Race Report: Hamilton, Mercedes win in Brazil

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The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix was an exciting race and it created controversy when Lewis Hamilton passed Timo Glock’s Toyota to take the world championship. Fans accused Timo and Toyota of purposefully assisting Hamilton to win. Ten years later and we have more controversy over Lewis’s win in Brazil today.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had a terrific race passing Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes for the lead on lap 40 but just four laps later, he was hit by the lapped Force India of Esteban Ocon which spun Max out of the lead and handed the win to Hamilton.

Just like ten years ago, fan conspiracies on social media were ripe with accusations that Ocon, a young Mercedes driver, clouted Verstappen to hand the win and constructor’s championship to Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton’s defense of Ocon’s move in the cool-down room to Max was also seen as part of the debate.

Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself, the Brazilian Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton followed by Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen. The win secured the FIA Formula 1 constructor’s championship to Mercedes.

Win

Mercedes wins the constructor’s championship again and the amount of work the entire team has put in to this season is an incredible effort and story for a very deserving group of people. Even as a Ferrari fan, I have the utmost respect for what Mercedes has achieved and the attention to the details is what separates them from all the rest.

A win for Lewis Hamilton who managed blistering tires and a very competitive Max Verstappen to take advantage of Max’s incident for the win.

He missed out on the win and, depending on your opinion of the incident, one could argue that Max Verstappen was robbed of the win so second place was still a win despite spinning but others might say that not giving Ocon enough room means that he threw the race away and that’s a fail.

A win for Daniel Ricciardo for a terrific recovery drive from 11th and after the season he’s had, he deserves it. Unfortunately, he ran out of laps to take the podium spot away from Kimi Raikkonen but a 4th place was a good result for the Aussie.

A win for Sauber’s Charles Leclerc who brought his car home well into the points in 7th place and it may have been a better day for Sauber had Marcus Ericsson hadn’t had all of the body damage issues he had.

A win for Haas F1 who brought both cars home in 8th and 9th. A dual-points finish is a terrific result for the team but having lost so points in the previous two races, they weren’t able to overhaul Renault in the constructor’s championship.

Fail

A fail for Ferrari who did manage a podium finish and seemed to have an impeccably timed tire strategy during qualifying but their race pace, in particularly Sebastian Vettel’s, was just not there. The team seemed to be race favorites during Friday and Saturday but that pace seemed to evaporate on Sunday.

A fail for Renault who struggled with another DNF for Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz outside the top 10. The poor result brings Haas to within 24 points in the constructor’s championship.

A fail for Force India who couldn’t equal Haas F1 in the race. Sergio Perez claimed 10th but Esteban Ocon lunged inside Verstappen into turn 2 being a lap down and impacted the outcome of the race…depending on your opinion of the incident, of course.

A fail for both Williams and Toro Rosso who both lacked pace but if there is an upside to their races, it was that Hartley and Sirotkin beat their teammates who both have rides secured for next season.

WTH

A WTH for both McLaren’s who were investigated for ignoring blue flags and it even garnered Fernando Alonso a penalty. “No more flags, for the rest of the race”.

A WTH for Valtteri Bottas who struggled all race long and has prompted me to award him the Jarno Trulli Mobile Chicane award for holding the entire field up for most of the race. Kudos to him for being difficult to pass and putting on a terrific defensive driving class though, that was fun to watch. Not sure why he was struggling more than Lewis on the same tires.

For me, a WTH moment for Ocon who has every right to un-lap himself but doing it into turn 2 while the leader had claimed the corner, was ahead of him and fighting for a win was just bad timing. Ocon wasn’t racing for position for the lead and if he couldn’t get it done out of turn 1 then waiting for a straight may have been better timing.

A WTH moment for Max Verstappen who hunted down Ocon in the scale room and shoved Ocon and had to be restrained. I love the fire and passion and of course it reminds me of Schumacher and Coulthard at Spa 1998. Get in there, Max!!

Brazilian GP Results

POSDRIVERCARLAPSGAP
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes711h27m09.066s
2Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault711.469s
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari714.764s
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault715.193s
5Valtteri BottasMercedes7122.943s
6Sebastian VettelFerrari7126.997s
7Charles LeclercSauber/Ferrari7144.199s
8Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari7151.230s
9Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari7152.857s
10Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes701 Lap
11Brendon HartleyToro Rosso/Honda701 Lap
12Carlos SainzRenault701 Lap
13Pierre GaslyToro Rosso/Honda701 Lap
14Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Renault701 Lap
15Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes701 Lap
16Sergey SirotkinWilliams/Mercedes692 Laps
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Renault692 Laps
18Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes692 Laps
Nico HulkenbergRenault32Retirement
Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari20Retirement

Driver championship

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Lewis Hamilton383
2Sebastian Vettel302
3Kimi Raikkonen251
4Valtteri Bottas237
5Max Verstappen234
6Daniel Ricciardo158
7Nico Hulkenberg69
8Sergio Perez58
9Kevin Magnussen55
10Fernando Alonso50
11Esteban Ocon49
12Carlos Sainz45
13Romain Grosjean35
14Charles Leclerc33
15Pierre Gasly29
16Stoffel Vandoorne12
17Marcus Ericsson9
18Lance Stroll6
19Brendon Hartley4
20Sergey Sirotkin1

Constructor championship

POSCONSTRUCTORPOINTS
1Mercedes620
2Ferrari553
3Red Bull/Renault392
4Renault114
5Haas/Ferrari90
6McLaren/Renault62
7Force India/Mercedes48
8Sauber/Ferrari42
9Toro Rosso/Honda33
10Williams/Mercedes7
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.

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The Late Idi Amin
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The Late Idi Amin

good race, Liberty has finally found a winning formula.

Ron Kenwood
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Ron Kenwood

“Sins of the father” Brazil, 2001, Jos Verstappen clipped Juan Pablo Montoya just when the Colombian was on track to win the race after an epic pass on Michael Schumacher.

jtr
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jtr

Max Verstappen of the day: Esteban Ocon

jiji the cat
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jiji the cat

LOL, Ocon maxed Max

jtr
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jtr

It cracked me up when Mercedes pitted Bottas late to respond to Vettel’s late second pit stop. Vettel was way too far back to possibly threaten the podium at that point. Mercedes has been so good at using Bottas to block Vettel that they even do it when it doesn’t matter at all.