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Brazilian GP 2018

NOVEMBER 11, 2018

Race Notes - Hamilton wins Brazil

Lewis Hamilton, Brazilian GP 2018
© RV Press

By Mark Karp

Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian GP, at Interlagos today, in his Mercedes GP, repassing Max Verstappen for the lead after the Red Bull made contact with a backmarker, and finished in second place, 1.4 seconds ahead. Kimir Raikkonen in his Ferrari held off the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo to finish third, 4.7s behind the winner.

Mercedes clinches the Constuctors’ championship. Hamilton scores his 72nd career victory, and 133rd career podium.

Ricciardo (5.1s) finished in fourth, followed by Valtteri Bottas (22.9s) in the second Mercedes was fifth, Sebastian Vettel (26.9s) in the Ferrari was sixth, Charles Leclerc (44.1s) in the Sauber-Ferrari was seventh, Romain Grosjean (51.2s) in the Haas-Ferrari was eighth, his team mate Kevin Magnussen (52.8s) was ninth and Sergio Perez (1 lap) in the Force India-Mercedes finished in the final points position in tenth place.

Before the start the weather was cloudy, but with the unpertidicable nature of the weather here, there could always be rain during the race.

Hamilton sits on his 82nd pole, with Vettel alongside on the front row, Bottas and Raikkonen on row two, Verstappen and Marcus Ericsson on row three, Leclerc and Grosjean on row four and Pierre Gasly and Magnussen rounding out the top ten,

The top ten on supersoft tyres, except Vettel and Raikkonen starting on soft tyres, so they can probably run 7-10 laps longer on the first stint. Magnussen and all drivers starting 13th and behind also starting on soft tyres.

At the appointed time the grid formed and the lights went out and the race began with Hamilton on pole taking the lead, Bottas going around the outside of Vettel into turn one to take second, followed by Vettel, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Leclerc, Grosjean, Gasly, Ricciardo and Ericsson.

On lap 2 Ricciardo passes Ericsson for ninth place.

The two Renaults are battling.

On lap 3 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m14.517s as he passes Raikkonen into turn one for fourth place.

On lap 4 Verstappen passes Vettel into turn one for third, then on the run down the hill Vettel runs wide and Raikkonen passes him for fourth.

Ricciardo passes Leclerc for sixth place.

On lap 6 Hamilton leads Bottas by two seconds.

Verstappen closes on Bottas in second place.

The Ferrari’s - on soft tyres - are starting to come back, and Raikkonen and Vettel closing ahead.

On lap 9 Verstappen passes Bottas into the first corner for second place.

At lap 10 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 2.0 seconds, followed by Bottas (3.8s), Raikkonen (4.4s), Vettel (5.0s), Ricciardo (5.9s), Leclerc (8.8s), Grosjean (11.0s), Gasly (18.4s) and Magnussen (18.9s) in tenth place.

Raikkonen makes an attempt to pass Bottas, but is not able to pull it off.

Verstappen is closing on leader Hamilton.

Raikkonen and Vettel follow closely behind Bottas in third place.

Verstappen tells Red Bull that Hamilton is sliding more than he is.

On lap 15 Esteban Ocon passes Fernando Alonso for 14th. Alonso pits.

Raikkonen continue to look for a way to pass Bottas.

On lap 16 Sergey Sirotkin pits for soft tyres.

On lap 18 Bottas pits from third for medium tyres and reoins in ninth.

Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m13.599s.

Hamilton pits from the lead the next lap for medium tyres as well, and rejoins in seventh.

On lap 20 Verstappen sets another fast lap at 1m13.429s.

At lap 20 Verstappen leads Raikkonen by 7.9 seconds, followed by Vettel (9.8s), Ricciardo (11.1s), Leclerc (15.6s), Hamilton (17.5s), Grosjean (20.4s), Magnussen (24.2s), Bottas (25.1s) and Perez (33.3s) in tenth.

Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m13.025s.

Ericsson spins and then retires in the pits.

Gasly pits for soft tyres. Bottas passes Magnussen for eighth.

Hamilton passes Leclerc for fifth.

On lap 25 Carlos Sainz pits for soft tyres and runs in 16th.

Verstappen complains on the radio that the backmarkers are “a bit of a pain.”

On lap 27 Vettel pits from third for medium tyres and rejoins in ninth place.

Hamilton tells the team, “we stopped too early,,, have ew lost ground on Verstappen?”

Alonso tells McLaren, “no more radio for the rest of the race!”

On lap 31 Raikkonen pits from fourth for medium tyres and rejoins in seventh.

Stoffel Vandoorne and Alonso battle for 18th place.

On lap 32 Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg both pit.

Verstappen, still yet to pit, is maintaining the gap back to Hamilton in third place.

Hulkenberg pits and retires.

Bottas, Raikkonen and Vettel are running closely.

On lap 35 Verstappen pits from the lead for soft tyres and reoins behind Ricciardo in the lead, and Hamilton in second.

Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m12.532s.

At lap 38, Ricciardo, yet to pit, leads Hamilton by 9.5 seconds, followed by Verstappen (10.1s), Bottas (16.9s), Raikkonen (17.8s), Vettel (18.9s), Magnussen (28.3s), Leclerc (33.3s), Grosjean (35.4s) and Ocon (47.4s) in tenth place.

On lap 38 Verstappen sets fast lap at 1m12.143s.

Ricciardo pits for soft tyres, and rejoins in sixth.

On lap 40 Verstappen passes Hamilton for the lead into the first corner.

On lap 41 Magnussen pits for supersoft tyres.

Ricciardo sets fast lap at 1m11.608s, and closes on Vetttel in fifth place, and tries a move in turn one, but can’t pull it off.

On lap lap 44 Verstappen passes down the inside of Ocon into the first corner, but the two touch in turn two. Verstappen spins, and then continues, but loses the lead to Hamilton.

Raikkonen passes Bottas for third place.

On lap 46 Ricciardo passes Vettel for fifth place.

Bottas complains of a blister on his left rear tyre.

Verstappen complains of floor damage after his contact with Ocon.

Ricciardo is closing on Bottas in fourth.

At lap 50, Hamilton leads Verstappen by 4.4 seconds, followed by Raikonen (5.5s), Bottas (8.9s), Ricciardo (9.8s), Vettel (13.4s), Leclerc (13.5s), Grosjean (35.1s), Magnussen (41.6s) and Sergio Perez (59.0s) in tenth place.

Sainz passs Ocon for 13th place.

Mercedes has turned down the engine settings on Hamilton’s car with fears of making the engine last - Verstappen is nibbling away at the lead.

On lap 53 Vettel pits for supersoft tyres and rejoins in seventh behind Leclerc.

Hamilton has a blistered left front tyre, Hamilton asks “are other people struggling on tyres?”

Verstappen has closed to 3.4 seconds behind Hamilton.

On lap 56 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m11.402s.

Ocon is handed a 10-second penalty for the incident with Verstappen.

On lap 59 Ricciardo passes Bottas into the first corner for fourth place.

Bottas pits for new medium tyres and rejoins still in fifth.

At lap 60 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 3.2 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (5.4s), Ricciardo (8.6s), Bottas (31.9s), Vettel (33.5s), Leclerc (38.7s), Grosjean (44.5s), Magnussen (48.5s) and Perez (65.8s) in tenth place.

Vettel sets fast lap at 1m11.362s.

Vandoorne passes Sirotkin for 14th place.

On lap 62 Ricciardo sets fast lap at 1m11.343s, and is closing on Raikkonen in third place.

On lap 65 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m10.540s.

On lap 69 Alonso is handed a 5-second penalty for ignoring the blue flags.

Hamilton holds on to win over Verstappen and Raikkonen.