Brazilian Grand Prix 2014 – Recap

Nico Rosberg put a stop to Lewis Hamilton’s five race winning streak and win the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos yesterday. Hamilton finished the race at second place followed by Brazilian Felipe Massa for the third position. Rosberg’s win narrowed down Hamilton’s lead to just 17 points. This makes the final race in Abu Dhabi much more exciting.

Qualifying

Nico Rosberg once again beat Lewis Hamilton in the qualifying session for the race. The German recorded the fastest ever time for the pole position in Brazil with 1 min 10.023 secs. Hamilton came in second again with a time of 1 min 10.056 secs, that’s just .033 sec slower than his teammate. Local favorite Felipe Massa, who’ll be competing in his home soil grabbed the third position in the grid with a time of 1:10.247. Daniil Kvyat of Torro Rosso qualified for the 14th position but will drop to 17th position on the grid because of an engine-change penalty. Sergio Perez of Force India will begin the race at the last position after it was found that he was at fault in his collision with Sutil in the US last week.

Racing Conditions

The weather was perfect on race day at Interlagos. The track is in great form after it was overlaid with asphalt weeks before the race. Everything was prepared well for this race, however what really filled the talk in the sidelines wasn’t about the Brazilian GP but about the future of F1. Rumors have been circulating that the future may be good to smaller teams and it might even bring their end to this sport.

The Grid

Note: There are only 18 drivers here like in the US Grand Prix. Caterham and Marussia will still not compete here. It’s confirmed that Marussia will not be able to make it to Abu Dhabi while it’s reported that Caterham is now raising funds so that it could compete in the final race of the season.

The Race

Rosberg started the race well and he’s followed by Hamilton, Massa and Bottas. He quickly establishes a one second lead over Hamilton. Just a few laps after the start of the race, the pit lane is now filled with activity as Maldonado changed from soft to intermediate tires on lap 5. Button and Bottas also made their changes on lap 6. Alonso and Magunssen made their stop on lap 7 while teammates Hamilton and Rosberg had their first stop on lap 8.

After those early stops, it’s back to business now for the front runners. Rosberg, Hamilton and Massa regained their previous positions in the lead on lap 18. On lap 19, Rosberg has established a 2.4 sec lead over Hamilton. During this lap also, a number of drivers voiced concerns about the condition of their tires.

On lap 25, drivers began to make their second stop. Most teams usually have a three stop strategy for the Brazilian GP. Vettel was the first to come on lap 25 while Rosberg, Massa and Bottas made their second stop on lap 26. Rosberg returns third on the race. Hamilton is now on first and he’s followed by Button on second. Button made his second stop on lap 28 which puts Rosberg on second. Also on this lap Hamiton made the biggest mistake he had probably not just in this race but for the whole season as well. He took a slight spin as his brakes lock up. He was able to quickly come back to the race but this incident cost him 7 seconds. The Brit made his second stop on the next lap and he’s now down to second place by a big margin of seven seconds.

Hamilton pushed hard to get closer to Rosberg and he initially had success on cutting his teammate’s lead to just five seconds on lap 32. Ricciardo, the winner of some races this year was forced to retire from the race on lap 40 due to mechanical problems. Rosberg’s lead over Hamilton was cut down to just 2.1 secs on lap 46. He tried to move closer to his teammate but this just wasn’t his day. He was able to cut the gap to just .7 sec on lap 69 but that’s the closest he can get. The race ended with Rosberg as the winner. Hamilton came in second and Massa got the last spot in the podium.

After Thoughts

Hamilton’s lead over Rosberg is now down to just 17 points. This means that the final stage in Abu Dhabi will be a head to head battle between the two Mercedes drivers. Hamilton needs to either win or come in second in that race to win the title. If he’ll finish lower than that and Rosberg wins it, then the German will win the title. So that’s it, everyone’s now looking forward to Abu Dhabi on November 23.