Verstappen Victory Cheated by Mistake As Hamilton Wins in Brazil
INTERLAGOS, Brazil- R.I.S.—Taking advantage of Max Verstappen’s error on lap 44, Lewis Hamilton went on to win his 49th career victory in the turbo hybrid era, at the Brazilian Grand Prix Sunday afternoon with a 1.4 second victory over the Dutchman. Kimi Raikkonen finished in third.
In addition to the driver’s title Hamilton clinched two weeks ago in Mexico, the win by Hamilton also clinches the 5th consecutive world constructor’s championship for his Mercedes team.
“The team has worked so hard in the last six years, and it has been an incredible journey.” He said. “They (the team) come to work every day and they try to make the best for themselves. And I would say it was an honor for me to drive for them. And I am so proud of them.”
Hamilton took the lead at the start and held it until he pitted on lap 19. This gave the lead to Verstappen, who had moved up the grid and by lap 32, still was in front until he in addition pitted. Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, who found himself in the lead following Verstappen’s stop, continued to lead until it was time for the Australian to pit on lap 36. This gave Verstappen the lead again going into lap 44, when he began the tough task of beginning to pass lapped cars.
One of these victims was Force India’s Esteban Ocon, who found himself in 15th place as Verstappen approached the Frenchman to lap him. But Ocon did not give Verstappen enough room, and both touched, spinning Verstappen around, and gave Hamilton, who was a few seconds behind, to pass and take the lead. The result was a five second penalty for Ocon, and a disappointing second place finish for Verstappen, who try as he might even with a broken floor, closed the gap to Hamilton, but found it too late to catch the Briton. Raikkonen meanwhile, was nearly caught by Ricciardo, but the Finn just held on for another podium appearance.
Only two cars retired from the race, as Marcus Ericsson suffered floor damage, that put his Sauber out of the race, as the Swede lost steering following a first lap touch with Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean. Nico Hulkenberg joined Ericsson as the German suffered a radiator failure in his Renault.
For the rest of the grid, Valtteri Bottas finished a disappointing fifth, despite the team taking the constructors championship. Sebastian Vettel was a disappointing sixth, while his future teammate Charles LeClerc was seventh. The American Haas F1 Team at the end of the day had a great race, finishing double points with Grosjean in eighth and Kevin Magnussen ninth. Sergio Perez took tenth in the second Force India.
With all the victories by Hamilton and his team since 2014, the Briton still feels that it is not his talent alone that makes the difference.
“I do not know what to say about that, they give me the tools and I try to do the best I can with it.” He concluded.
BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
At Interlagos Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Final Race Results
1 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes
2 Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing—1.469 seconds behind
3 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari
4 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing
5 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes
6 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari
7 Charles LeClerc (FRA) Sauber
8 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team
9 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team
10 Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India
11 Brendon Hartley (NZL) Toro Rosso
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. (SPA) Renault
13 Pierre Gasly (FRA) Toro Rosso
14 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren
15 Esteban Ocon (FRA) Force India
16 Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Williams
17 Fernando Alonso (SPA) McLaren
18 Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams
19 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault- coolant system- lap 33
20 Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber- structural damage- lap 20
A 16 year veteran of writing formula one racing weekend race reports, features and team launches, Mark has worked for such companies as all-sports, e-sports, The Munich Eye newspaper in Germany, racingnation.com and Autoweek. A former member for this site four years ago, Mark now is a contributor for R.I.S.