German pilot obtains his fifth victory of this season at Interlagos. Even if it is not important for the championship, it is nice to improve Ferrari’s spirits.
Sebastian Vettel gave back a bit of optimism to his supporters after the disappointment of Singapore. In the circuit of Interlagos, he gets his fifth victory making this season a good one. It is true the first part of this year, gave an ideas of a possibility to win the championship but after Baku things did not work-out like desired. There is a satisfaction to have been capable to obtain the same amount of victories than the year 2010. That year, Fernando Alonso finished second behind Vettel, the winner of that championship.
Vettel started from the second place on the grid, he attacked immediately Bottas inside the first turn. Mercedes’ pilot was forced to give-up leaving the leadership. Vettel tried to create a big gap but this action was frustrated by a safety car called out after a crash between Ocon and Grosejan. Now, it is clear that his Ferrari was not fast enough to leave Bottas behind. Restart was done at lap number six, Sebastian made another attempt to leave behind the Finnish pilot but in the third sector the power of W08 Mercedes was reducing the distance from the Ferrari.
The four time champion was not capable to drop his follower and suddenly Mercedes played the undercut option. They called in Bottas before Sebastian but this time the trick did not work-out. Ferrari’s pilot came in to make his pit-stop next lap and thank to a very short time used to change his tyres (2,1 seconds for Ferrari and 2,7 seconds for Mercedes), he stayed ahead keeping the leadership.
After his first pit-stop, Sebastian did 40 laps leading but without having the priviledge to make any mistake. At the end, after the chequered flag Vettel thanked his team with his classical:
“Thank you guy… Come on, Ferrari”
On the podium, we saw even Felipe Massa who did his last race in F1 at Interlagos but Vettel was very excited:
“During start, I was capable to keep inside at the first turn and after the safety car I gave whatever I could to be fast.
We pushed during 65 laps and I think this victory was very special, even for the guy at Maranello.
It was tough in the last two weeks but it is nice to be here with two cars on the podium.
A difficult success because everybody got the same pace and to create a distance with the others, it was quite difficult. Safety car did not help to manage the leadership but we did it, even if I think we got less speed than Mercedes. It was not funny to see Valtteri Bottas always on my mirrors in the first and third sector.
It has been one of the most difficult race, there was not space and I could not do any mistake.
It is an important victory for me and my team. Last weeks have been really complicated for the team, forced to work late at night.
I want to dedicate this victory to the guys of Maranello. This is a wonderful day here as well as at Maranello.
I hope we can do something good at Abu Dhabi,too”
In doubt until the end for Raikkonen because Hamilton was doing a great recovery but at the end the Finnish got a nice third place. Finally, the British pilot accepted a fourth place after starting from the pit-lane. Red Bull Racing did not perform a great race, Verstappen fifth while our Ricciardo finished 6th after an unlucky spin during start because he has been hit by Vandoorne.
There was four cars which did a drop-out: Vandoorne, Magnussen, Ocon and Hartley. We will see if they are going to have more luck in the last race of this season, the one at Abu Dhabi in about two weeks.