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Mercedes wraps up constructors’ title as Hamilton wins Brazil GP

12th Nov 2018 5:05 pm

Drama-filled Brazilian GP saw Verstappen spin out of the lead after making contact with lapped Ocon, handing the win to Hamilton.

After securing the 2018 drivers’ championship at the previous race in Mexico, Lewis Hamilton continued his dominant form by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, it wasn’t a straightforward victory for the Mercedes driver – Max Verstappen emerged as a favourite to win the race, only to spin out of the lead after colliding with Esteban Ocon.

Hamilton had maintained his pole advantage at the start as Valtteri Bottas jumped Vettel for 2nd place. But Verstappen swiftly made his way past both Ferrari drivers and then overtook Bottas for 2nd place on lap 10. Mercedes decided to pit both of its drivers early, with Hamilton stopping for fresh medium tyres on lap 19 and Bottas following suit on the next lap.

Verstappen stayed out until lap 36 and emerged just behind Hamilton after his pit-stop, but was able to take advantage of his fresher and faster tyres to blast past Hamilton on the start-finish straight with 31 laps to go. With Mercedes protecting Hamilton's engine, that should have set Verstappen up a relatively simple run to the flag; but his winning bid unravelled a few laps later.

Attempting to unlap himself, Ocon fought back into Turn 1 to the outside of Verstappen and then held firm as the track went back to the right. Ocon did not back out and Verstappen turned in, the resulting contact spinning both and leaving Verstappen with floor damage – although he was lucky to only lose a place to Hamilton. Ocon, on the other hand, was handed a 10sec stop-go penalty for the incident.

Verstappen was able to gradually cut into Hamilton's 5sec advantage over the rest of the race, but the British racer was just able to hang on, despite voicing engine concerns and complaining of a lack of grip later on.

Kimi Räikkönen grabbed the final podium spot after passing Bottas into Turn 1, just as Verstappen was being taken out. The Finn looked to be the stronger of the Ferraris throughout the race, with the team later confirming that a sensor problem compromised the race for his teammate, Vettel.

Ricciardo put on an impressive performance to finish 4th after starting down in 11th place due to an engine penalty. He was followed by Bottas and Vettel in 5th and 6th place, respectively. Hamilton’s win and Bottas’ 5th-place finish handed Mercedes enough points to wrap-up the constructors’ title in Brazil – the team’s 5th consecutive championship victory.

Charles Leclerc took 7th for Sauber, finishing comfortably clear of Romain Grosjean's Haas after passing teammate Marcus Ericsson at the start. Kevin Magnussen finished in 9th place, with Sergio Pérez rounding up the top 10.

Race results

POS

DRIVER

CAR

LAPS

GAP

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

71

1h27m09.066s

2

Max Verstappen

Red Bull/Renault

71

1.469s

3

Kimi Räikkönen

Ferrari

71

4.764s

4

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull/Renault

71

5.193s

5

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

71

22.943s

6

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

71

26.997s

7

Charles Leclerc

Sauber/Ferrari

71

44.199s

8

Romain Grosjean

Haas/Ferrari

71

51.230s

9

Kevin Magnussen

Haas/Ferrari

71

52.857s

10

Sergio Pérez

Force India/Mercedes

70

1 Lap

11

Brendon Hartley

Toro Rosso/Honda

70

1 Lap

12

Carlos Sainz Jr

Renault

70

1 Lap

13

Pierre Gasly

Toro Rosso/Honda

70

1 Lap

14

Esteban Ocon

Force India/Mercedes

70

1 Lap

15

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren/Renault

70

1 Lap

16

Sergey Sirotkin

Williams/Mercedes

69

2 Laps

17

Fernando Alonso

McLaren/Renault

69

2 Laps

18

Lance Stroll

Williams/Mercedes

69

2 Laps

-

Nico Hülkenberg

Renault

32

Overheating

-

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber/Ferrari

20

Accident

 

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