Brazilian GP: Mad Max to the rescue at Interlagos

This weekend will most likely be remembered for the rise of the hashtag, PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe

It was also slightly marred by the perception that the FIA was not doing enough to honour the victims of the attacks in Paris, seemingly giving their tribute to Road Accident Victims higher importance. In the end the one minute’s silence that preceded the Grand Prix appeared to pay tribute to both, as Romain Grosjean unfurled a Tricolour and a special banner was projected onto the track.

We would have been mistaken for assuming that the Brazilian GP would be incident-filled as Carlos Sainz had to be towed back to the pits after breaking down on his way to the grid. However his would be the only retirement of the 71 lap race, which was quiet, clean, and a little bit lack-lustre.

Be sure to scroll down to our tribute to the viral Alonso hashtag.

Vettel tries to rattle the Mercedes

Ferrari must have realised, as we did, that the Brazilian GP was in danger of becoming a procession and decided to try to call Mercedes’s bluff for the hell of it. Vettel then pitted early on lap 33, switching his strategy from a two-stop to a three-stop race. Mercedes had no choice but to pit both Nico Rosberg and Hamilton to try to cover Vettel, who hoped that a stint on the softer, faster compound tyre would close his gap to the Mercedes. In the end, a ballsy move, but it didn’t pay off: Rosberg held on to 1st and dominated the race, Hamilton had no answer and Vettel was out on a glorified Sunday afternoon drive.

Ricciardo rues engine upgrade

Daniel Ricciardo took a ten place grid penalty to run the upgraded Renault engine, presumably to see what they will be dealing with next year when Red Bull inevitably continue to run a (possibly unbranded) Renault power unit. However, in qualifying Ricciardo could only manage 9th, and started at the back of the grid. He was also said to be 0.4 kph slower than Danill Kyvat in the old-spec engine. After rumours of a possible technical partnership with Ferrari and/or Renault that would allow Red Bull to develop their own power unit, the team have confirmed they will be on the grid next year, but have yet to confirm who is providing their horsepower.

Max Verstappen saves the day

Lewis Hamilton complained at the end of the race that “you just can’t overtake here.” Max Verstappen should show him how it’s done.

Verstappen went round the outside of Perez and Nasr in the Senna esses in two separate incidents.

But apart from that folks, there isn’t much more to say. Instead, enjoy a round-up of our favourite hijinks from this weekend.

*UPDATE*: Felipe Massa is excluded from the Brazilian GP
Felipe Massa has been disqualified from the race after the FIA found his tyres to be 27 degrees over the prescribed temperature. Romain Grosjean now finished 8th, Max Verstappen 9th and Pastor Maldonado 10th. 

In a similar incident, both Mercedes were investigated after the Italian GP for tyre infringements, but were cleared of any wrongdoing. Williams are appealing the stewards decision.

Things that had us buzzing

  • Max Verstappen. Again.
  • Valtteri Bottas’s amazing start.
  • Jenson and Alonso storming the podium on Saturday

#PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe

Results

  1. Nico ROSBERG Mercedes
  2. Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes
  3. Sebastian VETTEL Ferrari
  4. Kimi RAIKKONEN Ferrari
  5. Valtterri BOTTAS Williams
  6. Nico HULKENBERG Force India
  7. Danill Kvyat RED BULL
  8. Romain GROSJEAN Lotus
  9. Max VERSTAPPEN Toro Rosso
  10. Pastor MALDANADO Lotus
  11. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
  12. Sergio PEREZ Force India
  13. Felipe NASR Sauber
  14. Jenson BUTTON McLaren
  15. Fernando ALONSO McLaren
  16. Marcus ERIKSSON Sauber
  17. Will STEVENS Marussia
  18. Alexander ROSSI Marussia

DNF: Carlos SAINZ JR, Toro Rosso

Excluded: Felipe MASSA, Williams, tyre infringement

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