F1/Brazilian GP — Vettel to console, Hamilton makes up for it

Photo: Carl de Souza Agence France-Presse
Vettel consolidates his second place in the general classification.

São Paulo — The German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), deprived of the title by the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) two weeks ago, offered up a consolation prize by winning Sunday, the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil, during which his rival has made a superb comeback.


Party last from the pit lane at the soot out of the track in qualifying, Hamilton finished fourth, stopped at the foot of the podium by the obstinacy of the Finns Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari), third behind his countryman Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes).


Helped first by the exit of the safety car in the first round, after several skirmishes, Hamilton then managed perfectly the wear of his tyres throughout his cavalcade.


In the first row just behind Bottas, Vettel has taken the best at the start. An early end to the stand did not permit the Norse to regain the advantage.


“It has been fifteen days hard to digest,” since the triumph of Hamilton in the GP of Mexico, responded the German. “It’s good to climb on the top step of the podium today. “


A second place


This success allows him to increase from fifteen to twenty-two lengths of its advance to second place in the drivers ‘ standings, coveted on the Finnish.


It will have to do so to score three points in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight to be assured of being the vice-champion of the world.


The Ferrari driver cannot afford to settle for less well, as he had explained the day before. “Our goal was to win the championship, we did not succeed so the best we can aim for now is to be a second, had he noted. It is we’re trying to achieve. If we do not, it will fail more. “


Retirement of Massa


For his last Grand Prix before retirement, in fifteen days, the Brazilian Felipe Massa has offered a great seventh place and a rise triumphant on the podium, to the cheers of the audience of his native city. “I am very moved today, thanks to all of you, he started. Thank you for your support and for having allowed me to do the best race possible. “


The vice-world champion 2008 should already retire at the end of 2016, but, at the request of Williams, he had agreed in January to re-enlist one more season to compensate for the departure of Bottas in Mercedes and was taken to hope to continue for a little longer.


The team of Woking did not see things that way. His 268th start in the GP on Sunday, therefore, was the before-last of a career spanning fifteen seasons, which saw him drive for Sauber (2002-2005), Ferrari (2006-2013) and then Williams (since 2014).


Massa, aged 36, displayed at the counter 16 positions of head, 41 podiums, including 11 wins, the last in Brazil in 2008.


It was never the same after an accident a few months later, the GP of Hungary 2009, when it received a full helmet, at high speed, an element for suspension from a different car. Seriously affected, he had been plunged into a coma.


No Brazilian will therefore not be present on the starting grid in 2018, for the first year since… the 1970s.

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