Max Verstappen claimed victory in Formula 1's Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race after overturning Lando Norris' pole position into the first corner.
Verstappen grabbed a much stronger launch off the line when the lights went out, and took advantage of a passive Norris to thread his Red Bull down the inside.
The threat of Norris subsided quickly when the McLaren was dispatched by George Russell at Turn 11, as the Mercedes pounced on a gap to move into second.
But Russell could not get near Verstappen and the Dutchman was given the opportunity to start expanding on his lead to fend off the slightest hint of a battle with DRS.
Russell's strong start to the 24-lap race soon faded and offered Norris the chance to re-pass after drawing closer with DRS, allowing safe passage for the McLaren driver into the runner-up position once more.
Verstappen was well ahead at this juncture, however, with over 1.4 seconds in hand while Norris could not make a concerted effort to close in on the Red Bull's tail.
A minor high-speed corner advantage in Norris' favour allowed a small glimmer of opportunity for McLaren that could not be delivered upon as Verstappen only had to respond in kind to the Bristol-born driver and keep the gap between 1.4s and 1.6s over the following tours.
After being given the chance to push the higher-speed corners, Verstappen could start to eke out the gap a little more on each lap and finally found a two-second cushion as the race moved towards its final quarter. This had been doubled at the chequered flag, as a final flourish gave Verstappen a 4.2-second lead at the end.
Norris thus had to be content with second, having been unchallenged from behind after passing Russell as the resurgent Sergio Perez was a long way behind after recovering third.
Perez fell behind both Mercedes drivers at the start of the race; Russell got past at the start and Lewis Hamilton made a brave move on the Mexican at Turn 4, but the W14 seemed to wane beyond the first lap and this offered Perez a way back into third.
With DRS, Perez nipped past Hamilton at Turn 1 having shown much stronger straight-line speed, and then began to reel in Russell for a move on the eighth lap. Although the Red Bull got through into Turn 1, Russell found enough downhill momentum to re-pass into Turn 4 with DRS.
Two laps later, Perez was offered the chance to pass Russell again, and on this occasion was wise to the potential reversal into the next DRS zone and did enough to cover off the Briton.
Russell was unable to keep up with the leading trio and instead elected to cement fourth, while Charles Leclerc snatched ahead of Hamilton on lap 21 as the Mercedes struggled to find traction on the exit of the Senna S.
Their battle allowed Yuki Tsunoda to home in on the seven-time champion; although the Japanese driver had been passed by Leclerc at the start, he kept pace with the Ferrari and pounced when the two encountered a sluggish Hamilton.
Tsunoda got through Hamilton at the start of lap 22, using a DRS tow up the hill to draw alongside and capture the position into the opening corner.
Hamilton was able to hold on to seventh, as Carlos Sainz just about completed the scorers with eighth position as he warded off a late charge from Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo had earlier been in contention for eighth having battled Sainz, but a series of overtaking attempts left the AlphaTauri driver vulnerable through Turns 6 and 7 to countryman Oscar Piastri.
Piastri passed him with 10 laps to go, but Ricciardo managed to clear the McLaren with two laps remaining to close back in on Sainz.
The younger Australian managed to hold off a hard-charging Fernando Alonso for 10th, as the Spaniard attempted to carve his way through the pack after only qualifying 15th through his SQ1 clash with Esteban Ocon.
Lance Stroll followed his team-mate into 12th, as both Astons passed Pierre Gasly, with Ocon managing to collect 14th.
Alex Albon worked his way up to 14th, dispatching the medium-shod Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg - who were split by Zhou Guanyu.
Valtteri Bottas and Logan Sargeant completed the finishers, as the latter was the only other medium-tyre runner bar the Haas duo.
|Driver Info|| |
|1||M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing||1||24|| |
|8||Red Bull||Red Bull|
|2||L. Norris McLaren||4||24|| |
|3||S. Perez Red Bull Racing||11||24|| |
|9.330||6||Red Bull||Red Bull|
|4||G. Russell Mercedes||63||24|| |
|5||C. Leclerc Ferrari||16||24|| |
|6||Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri||22||24|| |
|7||L. Hamilton Mercedes||44||24|| |
|8||C. Sainz Ferrari||55||24|| |
|9||D. Ricciardo AlphaTauri||3||24|| |
|10||O. Piastri McLaren||81||24|| |
|11||F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing||14||24|| |
|12||L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing||18||24|| |
|13||P. Gasly Alpine||10||24|| |
|14||E. Ocon Alpine||31||24|| |
|15||A. Albon Williams||23||24|| |
|16||K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team||20||24|| |
|17||G. Zhou Alfa Romeo||24||24|| |
|18||N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team||27||24|| |
|19||V. Bottas Alfa Romeo||77||24|| |
|20||L. Sargeant Williams||2||24|| |
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