Vettel victorious in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel achieved his fifth victory of the season after a masterclass drive for Ferrari at the Brazilian Grand Prix, to defeat Valtteri Bottas.

Vettel passed pole-sitter Bottas on the inside into Turn 1 and had the speed to fend off an attack from his Mercedes rival to secure Ferrari’s first victory since the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.

Bottas crossed the line second, 2.7 seconds adrift, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen holding off a charging Lewis Hamilton, who had started from the pitlane, to finish third for the third race in succession.

Vettel made a great start from second on the grid and though Bottas gave him a squeeze into Turn 1, the Ferrari driver made the move stick.

Further down the field, Kevin Magnussen squeezed Stoffel Vandoorne towards Daniel Ricciardo exiting Turn 2.

Ricciardo was spun round, dropping him to the back of the field, but he continued while Vandoorne and Magnussen retired immediately.

That incident sparked a safety car and was not the only clash on the opening lap – Esteban Ocon suffered the first retirement of his Formula 1 career after being tagged by Romain Grosjean, who lost control of his Haas at Turn 5.

Grosjean continued, but was handed a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision, and ultimately finished P15.

At the restart, Vettel retained the lead from Bottas, Raikkonen and Max Verstappen, with Felipe Massa delighting his home crowd with a pass around the outside of Fernando Alonso into Turn 1 for fifth.

Hamilton, running on soft tyres, made good progress through the field and was up into the points by lap nine, passing Pierre Gasly for P10.

Bottas was the first to pit for softs, with Vettel pitting a lap later and rejoining just ahead of the Mercedes driver, managing to hold him off into Turn 4.

As those who started the race on the super-softs pitted, Hamilton inherited the lead and pushed on until lap 43, when he pitted, rejoining P15 – 19 seconds behind Vettel.

The four-time world champion was the fastest driver on the track, catching and passing Verstappen around the outside on the run to Turn 4 with 12 laps to go.

He then rapidly caught Raikkonen but a lock-up into Turn 1 dropped him back and he could not attack the Ferrari before the race’s end.

Verstappen, who struggled with his tyres in the closing stages leading to a late stop for super-softs, was fifth ahead of Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo.

Massa held off Alonso to take seventh in his final Brazilian Grand Prix and penultimate race of his Formula 1 career.

Sergio Perez took ninth, crossing the line right behind Alonso, with Nico Hulkenberg scoring Renault’s first point since Singapore with P10.

So a fantastic result for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari following a couple of difficult races. Losing the championship was a big blow to rival Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. But this Brazilian Grand Prix victory should boost morale in fighting for title glory next year.

Brazilian Grand Prix race results, after 71 laps:
1    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1h31m26.260s
2    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    2.762s
3    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    4.600s
4    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    5.468s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    32.940s
6    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    48.691s
7    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m08.882s
8    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m09.363s
9    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m09.500s
10    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1 Lap
11    Carlos Sainz    Renault    1 Lap
12    Pierre Gasly    Toro Rosso-Renault    1 Lap
13    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
14    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
15    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    2 Laps
16    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    2 Laps
–    Brendon Hartley    Toro Rosso-Renault    Retirement
–    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    Collision
–    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    Collision
–    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    Collision

Drivers’ standings:
1    Lewis Hamilton    345
2    Sebastian Vettel    302
3    Valtteri Bottas    280
4    Daniel Ricciardo    200
5    Kimi Raikkonen    193
6    Max Verstappen    158
7    Sergio Perez    94
8    Esteban Ocon    83
9    Carlos Sainz    54
10    Felipe Massa    42
11    Lance Stroll    40
12    Nico Hulkenberg    35
13    Romain Grosjean    28
14    Kevin Magnussen    19
15    Fernando Alonso    15
16    Stoffel Vandoorne    13
17    Jolyon Palmer    8
18    Pascal Wehrlein    5
19    Daniil Kvyat    5
20    Marcus Ericsson    0
21    Pierre Gasly    0
22    Antonio Giovinazzi    0
23    Brendon Hartley    0

Constructors’ standings:
1    Mercedes    625
2    Ferrari    495
3    Red Bull-Renault    358
4    Force India-Mercedes    177
5    Williams-Mercedes    82
6    Toro Rosso-Renault    53
7    Renault    49
8    Haas-Ferrari    47
9    McLaren-Honda    28
10    Sauber-Ferrari    5

