After a nervous wait, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz has been confirmed as the P3 finisher in Brazil, giving him his first podium in F1.
A chaotic Brazilian GP around Interlagos burst into life in the closing stages with the retirements of Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc leading to two Safety Cars which bunched the pack up for a grandstand finish.
Initially it was thought that Lewis Hamilton had secured P3 despite punting Alex Albon out of what would have been his first podium finish, but the stewards handed him a five-second time penalty that demoted the six-time World Champion to P7.
That put Sainz in line for a first appearance in the top three, though he was made to wait with the stewards investigating whether or not he had used DRS through a double-waved yellow flag zone on the run down into Turn 4.
But the stewards determined that he slowed sufficiently, meaning Sainz has his first podium in Formula 1 and McLaren have their first since Australia 2014.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 17, 2019
Speaking before the confirmation of his P3, Sainz said: “It’s a special day for me, for the team, because we just did everything that we could do, we did it right.
“Everything that was in our hands, we did it very well. It was maximum attack from Lap 1, the moves on [Sergio] Perez, the Alfas, the Haas, everything was just… I made it stick every time I could.
“One of those days as a driver where everything happens and clicks. Just very, very happy.”
The Spaniard had started the race from P20 and last after an engine issue meant he failed to complete a lap in qualifying.