you solve a problem like Ferrari?

You did not need to be Mystic Meg to predict that Vettel and Leclerc would crash at some stage this year. In truth, it is a surprise that it has taken until the 20th round of the campaign. Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto moved to rule out disciplining either driver in the wake of the embarrassing accident, but it might be the only route forward if he is going to get control of his drivers. Binotto, who took charge of Ferrari at the beginning of the year, is liked by those in the team for being a rather decent chap. But decency does not get you a long way in Formula One’s political world, and perhaps Binotto needs to discover a ruthless streak to get a grip of a situation which is already threatening to spiral out of control.

2. Hamilton relishing battle with F1’s new school

With an average age of 23 years and 134 days, Sunday’s top three was the youngest in history. Verstappen (22) finished ahead of Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (23) with McLaren driver Carlos Sainz (25) the beneficiary of Lewis Hamilton’s punishment following his penultimate-lap collision with Alex Albon. Hamilton, who wrapped up his sixth world title in Texas a fortnight ago, might be 35 in January, but the Mercedes star is relishing going up against the sport’s next generation. “Whilst the numbers show I am a bit older, I feel like I am still able to kick it with these guys,” said Hamilton. “I am excited to race with them in the future, and, if we can get the teams to be closer, we are going to see more awesome battles like we got today.”

3. Red Bull record breakers

Verstappen passed Hamilton twice en route to claiming his third win of the season. The Red Bull driver proved his once-in-a-generation talent with a dazzling 75 seconds following his first stop. Verstappen lost the lead after backmarker Robert Kubica almost put him in the pit-wall following an unsafe release by the Pole’s Williams team. Verstappen emerged well behind Hamilton but followed the Mercedes driver through when he overtook Leclerc, and then passed Hamilton at the first corner with a fine move. To cap a brilliant day for Verstappen, his Red Bull team smashed the pit-stop world record, changing all four of the Dutchman’s tyres in just 1.82 seconds.

4. Champagne celebrations for McLaren

McLaren, Britain’s most successful team, have emerged from the doldrums this season, and on Sunday, secured their first podium finish in 2,072 days, a streak of more than five years, thanks to Sainz’s drive from last to third. The result ensured McLaren can now not be beaten to fourth in the constructors’ standings, their best position since 2012. While they remain some way from returning to winning ways, the Woking team have made significant progress this year and that should be applauded.

5. Gasly hails “best day” after drive to second

The madness of Sunday’s race was perhaps best summed up when Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly outgunned Hamilton’s Mercedes to the chequered flag, beating the world champion to the runner-up spot by just 0.062 seconds. This has not been an easy campaign for the 23-year-old Frenchman, dropped by Red Bull after just 12 races. But after claiming a career-best second place, Gasly said: “As a kid, you dream about being in Formula One. And then when it happens, it becomes the best day of your life. You then dream of your first podium, and this is now the best day of my life.”