Scenes From the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Sunday's epic race at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in photos.

The 2016 F1 Brazilian Grand Prix is in the books. Starting from pole position, Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton took the win, keeping his World Championship hopes alive. His teammate, current points leader Nico Rosberg, finished second. That means the title will come down to the season’s last Grand Prix, the double-points sunset finale at Abu Dhabi, on November 27. The championship battle is exciting, but there was even more peripheral drama playing out during Sunday’s race at Interlagos.

Here, a few of the highlights and storylines, the Brazilian Grand Prix in photos.

Looking for his first career victory in Brazil, Hamilton donned a special Ayton Senna tribute helmet, but swapped it out after the visor started leaking.

Oh, right: The weather was atrocious. Overcast and torrential rain, forcing the grid to start under caution, following the safety car for the first seven laps. 

Visibility—or, rather, lack thereof—took a toll, especially in the early going. Sauber’s Marus Ericcson, Haas’ Romain Grosjean, and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer all crashed out within minutes. 

Kimi Räikkönen had a particularly dangerous shunt, left as a sitting duck for oncoming traffic after packing up his car on the front straightaway. He made it out O.K., but the incident brought out the red flags.

Fans stuck it out through a long rain delay, followed by another few laps under safety car, then a second red flag period.

But all those restarts kept the grid bunched together. There was no shortage of wheel-to-wheel action, especially mid-pack, where the racing was exceptionally tight. 

An emotional day for Felipe Massa, who announced that he’ll be retiring at season’s end, driving at his hometown Grand Prix for the final time. He failed to finish, wrecking into a barrier during the race’s latter half, but got a hero’s exit. 

Putting a safe distance between his Mercedes all the chaos, Hamilton drove his own race. He gapped a cautious Rosberg off every restart, finishing 11.4s ahead.

But the biggest revelation was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. After passing Rosberg in the opening laps, he opted to pit during the final act for tries. Verstappen then went on a burner, improvising his own line and recovering enormous slides, overtaking half the grid in the closing final laps to snag the last podium spot. This year’s most impressive drive by a considerable margin. 

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel spent those closing laps chasing down Force India’s Sergio Perez, but to no avail. The German four-time World Champion finished fifth. 

Hamilton's side of the garage was all smiles. Title defense kept alive in Brazil, he’ll be looking to steal one from Rosberg when F1 rolls into the U.A.E. in two weeks.rr rr rr