Max Verstappen finally completed his unfinished business at Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Ater the Dutchman was deprived of the victory last year when Esteban Ocon tangled with him while being lapped, Verstappen came out on top of a race-long battle with Lewis Hamilton.
The only feat – Even if he was struggling for pace all race long, it was Valtteri Bottas who set the fastest race lap on Sunday just as he did that last year. The Nestola-born driver’s fastest lap was 1m10.540 in 2018 which he was unable to surpass this year, but his 1m10.698 was enough to beat the eventual race winner MaX Verstappen on this list. Highlighting the dominance of the top three suqads, the best of the rest was Lando Norris, but the Briton’s best lap time was 1.630 seconds off the benchmark of Bottas.
The end of a positive series – After Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc collided in the dying minutes of the race, Ferrari left the sole South American round of the championship with zero point in their bag. That was the first occasion for the Scuderia to fail to score a single unit in a race this year. In fact, that was the first race since the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix in which Ferrari failed to collect any points. On that last occasion at the Marina Bay Circuit, the defeat was also due to a collision – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen collided at the start in a nasty incident in which Max Verstappen was involved too.
Almost settled – The various battles in the Constructors’ Championship which kept fans excited after Mercedes secured their six consecutive title seem to have been settled for the last round of the championship. With adding nine more points to their tally, Renault’s fifth place looks to be more secure in the Standings. The battle for the sixth place between the Racing Point and the Toro Rosso outfits has lost its recent intensity after Toro Rosso’s excellent finishes on Sunday. The Faenza-based squad is now 16 points ahead of the Silverstone-based outfit which might be too much of an ask for Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez to surpass with just one round to go.
The best day so far – Alfa Romeo left Sao Paulo with its biggest points haul of the entire season. The Italian-Swiss outfit has collected 22 points in total thanks to Kimi Räikkönen’s fourth- and Antonio Giovinazzi’s fifth-placed finishes. Previously, the team’s highest points score in a single race was six which it first recorded in Bahrain and repeated in France and Hungary. This race saw Kimi Räikkönen scoring his first points after the summer break after the Finn fell into a downward spiral following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Penalties – The Brazilian Grand Prix stewards –Tim Mayer, Jose Abed, Emanuele Pirro and Max Wilson- handed out a total of four penalties during the 71-lap race. Interestingly, all of those decisions resulted in a five-second penalty. Lewis Hamilton was found guilty for crashing into Alexander Albon’s Red Bull in Turn 10. The Briton was also given 2 penalty points on his licence and has now 4 point in total in the 12-month period. Daniel Ricciardo was given the very same duo of penalties for drving into the car of Kevin Magnussen in Turn 4. Nico Hülkenberg overtook a car during a safety car period for which the German received a five-second penalty and a single penalty point on his license. Williams released Robert Kubica in an unsafe manner from a pit stop which prompted the stewards to impose a five-second penalty on the Polish driver.
The first in a while - Although it was down to Lewis Hamilton's post-race time penalty, McLaren scored their first podium finish since the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. On that occasion, Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button finished second and third respectively at Melbourne while Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix saw Carlos Sainz inheriting his first career podium finish.
Not a good day for the champions - Despite adding a few points to their tally, Mercedes has also endured its second worst weekend of the season in terms of points gained. In the German Grand Prix, the Brackley-based outfit scored only two points while they collected a total of six points at Sao Paulo following a post-race penalty for Hamilton.
Brazilian fans – With the arrival of Emerson Fittipaldi to the sport in the 1970s, Brazil began to be interested in Formula One. Since then, the South American destination has become one of the most enthusiastic countries of the hosting venues. This weekend, the grandstands of the Autodromo José Carlos Pace were filled out by a total of 150 307 fans.
A podium finish again - For the third time in its history a Toro Rosso driver managed to make the podium. Sebastian Vettel secured the Italian team’s first podium appearance with his heroic win in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. After an eleven-year hiatus, Daniil Kvyat made it ont o the rostrom this year when he finished in third place at Hockenheim. Just a few months after the Russian’s success, his now-teammate Pierre Gasly secured his first and his team’s third podium by finishing second behind Max Verstappen.
Crazy, crazy, crazy! - For the third time in the 2019 season, Red Bull have broken the pit stop record. In the Brazilian GP, they serviced Max Verstappen on the first of his three stops in an amazing 1.82 seconds, shaving six hundredths off their own record set at Hockenheim. When it comes to the quickest tyre changes, the energy drink-owned team completely dominates the order vy having recorded the five fastest pit stops so far in 2019. Williams has recorded the fastest, non-Red Bull pit stop when they serviced Robert Kubica in the French Grand Prix in an 1.97 seconds.