Thursday , January 21 2021

The Brazilian Grand Prix notebook – F1

He did not win the Brazilian Grand Prix. But the best driver on Sunday was he. Starting fifth on the grid, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) quickly ran into Vettel, Räikkönen and Bottas. Then, taking advantage of Lewis Hamilton's box-office, he took the lead of the GP. Verstappen dominates his issue so well that only a lucky shock could prevent him from winning the Grand Prix. But this hit of the lot reached the turn 43, when he left a turn, after a collision with Esteban Ocon. Overtaken by Hamilton, being with a bad car, Max Verstappen fought to the end, but finally finished second. Bored …

Daniel Ricciardo: 14/20

Like Max Verstappen, his teammate in Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo also had a great race, the dramatic end in less. He punished five places in the exit grid, the Australian driver had started in the 11th position. But finally he finished fourth. With the top of the game, he himself was brief leader, before giving up … by a pile pass. At the end of the race, Ricciardo was in the fight with Räikkönen for the third place. Finally it was the last one that won. Certainly, Daniel Ricciardo is waiting for a podium from the GP in Monaco in July. But he finally signed a good race, which was often forced to retire at the last Grand Prix.

You are still the winner. But would Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) win if Max Verstappen had not been dragged to Esteban Ocon? In the first third of the Grand Prix, Hamilton was good, dominating the debates after starting pole position. Nothing to complain about. But after his pit stop, by damaged tires, he could not take the first place in Max Verstappen, to the last one with Ocon. Then, Hamilton kept the lead, but the suffering, with tires still bad, and there is no competition, the Red Bull Verstappen also hurts to return. A win, of course, but not the best of the season for Lewis Hamilton. Still there were the title builders for Mercedes at the end.

Kimi Räikkönen: 12/20

No noise, Kimi Räikkönen went on to the podium of the Brazilian Grand Prix. He finished third without getting involved in the final victory. But in the last laps, he was in the fight with Daniel Ricciardo for this third place on the podium. And he managed to get ahead of the Australian driver. Thanks to this result, Räikkönen kept his third position in the World Championship qualification in a Grand Prix at the end of the season.

Far from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, Charles Leclerc (Sauber) assured in "the other race". And he was rewarded with a seventh place. This allowed him to enter the points by ninth time of the season. For a few laps, Leclerc resisted Sebastian Vettel, who had returned from the pits. He left, when he learned that he could not stand the distance. But he did not let anyone to steal this famous seventh place.

With a good start, Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) quickly came second behind Hamilton (when he was third on the grid). For a long time he has remained in the wake of the world champion, before going through an untenable Verstappen. Then Bottas did not speak of him, finishing finally the fifth.

The disappointment of the Brazilian Grand Prix. The vice of world champion finished second in the qualification. But he only took the sixth place in the race. Arrived at the entrance of Bottas at the beginning, quickly entered the classification and never played the main roles, incapable of competing with the Mercedes and totally helpless before the great form of Red Bull. A weekend to forget.

Of Esteban Ocon, we will only remember the shock with Max Verstappen, who deprived the Dutch driver of the victory. With a late return, he tried to bend the last one, sent it in the background and found himself in demolition. Ocon, sure of his own right, did not regret anything. And he had the intelligence not to respond to the bustle of Verstappen after the race. If it were not very discreet in the race, being quickly among the lowest and finally ending on day 15.

Behind the three "big" Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, the Renault team is the fourth place in the manufacturers' ranking. For now, he still holds that position. But Renault did not score Sunday. Nico Hulkenberg resigned and Carlos Sainz Jr finished on day 12. Haas, his rival, has, on the other hand, scored six points, with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Only (small) weekend satisfaction: McLaren who could still claim the fourth place is now out of the race.

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