I could describe the Brazilian Grand Prix in just two lines, these lines would be like:
Rain, Safety Car, Race, Safety Car, Red Flag, Safety Car, Red Flag, Safety Car, Verstappen flies, Hamilton wins the race.
Then I decided to say a few more words about the race, which my opinion is that it was one of the most boring and excited, at the same time, races in Formula 1.
Hamilton qualified first on Saturday’s qualifying session and started the race from the pole-position. The stewards, after a ten minute delay, decided to start the race behind the Safety Car, which automatically gave an advantage to Lewis Hamilton.
Nico Rosberg qualified behind his team-mate and he simply wanted to avoid any contact with other cars. When the race started, Nico lost his second place from the young Max Verstappen, but not for long.
The Dutch passed Rosberg on lap 32, but a few laps later, Red Bull Racing decided to pit Max Verstappen and gamble with the intermediate tyres. The weather had different plans from Red Bull. On lap 48, Felipe Massa crashed on the pit straight and the safety car deployed once again. The track’s conditions after the heavy rain were not ideal for intermediates, hence Red Bull called immediately Verstappen in the pits and swapped back to full wets.
On the same lap, Red Bull did the same with Daniel Ricciardo, but the Australian received a 5-second time penalty, because he pitted when the pit lane was close.
Verstappen re-joined 13th and it was when he started to dance in the rain. The Dutch, recovered and from the 13th place he moved up to third. Max Verstappen was dancing with the wet tyres, it was impossible for anyone to stop him or catch him. Felipe Nasr and Esteban Ocon didn’t want to risk their places and picked not to fight. With two laps remaining, Sergio Perez was third, but then he saw the Dutch in his mirrors. Checo, tried to defend his place, but Max had other plans. Verstappen passed the Mexican after a wheel to wheel battle and finished third behind the two Mercedes.
Max proved once again that if he keeps his head down and work hard he will become one of the greatest drivers in Formula 1.
Sauber was one of the biggest winners in Brazil. Felipe Nasr, after a great drive secured the seventh place for Sauber and scored their first two points of the season. It was a good day for Felipe, he scored his first points in his home race. With these two points, Sauber is now ahead of the Manor in the championship with only one race to go. Marcus Ericsson crashed on the pit straight on lap 8 and retired.
Despite the delays, the safety cars and the red flags, the Brazilian Grand Prix were one of the best races of the season. I know that the life of the drivers was at risk, Kimi Raikkonen avoided the worst when he crashed on the wall same with Felipe Massa when he stopped at the pit entry, but the conditions were hard and they proved why their salaries are high.
Final turn of the championship will take place in Abu Dhabi. It will be Hamilton’s last chance to make the comeback and Rosberg’s time to show how much he want to become world champion for the first time in his F1 career.
Victor Archakis F1 Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @FP_Passion
(Images Courtesy of Pirelli F1 Media)