RESULTS: Brazilian Grand Prix - Race results

Lewis Hamilton kept his composure in treacherous conditions to claim a tense win in a twice-red flagged Brazilian Grand Prix, but second for Nico Rosberg keeps him on course for the title in the Abu Dhabi showdown.

With wet conditions throughout at Interlagos, the race was started behind the safety car and stopped twice - following a crash for Kimi Raikkonen and because of heavier rain -, but Hamilton would stay out front from lights-to-flag as rivals squabbled behind.

A superb performance in terrible conditions by the defending champion, Rosberg by contrast endured a more troubled afternoon as he struggled to keep pace with his Mercedes team-mate and instead spent more time battling with Max Verstappen, a tussle that left him third at points in the race.

However, he would do enough to secure second when his Red Bull rival lost ground due to an erroneous pit strategy... even if it would prompt a quite astonishing fight back to third by the young Dutchman.

It means Rosberg heads into the final round of the 2016 Formula 1 season with a 12 point lead over Hamilton knowing a third place finish is enough to crown him champion in Abu Dhabi.

With persistent rain falling from the morning and no let-up in the forecast predicted until long into the evening, the measure of the conditions was tested even before the race had started when Romain Grosjean - starting from seventh - crashed on his way to the grid coming up the hill to the final corner.

Prompting a 10min delay, the race as expected started under safety car conditions but would be underway properly on lap nine with Hamilton quickly sprinting away from Rosberg, while Verstappen instantly put a move on Kimi Raikkonen to claim third.

With streams across the undulating circuit causing particular problems up the hill towards the final turn, Sebastian Vettel was the first time to fall foul when he lost control from fifth and turned around. Despite staying out the wall, a pit-stop straight away would drop him down the order.

However, the race was brought under the safety car on lap 13 when Marcus Ericsson crashed towards the final kink on the home straight, bunching the field up with Hamilton leading Rosberg, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.

The race restarted on lap 18 only to be almost instantly red flagged after Raikkonen aquaplaned into the outside wall on the home straight, bouncing back across the inside wall. Fortunately avoided by the oncoming pack, Raikkonen was unhurt but the race would be halted as a result.

POINTS: The F1 Drivers' & Constructors' standings after the Brazilian GP

With rain still falling, racing got back underway behind the safety car 25mins later only to be red flagged again after just eight slow laps later over concerns the rain was set to get heavier again. With fans booing and some drivers perplexed by another stoppage, the race did eventually restart from lap 28, once more under the safety car.

This time it would be a quick safety car period, the drivers going back to racing speed on lap 31 of 71 with Hamilton once more pushing on but Verstappen planting a superb pass around the outside of turn three on Rosberg.

With the top two up front multiplying their advantage, so began Verstappen's eventful final portion of the race, the Dutchman losing control of his Red Bull coming onto the home straight on lap 37, drifting into a half spin and just avoiding the barrier. Getting the car pointed in the right direction, he set off again, remarkably without losing position to Rosberg.

Verstappen would be in the pits on lap 43 to fit intermediate tyres though - three laps after Ricciardo had also pitted - as Red Bull attempted to roll the dice with its strategy, dropping them down the order again.

However, Red Bull's efforts would be undone by strengthening rain in the ensuing laps, Verstappen and Ricciardo unable to lap faster than their wet-shod counterparts.

When Felipe Massa crashed on lap 48 - bringing his final Brazilian Grand Prix to a heart-breaking and hugely emotional end - to prompt another safety car, both Ricciardo and Verstappen were forced to pit again for wet tyres, dropping them to 11th and 14th respectively.

The race restarted again on lap 56 of 71 with Hamilton still leading Rosberg, benefiting from Verstappen slipping out of contention, with Sergio Perez now up to third from Carlos Sainz and Felipe Nasr, each driver ascending to lofty positions having opted at no point attempted to pit under racing conditions.

With Hamilton quickly getting the hammer down and Rosberg stretching from Perez, attention instead turned to the Red Bulls further back, particularly Verstappen as he quickly began scything past his rivals in an incredible display of driving.

Fearlessly passing drivers at a rate of almost one car per lap, the sensational performance over the final 15 laps would see the Dutchman climb all the way to an unlikely third place finish, earning him huge cheers from the sizeable Brazilian crowd.

Up front, Hamilton completed a superb ninth win of the season, but with Rosberg following up 11secs behind the German remains comfortably on course for the title if Abu Dhabi goes to form.

Behind Verstappen, despite missing out on the podium, Perez's fourth all but assures Force India fourth in the constructors' standings as Williams failed to score, while Vettel fought his way back up to fifth place - albeit not before complaining that Verstappen forced him off track at Juncao. Behind him, Carlos Sainz secured a faultless run to sixth for Toro Rosso from 15th on the grid.

Running ahead of Perez early on in the race, an unscheduled stop for tyres for Nico Hulkenberg scuppered his hopes of a main podium but he recover to seventh, while Ricciardo couldn't come close to matching his team-mate's charge up the order on new wet tyres as he settled for eighth.

Running as high as fifth at one point, Nasr slipped back to ninth but still able to score his and Sauber's first points of the season in what could prove a crucial result for the Swiss team. With the two points taking it past Manor for the 10th in the constructors' standings, Sauber could be on course for a major pay day in Abu Dhabi.

A galling result for Manor given Esteban Ocon also ran up in the points for much of the race, only to slip back with a handful of laps remaining to finish 12th, he was ultimately beaten to the top ten by a recovering Alonso.

As well as Grosjean, Raikkonen, Ericsson and Massa, Jolyon Palmer retired after colliding with Daniil Kvyat whilst under the safety car, while Esteban Gutierrez retired with mechanical problems, the Mexican - who was this weekend confirmed as dropped from the Haas team - demonstrating his evident frustration in the garage.

Latest Tweets from & GPF1rst


Loading Comments...