Rosberg wins as Hamilton spins
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg ended teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton’s run of five consecutive victories by winning yesterday’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, after a spin by the latter relegated him to the second step of the podium. Local hero Felipe Massa came back from a five second stop/go penalty for speeding in the pitlane, to finish third for Williams.
Rosberg’s victory also gave Mercedes their 11th one-two finish of the season, beating McLaren’s record of 10 in 1988 and cutting Hamilton’s lead down to 17 points with double points available in the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates on November 23rd.
Having been fastest throughout the Friday and Saturday practise sessions, which culminated in yet another pole position ahead of Hamilton, Rosberg got the jump on the Brit at the start and was able to resist the title leader’s devastating turn of speed until being ‘gifted’ victory after the second round pitstops.
Staying out two laps longer than the German, Hamilton spun at turn four on lap 28 having just set the fastest time of 1:14.303. Having finished his stop, he re-joined some seven seconds behind Rosberg and despite showing the same form before the spin, had to settle for second, 1.4 seconds behind after the 71 laps.
“That was a fantastic weekend and I felt very comfortable over the whole three days,” Rosberg told Sky Sport F1 after winning his first race since the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July.
“I was able to control the pace a bit better and didn't let Lewis come too close. He drove really well and was always right there pushing me. When he spun I had a bit of time to relax and was able to save some life in the tyres for the end of the stint. That worked out perfectly and it was a great day with another one-two for the team.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton admitted that he could only blame himself for the spin but added that his team’s decision to leave out for an extra lap was unexpected.
“When I'm told to push it means the team is bringing me in that lap so that's what I did. In the end, they left me out for another lap which caught me by surprise,” he told Sky.
“By the time I came round to do the second lap my rear tyres were gone from where I'd been pushing so hard. Even so, it was my mistake locking up the rears and ultimately that cost me the win”.
Behind the top three, McLaren’s Jenson Button scored his best finish of the season by finishing ahead of Red Bull’s reigning champion Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.
Alonso’s teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, came home seventh ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and the second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, while Williams driver Valtteri Bottas scored the final point in tenth after pitting on lap 27 due to problems with his seatsbelts.
CAPTION: Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg acknowledges the cheers of the crowed after winning yesterday's Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of teammate and championship, Lewis Hamilton (left). IMAGE sourced from www.sfchronicle.com
Brazilian Grand Prix Results
|5.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||+51.420|
|8.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||+1:03.934|
|10.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams||+ 1 Lap|
|11.||Danill Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+ 1 Lap|
|12.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus||+ 1 Lap|
|13.||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||+ 1 Lap|
|14.||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber||+ 1 Lap|
|15.||Sergio Perez||Force India||+ 1 Lap|
|16.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber||+ 1 Lap|
|DNF||Romain Grosjean||Lotus||63 laps, engine|
|DNF||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||39 laps, suspension|
Championship Points after Brazilian Grand Prix
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||214|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||159|
|9.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||80|
|12.||Sergio Perez||Force India||47|
|13.||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||22|
|15.||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||8|
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