6 thoughts on “Vettel victorious in Brazil

  1. Brazilian Grand Prix review as reported by Formula1.com.

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took victory in Sunday’s Formula 1 Grande Premio Heineken do Brasil 2017 after holding off Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas for 71 laps of Interlagos. However, it was Bottas’s team mate Lewis Hamilton who was arguably the race’s biggest star, the world champion recovering from a pit-lane start to almost snatch the final podium spot from the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

    Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was a distant fifth ahead of team mate Daniel Ricciardo, the latter fighting back from a 14th-place grid slot, while Williams’ Felipe Massa narrowly won a race-long battle with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to finish his final home Grand Prix in seventh. Force India’s Sergio Perez also joined that scrap late on, as Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg completed the top ten.

    Vettel took the lead at the start and controlled polesitter Bottas to win by 2.7s, though the Finn kept him honest throughout on an afternoon when tyre conservation was key.

    The main excitement, however, was provided by a tremendous drive through the field from Hamilton, who more than made up for his error in qualifying with battle after battle as he clawed his way within sight of the top three.

    Starting on soft tyres rather than the supersofts on which his main rivals ran their first stints, he took the lead on the 30th lap as the frontrunners began their stops, and held it until pitting on lap 43 for supersofts. That dropped him back to fifth behind Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen who had run in that order from the start.

    Verstappen could offer little resistance as his soft tyres were fading, and he surrendered fifth place on the 59th lap, and then a dramatic chase began as Hamilton went after Raikkonen. He hauled him in and seemed set to join Vettel and Bottas on the podium, but the Finn valiantly held him off by 0.8s at the flag.

    Verstappen made a second stop and set fastest lap on a new set of supersofts as he headed team mate Riccardo home. Like Hamilton, the Australian had fought up from his lowly grid position and a spin on the first lap after being hit by Stoffel Vandoorne, who had made contact with Kevin Magnussen. The McLaren and Haas drivers – who have been called to the stewards to explain their collision – were instant retirements, and the incident brought the safety car out until the fifth lap.

    Massa delighted the loyal crowd with a strong and emotional run to seventh (and a valedictory podium appearance) for Williams, but it was a close-run thing as Alonso’s McLaren was only 0.4s behind him after a race-long fight, and the Spaniard had Perez’s Force India just 0.1s off his tail after one of the afternoon’s best battles.

    Hulkenberg took a single point on a disappointing day for Renault as he headed team mate Carlos Sainz home, while Pierre Gasly was Toro Rosso’s only finisher, in 12th, after a strong drive. Marcus Ericsson beat Sauber team mate Pascal Wehrlein for 13th place, as Grosjean took 15th after serving a 10-second time penalty for a first-lap collision which brought countryman Esteban Ocon in the Force India his first-ever F1 retirement after 27 completed races. Williams’ Lance Stroll fought Grosjean for a long time, but dropped back with a delaminating left front tyre at the end.

    Besides Ocon, Magnussen and Vandoorne, Brendon Hartley failed to finish when his Toro Rosso suffered a mechanical problem.

  2. A disappointed Valtteri Bottas admitted he lost the Brazilian Grand Prix by getting a poor start and letting eventual winner Sebastian Vettel beat him into the first corner.

    The Mercedes driver had claimed his third pole position of the season, and his first front-row start in 10 races, at Interlagos, but was passed by Vettel into Turn 1.

    Bottas came close to retaking the lead after stopping one lap earlier than the Ferrari, but Vettel rejoined ahead and kept Bottas at arm’s length for the rest of the grand prix.

    Having not won since July’s Austrian Grand Prix, the last race he started from pole, Bottas said it was “unfortunate” but “obvious” that he “lost the race” at the start.

    “For me the issue was the initial wheelspin,” he explained. “As soon as I started to release the clutch I broke the traction.

    “I had wheelspin and a poor getaway, I was trying to cover the inside, but looking in mirror I couldn’t see Seb anywhere. I was guessing he would come inside, and he did.”

    Bottas was adamant he had the pace to keep Vettel behind him had he held the lead into the first corner.

    “Our pace and our car was pretty similar today, there was not much pace difference,” he said. “Being first out of Turn 1 would have been quite a different race, but if and if…”

    He conceded he now needs “some miracles” to snatch second in the championship, having fallen 22 points behind Vettel with just the Abu Dhabi race remaining.

    Vettel agreed it was crucial to make the pass into Turn 1 because Ferrari and Mercedes had “more or less the same pace” for the entire race.

    He said he thought he had thrown away his chance to take the lead at the first corner.

    “Initially I had a very good launch and thought I got this, then maybe I was a bit too greedy, spinning up the wheels a little bit and losing some momentum on Valtteri,” he said.

    “Then I looked over and saw he was still struggling, and gained a bit on the second phase to get me momentum into first corner.

    “I knew I had to go for it, there was a little bit of a gap, and I went for it. It was important.”

    Vettel and Bottas circulated a couple of seconds apart and the race winner claimed he was “pretty much flat out all the time” to stay ahead.

    He added: “We had less straight line speed than Mercedes this weekend.

    “It was tough seeing him in my mirrors close, especially in the first and third sectors, so I had to nail the second sector each time.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  3. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton commented that he was the quickest “by a long way” in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Motorsport.com has the full story.

    Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton feels he was quickest “by a long way” in the Brazilian Grand Prix, as he fought his way through to fourth place from a pitlane start.

    Having crashed in the first segment of qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton started from the pits and scythed his way through the pack in the opening stages of the race.

    Fifth after making his only pitstop in the race, he picked off the Red Bull of Max Verstappen before catching up to the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, but he could not overtake the Finn for the final spot on the podium.

    “I was quickest all weekend, I probably would have been on pole, and pole to finish [first], but this made it a more enjoyable race for sure,” Hamilton told NBC.

    “I was quicker than everyone today by a long way. That’s the real positive to take from it.

    “I had good pace on the long runs on Friday [in practice] – particularly on the soft, I think I was almost half a second quicker than everyone. And I had an old engine and a different aero package, so I had pace.

    “But today I was 110 percent the whole way, I had to bring up a little bit extra.

    “Kimi was right there, but my tyres just let go and I had nothing left.”

    Hamilton said having to battle through the field reminded him of his early days in karting.

    “It was reminiscent of when I first started racing as a kid, we had not a great go-kart and we started from the back and had to make our way through to the front.

    “That’s how it felt today, except obviously I had a good car and I was able to do something special with it.”

    Despite Hamilton ending up just 5.5s adrift at the chequered flag, Sebastian Vettel – who won the race for Ferrari – did not feel the Briton was a threat for race victory.

    Vettel also reckoned that the tyre strategy Hamilton was on – starting on softs and switching to supersofts – was advantageous, with the cars that lined up at the sharp end of the grid forced to use the opposite strategy.

    “It’s not the first time this year that a mirrored strategy has some advantages,” Vettel said. “It is not attractive starting in front, but can be attractive starting from where he has.

    “The track ramped up at the end so supersoft was the faster tyre.”

  4. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso admitted that Honda’s lack of power was “worrying for Toro Rosso”. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Fernando Alonso reckons the Toro Rosso Formula 1 team should be worried about the Honda engine’s lack of power following a frustrating Brazilian Grand Prix.

    McLaren driver Alonso spent a big part of the race behind the Mercedes-powered Williams of Felipe Massa but, despite appearing faster on the corners, the Spaniard was unable to pass the Brazilian on the straights due to his lack of top speed.

    Alonso reckons his rivals were around 50km/h quicker when running behind him with DRS enabled.

    The two-time champion labeled Honda’s lack of power “alarming” and warned Toro Rosso – which will run the Japanese power units next year – that it could face a difficult season.

    “The lack of power today was amazing. In Mexico the same,” said Alonso. “I was very, very close to Felipe a couple of times on the exit of the last corner, but even with the DRS he was pulling away.

    “As I said, the lack of power is quite worrying for Toro Rosso next year.”

    He added: “It’s still a shame that we have this incredible power deficit and that with all the battery, the DRS and everything they are still quicker on the straight.

    “Yesterday I think it was 25 km/h. Today when someone uses the DRS it must be 40 or 50, so it’s pretty incredible that we finish in front of some cars. The lack of speed today was alarming.

    “Only Abu Dhabi left and another complicated year ends. Hopefully it’s the last race we have to race in these conditions.”

