Vettel wins Brazilian Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Sebastian Vettel has won the Brazilian Grand Prix after gaining the lead of the race in the first corner. Pole sitter Valtteri Bottas ran the entire Grand Prix in second position while Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium. Lewis Hamilton who started from the pits finished a close 4th.

As the lights went out, Sebastian Vettel immediately jumped Bottas through Turn 1 to take the lead, while behind them several cars tangled up through the first few corners. At the end of the first lap, Vandoorne and Magnussen were eliminated, as well as Ocon who got shoveled off by Grosjean. Ricciardo spun at Turn 3 when coming in contact with Vandoorne, but he could rejoin the race without issues. The retirements necessitated a safety car to clear up the debris and get the cars out of the way.

Coincidentally, Lewis Hamilton became the big winner of the carnage, ending up in 14th position.

Throughout the next 15 laps, positions at the front were stale, with only Hamilton and Ricciardo making real progress. The Mercedes driver, opting for softs at the start, was however somewhat worried early on by the pace of the supersoft runners, as he had hoped they would wear off faster than they did.

The pitstops changed little as well, especially not at the front, where Vettel continued to lead. He never had much of an advantage, but at no point came under any threat either. Kimi Raikkonen was in a similar position in third for most of the race, as he was at 3 seconds from Bottas, but unable to really mount a challenge.

10 laps from the end, Verstappen pitted from 5th, having been passed two laps earlier by Lewis Hamilton. The Dutchman asked to pit himself, saying his tyres were no longer in a decent enough state. He pitted without a loss of position, as his team mate Daniel Ricciardo was more than 30 seconds behind.

The final laps ended up to be a close fight between Raikkonen and Hamilton for third, but it was Raikkonen who managed to keep it together nicely, and secure a podium finish alongside Vettel and Bottas.

Lance Stroll ended up with a delaminated tyre after locking up 5 laps from the end, requiring another pitstop. Felipe Massa similarly started to struggle a few laps later, but did not lock up and kept his tyres good enough to keep going. Alonso and Perez threatened him for 7th, but he just managed to retain the position, making it a very enjoyable last home race for the Brazilian. Massa ended up completing his out-lap with a green flag, and was applauded by several drivers when he arrived at the pitlane.

Lewis Hamilton got voted driver of the day for his comeback drive while Vettel flushed through the Championship victory defeat with a wonderful race victory. On to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season...

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarLapsTimePts
15Sebastian VettelFerrari711:31:26.26225
277Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG71+2.762s18
37Kimi RäikkönenFerrari71+4.600s15
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG71+5.468s12
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer71+32.940s10
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer71+48.691s8
719Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes71+68.882s6
814Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda71+69.363s4
911Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes71+69.500s2
1027Nico HulkenbergRenault70+1 lap1
1155Carlos SainzRenault70+1 lap0
1210Pierre GaslyToro Rosso70+1 lap0
139Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari70+1 lap0
1494Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari70+1 lap0
158Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari69+2 laps0
1618Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes69+2 laps0
NC28Brendon HartleyToro Rosso40DNF0
NC31Esteban OconForce India Mercedes0DNF0
NC2Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda0DNF0
NC20Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari0DNF0