Brazilian Race Round 18

Nico Rosberg wins the Brazilian grand prix ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

15/11/2015

On the way to the grid, Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr stops on the way and has to get a tow from a recovery truck back to the pits. The team try to restart the car and manage to get it to the end of the pit lane to start the race. Pastor Maldonado and Sainz will start on the Medium tyre while the rest of the grid starts on the Soft tyre.

Race

The lights go green and Lewis Hamilton gets a great start but Nico Rosberg keeps the lead. Rosberg leads ahead of Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Sainz has stopped in Sector 2 and is out. Lap 3, Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull pits from 14th place after starting in 19th place. Lap 8, Rosberg’s lead extends to 1.3 seconds to Hamilton in 2nd.

Lap 10, Daniil Kvyat, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean pit for the Medium tyre. Lap 11, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen pit for the Medium tyre as well. Lap 12, Raikkonen and Jenson Button also pit for the Medium tyre. Lap 13, race leader Rosberg pits with Vettel following him in, both go onto the Medium tyre. Lap 14, Hamilton pits, goes onto the Medium tyre and emerges behind Rosberg.

Lap 18 to 23, Hamilton has closed the gap to Rosberg and the gap is in only half a second! Hamilton gets close but can’t overtake as he says to his team on the radio that it is “impossible to follow him in the turbulent air”. Lap 31, Rosberg has opened the gap to 3.2 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Lap 32, Vettel pits from 3rd and goes onto the Soft tyre. Rosberg pits the following lap and goes onto a new set of the Medium tyres. Hamilton pulls into the pits the next lap for the Medium tyre as well. Lap 36, Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race.

Lap 39, Maldonado has received a 5 second time penalty for causing a collision with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson down at turn 1 with the Lotus driver tried to overtake but it didn’t work and both collided bumped wheels. Lap 46, Raikkonen pits for the Medium tyre, he is trying to go for a two stop strategy. Lap 47, Vettel pits for the Medium tyre. Lap 48, race leader, Rosberg pits for the 3rd time for the Medium tyre. Hamilton pits the next lap for the Medium tyre as well, this is his final push if he wants to win.

Lap 68, it looks like Hamilton has given up the chance to win as he falls further behind Rosberg, the gap is now over 5 seconds. Rosberg wins, 7.7 seconds ahead of Hamilton and Vettel.

With Vettel in 3rd, Rosberg secures 2nd place in the Drivers Championship. With Bottas in 5th, Williams also secures 3rd place in the Constructors Championship. Force India secure 5th place in the Constructors Championship, their best finish ever!

Race Result

1.Rosberg  2.Hamilton  3.Vettel  4.Raikkonen  5.Bottas  6.Hulkenberg  7.Kvyat  8.Grosjean  9.Verstappen  10.Maldonado  11.Ricciardo  12.Perez  13.Nasr  14.Button  15.Alonso  16.Ericsson 17.Stevens  18.Rossi  DNF Sainz DSQ Massa*

Massa* after the race, Massa was found at the start with his right rear tyre over the maximum temperature Pirelli had set so he has been excluded from the result.

Championship Standings

1.Hamilton 363pts  2.Rosberg 297pts  3.Vettel 266pts  4.Bottas 136pts  5.Raikkonen 135pts

Constructors Championship

1.Mercedes 660pts  2.Ferrari 401pts  3.Williams 257pts  4.Red Bull 178pts  5.Force India 120pts

My View

It wasn’t the most exciting race of the season but it did provide another win for Nico Rosberg. That win secured 2nd place in the Drivers Championship. Lewis Hamilton would have wanted that win, he will have to come back next year and try to win on his 10th attempt.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Lotuses Romain Grosjean and Torro Rosso’s Max Verstappen were my star drivers of the day with Hulkenberg 6th, Grosjean 8th and Verstappen 9th. Verstappen pulled some amazing and unthinkable overtakes into turn 1.

For the Brazilian drivers, Williams Felipe Massa was excluded from the race, Williams are to appeal while Sauber’s Felipe Nasr in 14th.

The final race of the 2015 season is on the 27th – 29th November in Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

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