CONGRATULATIONS Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas -
Two weeks on from taking his fifth world championship title, Lewis Hamilton won the FORMULA 1 GRANDE PREMIO HEINEKEN DO BRASIL 2018, at the end of a race that was closely contested with the outcome uncertain from lights out to the chequered flag.
His first place, along with Valtteri Bottas’ fifth, means that Mercedes AMG Petronas
Motorsport has won its fifth consecutive Constructors’ World Championship 2018, thus securing both titles yet again.
The win went to Hamilton and Mercedes, but Max Verstappen and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing can claim to have been the stars of the show, as they looked to be heading for the top rung of the podium until the incident with Esteban Ocon.
The key moment of the race came on lap 44:
Ocon who had pitted the Racing Point Force India for fresh tyres two laps earlier, tried to unlap himself by overtaking the leader, Verstappen, at the first corner. The Dutchman defended his position and the two collided at turn 2, both of them spinning as a result. Verstappen continued, 5 seconds behind Hamilton, with damage to the righ-
Up until that point, the Aston Martin Red Bull man had driven an amazing race. He started from fifth on the grid, forced his way past Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Bottas, taking the lead for the first time on lap 19, when poleman Hamilton pitted. He then led again on lap 40 when he passed the Englishman and his team-
Despite the setback, Verstappen tried to close once more on the number 44 Mercedes, but he didn’t get close enough to mount a passing move. The Dutchman’s anger was not assuaged by the 10-
Verstappen’s fourth consecutive podium finish means he is still very much in the fight for third place in the championship, which he will contest in Abu Dhabi with the Finnish duo of Raikkonen and Bottas.
On the third step of the podium, watching the samba school dancers was Raikkonen -
Bottas had got up to second at the start and immediately tried to stake a claim on the win by attacking Hamilton on turn 4, but having been denied, he then had to defend himself from the Ferraris and manage his tyres and car rather than continue on the offensive.
In the end, Raikkonen got the better of Bottas, passing him on lap 44, but the time lost behind him at the crucial stages of the race, meant the Ferrari man was out of the fight for the win.
Daniel Ricciardo, Aston Martin Red Bull, also had a great race, moving up from eleventh on the grid to fourth at the flag, just over 5 seconds down on the winner. The pace of the two Red Bull drivers this afternoon showed that the quickest package was the Renault-
The remaining top team driver, Sebastian Vettel, struggled home sixth, having started from the front row, hampered by a technical problem with a sensor on his car which clearly affected its performance. Ferrari had needed to score 13 points more than Mercedes to keep their Constructors’ title hopes alive to the final round but having seen the Drivers’ title slip from their grasp two weeks ago, this goal too proved beyond them.
Thus, the three-
The drivers from the top three teams put on a thrilling and exciting show for the amazing Interlagos crowd. But the 150,037 spectators (8819 more than last year) who were at the track this weekend, were also well entertained by the drivers further back and, as usual at this track, there was plenty of overtaking.
“Best of the rest” was Charles Leclerc, who brought his Sauber home in seventh place, having driven aggressively at the start when required and then managing his race at the end. His six points today sees the Swiss team increase its lead to 9 points over Toro Rosso in the Constructors’ classification, as well as allowing it to close to within six lengths of Force India, currently seventh. The Silverstone based squad got Sergio Perez into the points behind the Haas duo, the first time both of them had finished in the top ten since the Belgian Grand Prix in late August.
Formula 1 is now getting ready to tackle the 21st and final Grand Prix of this long season in Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time.
Although the two titles are decided, there are still several points of interest, starting with the aforementioned battle for third place in the Drivers’ classification.
There is also a fight for other top ten places, given that eighth-
In the Constructors’ classification, mathematically, all the places from fourth to tenth are up for grabs, even though Renault is the clear favourite despite a disappointing weekend in Interlagos, as they lead Haas by 24 points. Williams however look set to be last, as it would take a miracle for them to score the 26 points that separate them from Toro Rosso in ninth place.
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