Hamilton wins in Brazil as Verstappen clashes with Ocon

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 Brazilian GP ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who clashed with Force India’s Esteban Ocon whilst lapping the Frenchman and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. With Valterri Bottas finishing in 5th, Mercedes are crowned the 2018 Constructors Champions and win it for the 5th year in a row.

11/11/18

Qualifying Result

1.Hamilton  2.Vettel  3.Bottas  4.Raikkonen  5.Verstappen  6.Ericsson  7.Leclerc  8.Grosjean  9.Gasly  10.Magnussen  11.Ricciardo*  12.Perez  13.Hulkenberg  14.Sirotkin  15.Sainz  16.Hartley  17.Alonso  18.Ocon*8  19.Stroll  20.Vandoorne

Ricciardo* handed five-place grid penalty for turbocharger change on engine.

Ocon* five-place grid penalty for replacing gearbox.

Race

Having wrapped up the Drivers Championship last time out in Mexico, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes hope to wrap up the Constructors Championship today and with Hamilton on Pole and team-mate Valterri Bottas lining up in 3rd, the odds for Mercedes to take their 5th Consecutive Teams Championship is highly likely. Mercedes will take the championship today if Ferrari don’t out-score them by 13 points.

However, there is a difference on strategy. Both Ferrari drivers of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will start on the Soft compound tyre whereas Hamilton and Bottas will start on the Supersoft tyre. Outside the top 10, Sergio Perez will start on the Supersoft, Brendon Hartley on the Medium tyre and the rest on the Soft tyre.

The lights go out and its a good start by Lewis Hamilton as well for Sebastian Vettel but the German suffers a slight lock-up which allows Valtteri Bottas to overtake him to make it a Mercedes 1-2. Max Verstappen is able to overtake Kimi Raikkonen for 4th but the Finn fights back on lap 2 into turn 4. Lap 3, Verstappen now overtakes Vettel for 3rd with Raikkonen overtaking Vettel for 5th. Its also been a great start for Daniel Ricciardo,w ho started 11th, is now 7th after only 5 laps.

Lap 6, Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Valterri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Marcus Ericsson has lost 4 places from the start and is currently running in 10th. Its also been another very good start for Carlos Sainz Jr who is running in 13th from 15th. Lap 9, after getting heat into their more durable Soft tyres, both Ferrari drivers are clawing back time on Verstappen and Bottas. Lap 10, into turn 1 on the second time of asking, Verstappen overtakes Bottas down the inside to take 2nd place.

Lap 11, Kimi Raikkonen tries to overtake Valterri Bottas for 3rd place round the outside of turn 4 but Bottas fends of his fellow compatriot. Meanwhile at the front, Max Verstappen is slowly but surely catching race leader Lewis Hamilton. Lap 16, Bottas is still struggling and is still holding up Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo up. Fernando Alonso pits and goes onto the Medium tyre but its a slow stop as the Spaniard has an issue with the clutch and loses more time than he wanted.

Lap 19, Valterri Bottas pits from 3rd. The Finn goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 9th. Lap 20, Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead. He also goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 7th. After setting consecutive fastest laps, Max Verstappen is on a charge and is hoping to over-cut Hamilton. Lap 21, Marcus Ericsson spins in the 2nd Sector and that’ll end his race. Lap 24, Hamilton overtakes Charles Leclerc for 5th place as Verstappen encounters some lapped drivers. Verstappen is dragging his Supersoft tyres out for as long as he can so he can fit the Soft tyre at his pit-stop in comparison to both of the Mercedes drivers who are on the Medium tyre.

Lap 27, Sebastian Vettel pits from 3rd. He goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 9th. Lap 29, Valterri Bottas overtakes Romain Grosjean for 6th place down into turn 1. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who are running 1st and 3rd, are going very quickly with Kimi Raikkonen, from 2nd, pitting on lap 32 to the Medium tyre. He rejoins behind Bottas and Vettel in 7th. Lap 34, Nico Hulkenberg retires from the race and becomes the 2nd driver to do so.

