W what was that nerve-racking game? The 2016 Brazilian GP was a turbulent and dramatic rain fight. With two abandoned races and five safety car phases. The winner was Lewis Hamilton in the end.
The pole-setter did not even give up his lead over the entire 71 laps and achieved his ninth win of the season and his 52nd career win. For the three-time world champion it was the first success in Brazil in the tenth attempt. 'I've dreamed of winning here since I followed Senna as a little boy,' said the happy winner. '' I actually chilled up front. When it rains, it usually means a good day for me. “With his triumph, Hamilton stays in the world championship race. He shortened the point gap on Nico Rosberg to 12 points.
Rosberg rolled across the finish line in second place - with no chance of beating his team-mate. With the 14th place on the podium this year, the world championship leader still has everything in hand to win his first title. The big showdown in Abu Dhabi comes in two weeks. A third place is enough in the desert finals. 'Unfortunately it shouldn't be the win today for me,' said Rosberg. “It was difficult today with aquaplaning in the drawn out corners. I can live with second place. “
Race start behind Safety Car
The GP Brazil claimed its first victim before the actual race start. Romain Grosjean, who finished seventh in qualifying, had an accident on the way to the starting grid. The Frenchman lost his Haas racing car on the uphill stretch to the start destination and slammed backwards into the barrier. The dream of points turned into a nightmare.
The race management around Charlie Whiting decided not to send the cars off until a ten-minute delay. Because they were hoping for a cheaper rain window. Behind the safety car, the already decimated field spun into the first laps.
All drivers rolled around the track on rain tires. This is mandatory when starting behind the safety car. Hamilton radioed: “I can barely see the safety car in front of me. Not even the lights. ”The pole setter also complained that water ran under his helmet visor. After seven laps behind Bernd Mayländer, the drivers were let off the chain. It didn't take a minute for the first to spin. Sergio Perez slipped after the twelfth corner, spun around his own axis, but was then able to continue. TheMexicans only lost one position to Fernando Alonso.
In the tenth lap, Sebastian Vettel caught it in the same place. The Ferrari star spun through the grass and came back to a halt on the runway. Fortunately, his colleagues were able to avoid the car with the starting number 5. Vettel was able to continue and got intermediate tires straight away. He fell back to 19th position.
Chaotic conditions, many accidents
The race remained chaotic afterwards. Marcus Ericsson fired his Sauber into the lane on lap 13. The end for the Swede in the Sauber. Ericsson had touched the white line and the curb with the left half of the vehicle in the 14th corner of the course. The car came to the style stand just before the pit entrance. As a result of the impact, the Sauber C35 distributed various carbon parts on the track. The race management sent the safety car out again.
At the next restart it banged again. This time Kimi Räikkönen thundered into the gang in his Ferrari on position 3 behind the two Mercedes cars. After the hard impact under aquaplaning, the red racer flew across the runway and rolled out on the inside.
Nico Hülkenberg crashed through the debris with his Force India and damaged the front wing. The situation was extremely precarious. Carlos Sainz only narrowly avoided the Ferrari. It was even tighter for Esteban Ocon in the Manor, who only discovered the broken Ferrari in the spray at the last few seconds and steered it to the right.
There was also a crash in the back of the field. Jolyon Palmer collided with Daniil Kvyat. It was the fault of the Briton who first hit the left rear wheel of the Toro Rosso with his right front wheel and then torpedoed its side box. The race was then stopped at 2:46 p.m. local time.
35 minutes later the F1 entourage swam its lanes again. But only for a few rounds. Then the marshals hoisted the red flags again. But that was far from over. The whistle started again for almost half an hour. And then there was another crash. It caught Felipe Massa on lap 49.
Like some of his colleagues, the uphill stretch to the home straight was fatal for the Brazilian. Massa destroyed his Williams and finished his last home GP prematurely. On the way to the pit lane, he was celebrated by the fans. Because the pit lane was closed, the mechanics of the other teams stood in front of the garages and applauded. No accident in Massa's career tasted so good. Tears rolled down.
Rosberg almost slips
Hamilton's 25-second lead was lost due to the safety car phase. But even after the next restart, he didn't give the competition a chance and was sure to race to victory. Rosberg was 11.4 seconds behind. It was a happy second place for him. He almost got before the last oneSafety car thrown away his Mercedes. And Rosberg benefited from the fact that Red Bull and Verstappen gambled away with the tactic. The Dutchman had already overtaken the German on the slopes.
Red Bull put his driver on intermediates for a short time, but had to realize that the full wet was the only right tire for the tricky conditions. Verstappen dropped from second to 14th after the rubber swap. However, the Dutchman worked his way back onto the podium with great fighting spirit. He overtook half the field with different lines. Father Jos then spoke of the go-kart style the junior was riding on.
Four laps to go, he also conceded Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari. The Heppenheimer did not agree. 'He pushed me off the track,' Vettel reported by radio. Verstappen pulled away and also grabbed Sergio Perez. The Mexican came fourth and scored extremely important 12 points for Force India in the fight against Williams.
Nico Hulkenberg also earned 6 points in seventh place for the Indian-English racing team. Because Williams left with a zero, the lead in the World Team was increased to 27 points. A decision has already been made about second place in the constructors' championship. Red Bull takes the role of crown prince behind Mercedes.
Vettel finished the race in fifth place. Carlos Sainz took sixth position behind. The Spaniard only started in fifteenth. Daniel Ricciardo, who, like Verstappen, now bet on intermediates, finished eighth.
Behind them, Sauber cheered. Felipe Nasr got two extremely important points for the Swiss. They bring the team past Manor in the team world championship. That would mean a double-digit million amount if Manor were not able to counter in Abu Dhabi. Fernando Alonso rounded off the top 10 despite a spin after the last restart. Pascal Wehrlein crossed the finish line in 15th place.