    McLaren will switch to Renault engines for next year, but despite the constant reliability issues and the fact that the French manufacturer had to turn down its engines in Brazil, Alonso said he has no worries.

    “We’ll see. Renault is the best engine company in the last 15 or 20 years if you see all the championship so I think we should not be worried,” he said.

    The McLaren driver went on to finish the Interlagos race in eighth position and, despite the complaints about a lack of top speed, Alonso reckons his team enjoyed the best weekend of the year.

    “Overall it was the best weekend for us. We started sixth, we were fifth, we finished in the points, so a happy weekend.”

  5. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says he hopes his determined drive from the back of the grid to P4 in Brazil is evidence – to himself and to others – that he still has a ‘fire in his heart’ to compete in F1.

    Hamilton started Sunday’s race in Sao Paulo from the pit lane after a rare crash in qualifying, but after climbing to fifth after a long first stint on soft tyres, the British driver showed electric pace on supersofts, passing Max Verstappen’s Red Bull for fourth before running Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen very close for the final podium position.

    “It was fun,” smiled the four-time world champion. “It felt reminiscent of my karting days when I’d always start at the back, particularly in my first year or two.

    “I messed up yesterday and put myself in the worst position. I was strong enough to win this race from pole to flag and I didn’t do that, so it made the job a lot harder today.

    “But waking up this morning my goal was really just to redeem myself, make up from yesterday’s mistake and really do the team proud, trying to get the points back. I was trying to get back to third but I just ran out of tyres at the end.

    “But I enjoyed the race, I enjoyed the battle and hopefully that continues to show me but also everyone that I still have a lot of fire in my heart still. I’m still young at heart and I’ve still got many, many more races to go.”

    Asked if he’d been particularly hard on himself after his qualifying crash, Hamilton, who was voted Driver of the Day by fans for a third time this season, said: “There is no room for mistakes when it comes to working for a profession and wanting to be the best, but of course they happen.

    “It’s a part of the growing process, but it’s not what you work towards. I’ve had a very, very clean year – I’ve had no crashes or damaged the car. But, as I said, yesterday is behind me, today’s been positive.

    “To get back to fourth I have to be very, very grateful and very happy with that for sure. A big thank you to the fans that voted for me – I hope they enjoyed the show. I tell you I gave it everything – I had nothing left in my heart or the car.”

    Source: Formula1.com

  6. Haas driver Kevin Magnussen didn’t see Daniel Ricciardo in a three-way clash with Stoffel Vandoorne on the opening lap. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Brazilian Grand Prix stewards have deemed the three-way collision on the opening lap at Interlagos’s Turn 2, which took Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne out of the race, to be a racing incident.

    The crash transpired as three cars touched simultaneously at the second corner of the race. Vandoorne’s McLaren was sandwiched between the Haas of Magnussen (on the inside) and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (outside), and the contact between Magnussen’s left-front and Vandoorne’s right-front corners broke suspension arms on each car.

    Ricciardo, in the meantime, was spun across the bows of both cars. Amazingly, he escaped with a cut tyre, and benefited from pitting under the safety car, which allowed him to restart at the back of the pack, from where he charged through to sixth.

    “From my side, we were three-wide through the corner,” said Magnussen. “There was contact with Vandoorne who then had contact with Ricciardo. I broke my front suspension, so it wasn’t the best.

    “If I’d realised earlier that Ricciardo was on the outside of Vandoorne, then perhaps I’d have given more room, but by the time I saw Ricciardo it was too late. I’d already carried the speed.”

    Ricciardo added: “Into Turn 2 I knew it was going to be tight, but I thought it was a good chance from the start to overtake a bunch of cars, so I tried the outside – I was holding on, holding on, and then I felt a hit.

    “Obviously I was worried that I had damage, I think the tyre had a cut, so we came into the pit to change that.”

    Vandoorne rued his early exit after making a good start: “I had a very good launch, almost straight past the Force India and the Haas. It was very tight with Esteban [Ocon] and with Romain [Grosjean], nearly avoiding an accident there. We had a good first corner and then it bunched up.

    “Unfortunately, I got squeezed in Turn 2. We were in the middle of a sandwich and there was nowhere to go for me. I was just a passenger. We had contact and that was an unfortunate end to our race.”

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