Brazilian GP

Hamilton take lights to finish win in Brazil, ahead of Rosberg and Verstappen

Well, as expected it was a wet day in Sao Paulo with the rain still falling as the cars headed out onto the circuit with half an hour before the race start.

That action started even before the race start, with Romain Grosjean crashing in the Haas on the run up the hill to the grid, causing heavy damage to the car.

With rain still falling, the start was delayed by ten minutes, and even got heavier towards the original race start time. Just as the clock ticked over the hour, it was announced that the race would start behind the safety car. It means that all the cars will start on the wet weather tyre.

Just before the cars were unleashed, Force India said over the radio that the rain would ease, before getting heavier later in the race.

The cars went away from the grid, behind the safety car to start the Brazilian Grand Prix. Vettel reported immediately that there was a lot of water on the straights, with Hamilton having trouble with visibility. Magnussen also said from 17th that he thought it would be OK to race, Verstappen agreed.

Hamilton complained that he was struggling with his visor letting water in and getting into his eyes.

The safety car came in at the end of lap 7, with Rosberg still complaining about the water level at the top of the hill. Hamilton dropped back from the safety car, backing up the pack and got a jump on Rosberg. Verstappen went ahead of Raikkonen into the first corner. He then went to close in on Rosberg. Magnussen came in and changed to the intermediates.

Button pitted at the end of lap 9, another driver going on the intermediate tyres. Magnussen was slightly ahead of the British McLaren driver. Vettel also closed in on Raikkonen.

A lap later and Bottas, Massa and Alonso all pitted for the intermediates. It was a slower stop of the Brazilian at his final home race. Vettel spun up the hill going on the grass, the Ferrari on the outside of the hill and having to spin back around. He pitted and it was then a slow stop for the German, surprisingly taking a set of the intermediates. He came out behind Felipe Massa in 19th.

Hamilton was leading the way by three seconds from Rosberg, who was then another three seconds ahead of Verstappen. With the number of stoppers Nasr had made his way to 9th with Ocon in 10th. Bottas was closing in on Alonso for 10th.

Marcus Ericsson had a big crash at the top of the hill, bringing out the safety and bringing out the safety car. Max Verstappen pitted, having to negotiate the Sauber blocking the entry. Ricciardo also pitted, with the pit lane entry closed. Verstappen came out behind Raikkonen, with Ricciardo behind Nasr in 9th.

Under the safety car, Perez spun in the queue, but retained his position. Under the safety car, Kevin Magnussen, vocal under the first safety car said that the track was too wet for either tyre – the Danish driver still on the intermediates.

As expected, Daniel Ricciardo was put under investigation for pitting when the pit lane was closed, although Red Bull maintained that he was pitted due to getting a puncture. Jolyon Palmer pitted for a change of tyres in the Renault. Hamilton reported that there was no change to the visibility at the front of the field.

The safety car came in at the end of lap 19. Hamilton got a good start. Kimi Raikkonen crashed on the start finish straight, the Finn on the full wet tyres exited the race. The race then got red flagged.

With the announcements earlier on, Massa got a five second time penalty for overtaking before the Safety Car line. Ricciardo also got the same penalty for pitting when the pit lane was closed.

The race restarted behind the safety car, but all the cars had to be fitted with the wet weather tyre. After having his own accident at the back of the field before the race was red flagged, Jolyon Palmer retired from the race.

Nico Hulkenberg pitted on lap 23, picking up another set of the wet weather tyre. It meant that he went down to 15th after picking up a puncture. It promoted Nasr up to 6th place and Alonso into the top 10.

Under the safety car, Max Verstappen overtook Rosberg in front of him as the Mercedes slowed, with Perez nearly collecting the pair of them.

The race was red flagged once again, wtih the fans in the grandstand booing and jeering.

After some time the race started once again behind the safety car and was quickly announced that it will be doing more than one lap.

The safety car came in at the end of lap 31, Rosberg went with Hamilton this time, with Verstappen sticking to the back of the Mercedes. Ricciardo got ahead of Nasr, while Verstappen got ahead of Rosberg. Ricciardo also went down the inside of Sainz at the first corner.

Vettel had made his way up to 11th and behind the Manor of Wehrlein, with Alonso also overtaking the Manor. Vettel made the move into the first corner on Wehrlein, the German rookie outside of the top ten.

Verstappen closed on Hamilton, but then spun on the main straight which then put him into Rosberg. Ricciardo pitted for inters on lap 41, which saw him come out in 11th. Force India said over the radio that heavier rain was expected in 10 minutes.

Magnussen also pitted for inters on lap 42, with Vettel getting ahead of Alonso, with the German forcing him off the track. Having already pitted Ricciardo was setting the fastest lap of the race, and closing in on the Force India.

Verstappen was pitted for inters on lap 44 and lost two places to Perez and Sainz. Nasr remained sixth, but had Vettel right behind him. Vettel made the move stick on the Sauber into the first corner, with Jenson Button complaining over the radio that there was too much aquaplaning for the McLaren driver. Rosberg also had a moment of his own, with Button stopping for the wet tyre.

Felipe Massa crashed up the hill in the Williams, bringing out the safety car on lap 49. He was blocking the pit lane, although Massa himself was fine.

Daniel Ricciardo pitted behind the safety car taking a set of the wet weather tyres. Verstappen also pitted behind the safety car with the safety car coming in at the end of lap 55. Verstappen was relegated to 16th with 23 minutes remaining.

Hamilton got a restart way out in the lead, followed by Rosberg and Perez. Alonso had a spin up the hill, with the McLaren drivers at the back of the field. Verstappen had a great restart up to 12th, with limited time to get at the front again. Hulkenberg was also on the move behind Nasr in 7th.

Verstappen went around the outside of Bottas for 11th, the Williams on the intermediate tyre. He then got ahead of his teammate, with Kvyat the next on the road. Nasr was overtaken by Hulkenberg at turn 3, and Verstappen did the same on Kvyat at the next corner.

In that battle they were also catching Nasr ahead, with Verstappen overtaking the Manor. Verstappen got ahead of Nasr, who at this point was struggling and was quickly overtaken by Ricciardo by going around the outside at the first corner.

Verstappen got ahead of Hulkenberg, bringing him to sixth place on lap 66, and was right on the back of Vettel and Sainz. Verstappen got the German, with his former teammate in his sight. The Spaniard didn’t make it difficult for Verstappen, up to fourth place for the Red Bull driver.

Verstappen took two seconds out of the lead of Perez, with him setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.

It was a long race, but it went the 71 lap distance, with Lewis Hamilton winning from Nico Rosberg and a quite sensational drive from Max Verstappen to finish third. It was also an important race for Sauber, getting two points for finishing ninth, taking them ahead of Manor.

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment