The first lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix was incredibly chaotic. Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, and Stoffel Vandoorne got together in the Senna S, and a little later on Romain Grosjean brought Esteban Ocon’s finishing run to an end with a collision at turn six.
Vettel had taken the lead from pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas at the first corner and apart from after his pit stop, remained at the front pretty much unchallenged for much of the race.
Bottas finished second with Kimi Raikkonen third, but Lewis Hamilton almost joined them following a mega drive having started from the pit lane.
Sure, he benefited from the lap one safety car and lack of fight from most of the midfield, but in the end he was only five and a half seconds away from the winner and less than three seconds behind his teammate – which must be a little bit embarrassing for Valtteri…
Max Verstappen was a distant fifth after being unhappy with his car all day, whilst Ricciardo recovered from his poor grid slot and first lap tangle to get sixth.
One of the drivers of the race was Felipe Massa in his final home grand prix. He was under serious pressure from Fernando Alonso for pretty much the entire race but held off his former teammate and Sergio Perez in the closing laps to finish seventh, best of the rest.
Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the points positions, ending a streak of six pointless races. Apart from the guys who got caught up in the first lap mess, the only other driver to retire was the luckless Brendon Hartley with what looked like more engine problems. If he stays with the team next year at least things will be better next year with Hon- oh no, wait.
INITIAL CLASSIFICATION (LAP 71/71)
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 12, 2017
With his win Vettel all-but secured second in the championship – Bottas would have to win in Abu Dhabi with Vettel ninth or lower to pip him to the runner-up spot.
19 races down, one to go. Crikey, where has this season gone?!