Scuderia Ferrari missed out on the podium in Sunday’s rainy 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel finishing fifth and Kimi Raikkonen retiring following a scary accident following a restart.
The race was won by Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton – a result that extended the World Championship title fight to the final round in Abu Dhabi later this month. His teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg was second, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen turned in a stellar drive to finish third.
The race began 10 minutes late after FIA officials red flagged it for rain – a necessary precaution seeing as Haas’ Romain Grosjean crashed his car on the out-lap before the race had even started. When the green flag came out, pole-sitter Hamilton and runner-up Rosberg got off to a clean start, while Verstappen managed to find his way around Raikkonen through Turn 1 to take third.
Things went from bad to worse for Ferrari when Vettel spun on the exit of the final corner on Lap 10. Soon after, Saubers’ Marcus Ericsson crashed on the entry to the pits, bringing out the safety car. Racing got back under way on Lap 20, however Raikkonen then crashed out on the main straight, forcing his competitors’ to take evasive action and bringing out another red flag.
More rain then brought out the red flag and a crash from Williams’ Felipe Massa brought out a yellow. During the safety car, Red Bull brought Verstappen in to switch from Intermediate tires to Full Wets – move that would ultimately work strongly in favor of the young Dutchman.
Pitting had dropped Verstappen down to 14th place, however the Red Bull driver carefully carved his way through the field in the remaining laps – passing 11 cars to turn up third. That included Vettel, who was none too happy that Verstappen had forced him wide when he put the pass on the Ferrari. Still – Vettel’s recovery from near last to fifth was something for the German to smile about.
Hamilton can take the 2016 WDC is he wins in Abu Dhabi and if teammate Nico Rosberg finished fourth or lower. Click here for full results from the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix.