Nico Rosberg secured his thirteenth career victory and the fifth of the season as he led Lewis Hamilton to the eleventh Mercedes AMG PETRONAS 1-2 finish of the season around Interlagos on Sunday.
Rosberg maintained his lead from pole position at the start from Hamilton and was never truly troubled by his team-mate, securing second place in the drivers’ championship in the process. Hamilton made several attempts to close the gap but found his tyres suffering as a result of being so close, and eventually was forced to settle for second.
Sebastian Vettel clinched the final podium position in front of his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finnish driver the last driver to finish on the lead lap as Mercedes dominated.
Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas finished fifth, having jumped into that position from seventh on the grid at the start, and thus, along with team-mate Felipe Massa‘s low-key finish in eighth, secured third position in the Constructors Championship for William ahead of Red Bull.
Sixth went to the Sahara Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, who secured another strong result for the team, with the German driver holding off the challenge of Infiniti Red Bull Racing‘s Daniil Kvyat until the chequered flag.
Behind fans favourite Massa in eighth was Romain Grosjean, who drove a strong race to finish in his Lotus to climb up to ninth, and after a great battle he finished ahead of the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Dutch teenager Max Verstappen who secured the final point. Verstappen was responsible for a number of highly impressive overtakes during the race, including one around the outside of turn one and the inside of turn two on Sergio Perez.
It was a tough day Verstappen’s team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, who had a problem with his car on the way to the grid when it cut out on him as he made a practice start and had to start from the pit lane. He was able to start but retired less than halfway around the first lap as his car cut out a second time.
Just missing out on points in eleventh was Pastor Maldonado, who was forced to take a five second penalty during his second pit stop after clashing with the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson as the two battled for position into turn one, while the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo finished just behind him having started from the back row of the grid following a pre-race engine change.
Perez ended the race in thirteenth in the second Force India, ahead of the Sauber of Felipe Nasr, who gambled on a two-stop strategy but saw it fail to work as he dropped a number of positions over the closing laps after running as high as ninth.
McLaren-Honda drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both completed the race, albeit down in fifteenth and sixteenth, ahead only of the delayed Ericsson and the two Manor F1 Team drivers, Will Stevens finally finishing ahead of Alexander Rossi at the fifth time of asking.
But no one could touch Rosberg and Mercedes after a sublime display of pace in Brazil.
Interlagos Race Result
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Williams/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|6||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|7||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull/Renault||+1 Lap|
|8||19||Felipe Massa||BRZ||Williams/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|9||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Lotus/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|10||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Toro Rosso/Renault||+1 Lap|
|11||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull/Renault||+1 Lap|
|12||13||Pastor Maldonado||VEN||Lotus/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|14||12||Felipe Nasr||BRZ||Sauber/Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|15||22||Jenson Button||GBR||McLaren/Honda||+1 Lap|
|16||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren/Honda||+1 Lap|
|17||9||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Sauber/Ferrari||+2 Laps|
|18||98||Will Stevens||GBR||Marussia/Ferrari||+4 Laps|
|19||53||Alexander Rossi||USA||Marussia/Ferrari||+4 Laps|
|RET||55||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Toro Rosso/Renault||Retired|