With the 2017 F1 driver championship already secured by Lewis Hamilton at the Mexican Grand Prix, many of us in the Petrol News office expected the Brazilian GP to be something of a non-event.
That certainly wasn’t the case as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel enjoyed his first victory since July, while Hamilton – who started from the back of the grid after crashing during qualifying – provided plenty of entertainment as he battled through the pack to finish fourth.
Had he started a few spots up the pecking order, the champion-elect could have enjoyed the win he so desperately wanted in Mexico.
It was a bittersweet affair for Vettel, reminding the German what might’ve been if his title campaign wasn’t undermined by a series of errors in the last two months.
The Ferrari driver took the lead from Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes at the start and cruised to a comfortable victory, facing only a brief moment of pressure coming when Mercedes stopped from the Finn a lap earlier than Vettel. Bottas still managed to appear on the podium though, placing second.
Meanwhile, Hamilton came so close to joining his Mercedes teammate too after demonstrating a overtaking masterclass.
“I had a great time, I enjoyed the race very much,” Lewis commented. “It felt like the go-karting days where I would always start in the back in my first year or two.
“I had so much pace today, it would have been an easy win this weekend, so I am disappointed that I put myself in the worst position [by crashing during qualifying].”
Bottas admitted that he “lost the race in the first corner” after Vettel got a better getaway and took him on the inside. The start aside, Bottas believes the race pace between Mercedes and Ferrari was very close and deemed it a decent weekend overall.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “Champion-elect Lewis Hamilton had little to gain and nothing to prove in Brazil but his hunger to cut through the pack and secure a respectable position underlines what an absolute legend he is.”
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