Lap 35, if Max Verstappen pits now, he will come out behind Lewis Hamilton but will be on fresher tyres. Into turn 4, Sebastian Vettel allows Kimi Raikkonen past to see if he can challenge Valterri Bottas. Lap 36, Verstappen pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. He rejoins behind Hamilton in 3rd. It was a slower pit-stop for Verstappen than it was for Hamilton.

Lap 39, Max Verstappen has caught up to the back of Lewis Hamilton who is encountering lapped drivers and onto lap 40, Verstappen overtakes Hamilton before turn 1 and takes the race lead. Hamilton fights back into turn 4 but the Dutchman keeps the lead. Lap 40, Daniel Ricciardo pits, rejoins on the Soft tyre in 6th just behind the squabbling pair of Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen with Sebastian Vettel not far behind.

Lap 43, Daniel Ricciardo tries to go round the outside of Sebastian Vettel of turn 1 but the Ferrari driver keeps 5th place for now. Lap 44, Max Verstappen has spun after made contact with Esteban Ocon! That means that Lewis Hamilton has retaken the lead. The gap between the both after Verstappen is back up and running in now 6 seconds. Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen has overtaken Valterri Bottas for 3rd. Lap 46, Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Sebastian Vettel for 5th place round the outside of the German into turn 1. The pair run side-by-side into turn 4 but Ricciardo has the inside line and keeps 4th place.

Behind the top 6, Charles Leclerc is in 7th ahead of Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez. The Stewards are investigating the collision of Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon. Verstappen was lapping Ocon when the incident occurred. Verstappen now has serious floor damage but is told to “keep his head down” and try to catch back up to Lewis Hamilton. Lap 51, despite damage, Verstappen has closed the gap down to 4.3 seconds to Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile is now right behind Valterri Bottas in the fight for 4th. Lap 53, Sebastian Vettel pits from 6th. The German goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 7th just behind Charles Leclerc. Having gone long on his first stint on the Medium tyre, Brendon Hartley, made his first pit-stop onto the Supersoft tyre and is now running in 12th right behind Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly. Hartley started the race in 16th place.

Lap 57, Esteban Ocon has received a 10 second “stop and go” penalty from the Stewards after they found that he was at fault with the collision with Max Verstappen. Lap 59, Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Valterri Bottas for 4th place down the inside of turn 1. Lap 59, Ocon serves his 10 second “stop and go” penalty. Bottas pits from 5th and rejoins in 5th with Sebastian Vettel not far behind.

Lap 61, Max Verstappen has closed the gap down to 2.6 seconds to race leader Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen, in 3rd, is 2.2 seconds behind Verstappen with Daniel Ricciardo only 2.7 behind Raikkonen in 4th. Lap 63, Fernando Alonso is under investigation by the Stewards for ignoring blue flags. Funny that. Alonso’s McLaren team-mate, Stoffel Vandoorne, is also under investigation for ignoring blue flags.

Lap 68, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo are lapping backmarkers with the gap between Hamilton and Verstappen now at 1.3 seconds. Fernando Alonso has received a 5 second time penalty for ignoring blue flags. Onto the final lap, it looks like Lewis Hamilton is going to win today as Max Verstappen is just too far back behind. Hamilton wins ahead of Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen.

With Lewis Hamilton winning and Valterri Bottas in 5th, Mercedes take the Constructors Championship for the 5th year in a row.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 71 Laps
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +1.469s (Fans Driver of the Day)
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +4.764s (150th GP for Ferrari)
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +5.193s
  5. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +22.943s (DHL Fastest Lap Award)
  6. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +26.997s
  7. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, +44.199s
  8. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +51.230s
  9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +52.857s (First F1 points since Russian GP)
  10. Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India, + 1 Lap
  11. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  12. Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, + 1 Lap
  13. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  14. Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India, + 1 Lap
  15. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, + 1 Lap
  16. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, + 2 Laps
  17. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, + 2 Laps
  18. Lance Stroll, Williams, + 2 Laps

Alonso and Vandoorne each received a 5-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags.

  • Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, DNF
  • Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, DNF

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 383pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 302pts
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 251pts
  4. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 237pts
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 234pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes, 620pts
  2. Ferrari, 553pts
  3. Red Bull, 392pts
  4. Renault, 114pts
  5. Haas, 90pts

 

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