Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2, Alonso third
Sebastian Vettel has dominantly won the Brazilian GP at Interlagos after taking the lead in the first corner. Mark Webber completed Red Bull's 1-2 and the team secured their first constructor's championship. Fernando Alonso is third, staying ahead in the driver's championship.
Even before everyone is on the grid, a victim has fallen as Christian Klien parked his HRT on the way to the grid. Apparently there was an electrical problem on his car.
All others are on the grid without problems, with Hulkenberg ahead of everybody else. For some reason Hulkenberg got passed in the warm-up lap by 4 cars but he retook his position after turn 3.
The rookie was rather well off the mark, but Vettel managed to take the inside on turn one and came out ahead after the turned around. Alonso got pretty close to Hamilton but failed to pass.
Mark Webber had a rather difficult start and only just managed to stay ahead of Hamilton. 3 turns later though, he was faster on the straight ahead of turn, but Hulkenberg outbraked himself, taking a very wide line through the turn and allowing Webber to pass quickly.
In lap 2 Alonso got past Hamilton as the latter made the same mistake at Hulkenberg one lap earlier. 2 turns later the Spaniard is looking threatening on Hulkenberg, but the German takes a good defensive line on the straight, making it particularly hard to get past the Williams.
By lap 5, Vettel is 2.6s ahead of his teammate, and a further 5.5s ahead of Hulkenberg. By now the German has quite a pack behind him, first Alonso, but also Hamilton, Kubica and Barrichello.
On lap 6 Alonso managed to get a good run on Hulkenberg but found it impossible to pass on the outiside. The better traction of the Ferrari though allowed him to get close in the run in on turn 3, and just like Mark Webber, he managed to get past the German through the inside after failing to get past in the braking zone.
While Hamilton has still not passed Hulkenberg on lap 12, his teammate Button dives into the pitlane from 10th position. He changes to the harder tyres. One lap later, Felipe Massa does the same. Both are probably thinking they could go quite a bit faster on a clear track compared to being stuck in the pack behind Hulkenberg.
On lap 14 Barrichello is in, but his stop is taking quite some time as the team is having trouble fitting the right rear wheel. That same lap Massa is back into the pitlane. Apparently something was wrongly fitted as his pace was terrible. It appears the front right wheel was loose, and the team decided to fit 4 new prime tyres again.
One lap later Hulkenberg and Kubica dive into the pitlane, and by the time they come back on track, they find themselves behind Jenson Button. The McLaren driver did a great job with the early pitstop.
Hamilton decides to stop on lap 21, along with Schumacher who was behind him. He rejoins the track just ahead of Button.
At the same time Vettel reports to his team that his option tyres are still in great condition and there is no reason for him to stop any time soon.
On lap 25 it's Alonso who changes to primes. Red Bull, as expected, respond by pitting Vettel, and one lap later also Webber.
On lap 30, Vettel is still leading Webber by 2.8s. Alonso is down 13.5s on Webber. Hamilton is 4th and running around 0.5s a lap quicker than Alonso. Button is 5th, Kobayashi 6th, followed by Rosberg, Sutil and Schumacher.
On lap 35 Barrichello rolls around slowly as he has a left front puncture. Apparently he touched with Alguersuari's front wing when attempting an overtake. By the time he got to the pitlane, Barrichello already got lapped by the Red Bulls. After his stop, he is 18th.
Lap 44 marks the end o the race for Lucas Di Grassi as his Virgin car is pulled into the pitlane.
3 laps later Vetel comes up behind the pack of 6 cars, from Schumacher in 9th to Massa in 15th place. The way both the Red Bulls will move through this traffic could be decisive, as the biggest competitor for Vettel at this time is obviously his teammate. Webber is in a better position in both the championship and with his engine situation. The last thing Vettel would want is get Webber closing into him.
On lap 51 Liuzzi is out of the race after a violent crash in turn 2. His car is completely wrecked as he went into the tyre wall nearly straight on. The Italian is fine, but the car position triggers the deployment of a safety car.
Many drivers take the opportunity to make their final stop. Hamilton decides to pit as well, claiming his tyres are ruined. Button pits as well, along with Rosberg. The latter appears to have surprised his team. The stop was such a disaster that Rosberg is at the back of the pack when he rejoins the track. One lap later he's in again, this time for option tyres. Rosberg though still stayed ahead of his teammate and is in 6th position.
The safety leaves the track on lap 55 and the racing is on again. Vettel is obviously still in the lead and benefits a little from two lapped cars in between him and his teammate. Vettel is so aware of this that he imediately posts fastest lap of the race.
Alonso meanwhile struggles half a lap to pass Alguersuari. Both McLarens who are on fresh tyres are also fighting hard to regain track position.
Once the first 3 are out of the pack, Alonso is consistently quicker than Webber, while Vettel increased his lead on Webber to more than 4 seconds. Hamilton is also posting blistering times, but he is already 9 seconds behind Alonso.
2 laps from the end of the race, it becomes clear that Webber was running short of fuel and had to back off for a few laps.