A season almost complete, with 20 races and errors without number, to finish like this, with that unfortunate picture of the two Ferrari out of combat in Interlagos. After an absolutely crazy race, Sebastian Vettel caused the puncture of Charles Leclerc to embarrass millions of 'tifosi' across the planet. The victory ended up in the hands of Max Verstappen, author of a handful of formidable duels against Lewis Hamilton, surpassed in the last meters by Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso). Separate chapter deserved Carlos Sainz, with an exceptional comeback from the last place of the grid to the fourth in the goal.
An unforgettable Brazilian GP for the McLaren leader, who knew how to beat copper in precarious conditions. He even touched the podium after the last goodbye of Alexander Albon, who almost always leads Hamilton. An unbeatable brooch to an almost perfect championship. Awaiting the final decision of the commissioners on the Hamilton maneuver, his career, dyed epic, deserves all the awards.
In the first meters, Carlos had surpassed Robert Kubica, George Russell and Daniil Kvyat, although his most aggressive and brilliant maneuver came in the fifth round, with a fabulous interior in curve 1 before Sergio Pérez. With Daniel Ricciardo in the peephole, he was also favored by the nth accident caused by Kevin Magnussen, which forced the Australian to change the front wing.
Raikkonen in the peephole
After 27 laps, taking advantage of the steps of his rivals through the garages, Carlos climbed to seventh position. "I will not last long there," he admitted on the radio, before his only stop, to mount the intermediate tires. His most realistic goal seemed Kimi Raikkonen, wanting to please the staff in his 312th Grand Prix, which matches the record of Fernando Alonso. The forecasts were fulfilled to the point that it was the veteran of Alfa Romeo who saw the last in the goal the rear wing of the MCL-34.
On Sunday he had gone crazy with the safety car unleashed after the Ferrari accident six laps from the end. Leclerc won the game to Vettel and the furious reaction of the German triggered the double abandonment. The face of the German in the grass and that of Mattia Binotto on the wall while the crane removed the car is the image of Ferrari in 2019. A team shattered.
Vettel, in his centenary of red, had been intimidated by Hamilton in the first braking while Verstappen took advantage of the clear horizon to fly alone. In spite of everything, the hexacampeón endured the first relay following its trail to little more than two seconds.
The usual clouds over Sao Paulo, without risk of rain and with 49ºC on the asphalt, threatened to reduce Mercedes' performance. Nothing of that. Hamilton's ax, after the first change of tires, rounded a cathedral undercut on Verstappen, also hindered by Robert Kubica at the exit of the pit lane. The irregularity of the Polish received five seconds of punishment.
The strategic dilemma between one and two stops was then clarified. Hamilton and Verstappen repeated with the red shoes, while Vettel, Leclerc and Bottas mounted a harder compound that could hold up to the checkered flag. Or so it seemed then.
Always looking for incentives, Hamilton then gave Verstappen the best moments of the afternoon. His pride was hurt after being overtaken by the Dutchman. "Come on guys, let me know when the batteries have died," he snapped at his engineers before returning the favor, with a spectacular exterior, to the Red Bull.
The red shoes did not fit the performance of the Mercedes and Hamilton started with his whining. "We should have mounted the media," he said before complaining about the unpredictable bursts that made driving difficult. But it wasn't going to be the wind that frustrated Mercedes, but the heat that was already beginning to be felt in the Bottas engine.
It was the first break of the Silver Arrows since June 2018 and a 'safety car' that really encouraged Sunday. The auction, with the fierce resistance of Verstappen and the appearance of Gasly out of nowhere, was also up to par. And there are still hours of Sunday for the commissioners to decide on the controversial episode between Hamilton and Albon that can push the podium to Sainz.
According to the criteria of The Trust ProjectKnow more
- Formula 1
- Mercedes GP
- Red bull racing
F1Bottas takes the 'pole' and Hamilton disappoints: "It has been a total disaster"
F1Verstappen does the 'pole', but does not keep track of the account
F1 Hamilton's "zero emissions" stoke the debate over the environment