Vettel victorious as Hamilton recovers to fourth

Sebastian Vettel leads the field in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel produced a faultless drive to overcome Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas to win the Brazilian Grand Prix.

A brave move at the start on polesitter Bottas proved crucial as the Ferrari driver took the lead which he held for the majority of the 71 lap contest at Interlagos.

Vettel faced a challenge from Bottas when the Finn attempted an undercut at the first round of stops.

However, Vettel managed to fend off the Mercedes driver before going on to take the chequered flag.

Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium ahead of a charging Lewis Hamilton, who scythed his way through the field after starting from the pitlane, following an engine change after a crash in qualifying.

Hamilton briefly held the lead having elected for a long opening stint, before rejoining the race in fifth after his one and only stop.

The newly crowned four-time world champion did however benefit from a crazy opening lap which saw the deployment of the Safety Car.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1) and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo were involved in a coming together at the Senna esses.

Magnussen made contact with Vandoorne who then pitched Ricciardo into a spin, which dropped the Australian to the rear of the pack. The incident was set to be investigated after the race.

Vandoorne and Magnussen were eliminated on the spot with the pair joined by Force India’s Esteban Ocon when he and Romain Grosjean (Haas F1) collided at Turn 6.

Grosjean managed to escape the incident but was handed a 10 second penalty by the stewards.

After avoiding significant damage, Ricciardo, who started from 14th due to an engine penalty, delivered a series of impressive overtaking moves to climb from the back of the grid to sixth.

Team-mate Max Verstappen endured a relatively lonely race to fifth.

Local hero Felipe Massa managed to hold off Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Sergio Perez (Force India) to finish seventh in his final Brazilian Grand Prix before retiring from F1 at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 for Renault.

New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley joined Vandoorne, Magnussen and Ocon on the list of retirements when his Toro Rosso suffered a suspected mechanical fault on lap 42.

The championship heads to Abu Dhabi for the season finale from November 24-26.

Result: Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Position Driver Car Gap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 71 Laps
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 2.762s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 4.600s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 5.468s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 32.940s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 48.691s
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m08.882s
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m09.363s
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m09.500s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 Lap
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1 Lap
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 2 Laps
16 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 2 Laps
DNF Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
DNF Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda Collision
DNF Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari Collision
DNF Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes Collision

Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 345
2 Sebastian Vettel 302
3 Valtteri Bottas 280
4 Daniel Ricciardo 200
5 Kimi Raikkonen 193
6 Max Verstappen 158
7 Sergio Perez 94
8 Esteban Ocon 83
9 Carlos Sainz 54
10 Felipe Massa 42
11 Lance Stroll 40
12 Nico Hulkenberg 35
13 Romain Grosjean 28
14 Kevin Magnussen 19
15 Fernando Alonso 15
16 Stoffel Vandoorne 13
17 Jolyon Palmer 8
18 Pascal Wehrlein 5
19 Daniil Kvyat 5
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Pierre Gasly 0
22 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
23 Brendon Hartley 0

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