Brazilian Grand prix: Verstappen – Gasli – SainzNovember 19, 2019
To the Brazilian Grand Prix, the fate of the champion title and the holder of the Cup of designers were decided, but the struggle for the remaining positions continued. On a short circle, the results were traditionally dense. The riders of the three strongest teams were the leaders in training, on Friday – Elbon and Vettel, on Saturday morning – Hamilton, and Verstappen dominated in the qualification.
The first three turned out to be unique. Verstappen – Vettel – Hamilton – in this order these racers have not started yet, and the lack of team tasks – the strongest teams guaranteed themselves a place in the Constructors’ Championship, untied their hands.
Charles Lecler lost ten places at the start for replacing the engine and started the race on the 14th, Carlos Sainz did not complete the qualifying round, was allowed to start by the decision of the stewards and was the last to start.
From the first row of the starting field, Ferstappen and Vettel started the race, from the second – Hamilton and Bottas, from the third – Elbon and Gasley. Daniil Kvyat again lost to his partner and started only 16th.
Tires brought the toughest compounds to Interlagos – the tires C1, C2 and C3 were used in the roles of Hard, Medium and Soft. The race day was the warmest during the weekend, the long series of laps on Friday racers drove in cool weather, so I had to experiment with the strategy. Riccardo, Hulkenberg, Leclair, Quat, Russell and Kubica started at Medium, the rest chose Soft for the first segment.
At the start, there were no incidents. Verstappen retained leadership, Hamilton ahead of Vettel, rising to second place. Leclair overtook Norris.
The top ten on the 2nd round: Verstappen – Hamilton – Vettel – Bottas – Elbon – Gasli – Grosjean – Raikkonen – Magnussen – Leclair.
On the 4th lap, Leclair was ahead of Magnussen, Raikkonen – Grosjean, Sainz – Perez, rising to 15th place.
On the 5th lap, Leclair was ahead of Grosjean in the fight for ninth place. Both Haas F1 riders rolled back due to traditional tire temperature problems.
On the 7th lap, Leclair overtook Raikkonen, climbing to seventh place.
On the 8th lap, Riccardo and Magnussen clashed in a fight for a position. Kevin deployed, and Daniel broke the front wing and turned into the pits to replace him. After considering the circumstances of this incident, the stewards punished Riccardo with a five-second fine.
On the 10th lap, Leclair overtook Gasley, climbing to sixth place.
The top ten on the 10th lap: Verstappen – Hamilton – Vettel – Bottas – Elbon – Lecler – Gasli – Raikkonen – Grosjean – Giovinazzi.
On the 18th lap Perez changed tires, on the 21st lap Hamilton, Giovinazzi and Kubica. Verstappen was immediately called into the pits, on the 22nd lap he pit-stop, but Kubica prevented him from the pit lane – and Max returned to the track behind Hamilton. Kubica was punished with a five-second fine. Raikkonen and Gasli changed tires.
Hamilton and Verstappen were ahead of Leclair, Max attacked Hamilton and went ahead.
On the 24th lap Verstappen and Hamilton ahead of Elbon. Quat changed tires.
On the 25th lap, Russell and Elbon had a pit stop, on the 26th – Vettel, on the 27th – Bottas and Grosjean, on the 28th – Norris, Hulkenberg and Magnussen, on the 29th – Stroll, on 30- m – Sainz.
The top ten on the 30th lap: Verstappen – Hamilton – Vettel – Bottas – Elbon – Lecler – Gasli – Raikkonen – Giovinazzi – Perez.
On the 42nd lap, Riccardo and Bottas had a pit stop, on the 44th – Hamilton, on the 45th – Verstappen, returning to the track ahead of Lewis.
On the 46th lap, Hulkenberg and Perez changed tires, on the 47th – Giovinazzi and Quat, on the 48th – Gasli and Raikkonen.
At lap 52, Bottas stopped the car on the grass due to loss of oil pressure – the first race in the race.
On the 54th lap, a safety car drove out – otherwise, Bottas’s car could not be evacuated.
Verstappen, Norris, Stroll, Magnussen, Leclair and Hulkenberg turned into boxes for fresh tires.
Hulkenberg overtook under the yellow flags – and received a five-second penalty.
The top ten behind the safety car: Hamilton – Verstappen – Vettel – Elbon – Leclair – Gasli – Grosjean – Sainz – Raikkonen – Giovinazzi.
On the 59th lap they announced a restart. Verstappen beat Hamilton, Elbon – Vettel, Riccardo – Grosjean. Verstappen on fresh tires quickly came off.
The top ten on the 62nd lap: Verstappen – Hamilton – Elbon – Vettel – Leclair – Gasley – Sainz – Raikkonen – Giovinazzi – Riccardo.
On lap 64, Stroll was ahead of Magnussen and Grosjean, rising to 14th place.
At the 66th lap, Ferrari racers made contact in the fight for a position – Vettel hit Leclair’s car – and both left the race. A safety car drove out.
Hamilton turned into the pits, returning to the track fourth. Stroll drove through the wreckage of a Ferrari and retreated with a damaged suspension.
The top ten behind the safety car: Verstappen – Elbon – Gasli – Hamilton – Saints – Raikkonen – Giovinazzi – Riccardo – Norris – Perez.
Two laps to the finish line announced a restart. Hamilton got ahead of Gasley, attacked Elbon – and the cars collided. Alex rolled back, and Hamilton continued to move, letting through Gasley, whom he fought to the last meters.
Max Verstappen won the Grand Prix of Brazil, having won the eighth career victory, the third of the season – and rising to third place in the individual standings.
Pierre Gasley finished second, rising to the podium for the first time in his career. Honda motorists have a winning double!
Lewis Hamilton finished third, but after the race he apologized to Elbon for the collision and received a fine from the stewards with an increase of five seconds, dropping to seventh place.
The third place in the protocol went to Carlos Sainz – for the rider and for McLaren this is the best result of the season.
Both Alfa Romeo drivers earned points – for the team this is the best race of the year.
Two weeks later, the 2019 season will finish the race in Abu Dhabi.
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