Brazilian Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen nearly put his Red Bull Formula 1 car into anti-stall mode when avoiding Robert Kubica in the pitlane after his first stop.

Red Bull reacted to an undercut attempt from Mercedes by pitting polesitter Verstappen at the end of Lap 21 in a bid to preserve his lead at Interlagos.

Despite a quick pit stop, Verstappen found himself having to swerve at the end of the pitlane to avoid Kubica’s car after Williams released him into the Dutchman’s path.

Verstappen ultimately lost the lead to Hamilton due to the delay, while Kubica was hit with a five-second time penalty for the incident.

“I did my pit stop and I came out also Robert [Kubica] came out and he almost took me out,” Verstappen said.

“I went into the wall and I had to brake there. I almost caught the anti-stall, so yeah, it was very close.”

Verstappen emerged behind Hamilton but swiftly regained the lead with a brilliant dive down the inside of the Mercedes driver into Turn 1 after the recently-crowned six-time world champion had been held up by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen had to pass Hamilton once more after Red Bull favoured fresh tyres over track position during a late Safety Car period before going on to claim his and the team’s third victory of the season in Sao Paulo.

“On my out lap: luckily for me Lewis got stuck in the middle sector with Charles,” Verstappen explained

“So I pushed up to them and luckily I could get by Charles into Turn 12 and then I still had the tow and the DRS of Lewis and I was on full power and DRS open and I could get Lewis into Turn 1.

“From there onwards in that stint we managed the tyres quite well. I was waiting for Mercedes to react again but luckily we had enough of a gap to go one lap longer, so we did that.

“It was a good pit stop from the guys as well. I think it was 1.9 seconds, so that was incredible.”

 

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