Brazilian Grand Prix analysis

What an end to the season! It’s a shame the rain didn’t come for the race, but nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed the final race. Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix despite the muddled up pit stop, and Mark Webber left Formula 1 in style after a great performance to get second place.

AUTO-F1-PRIX-BRAZIL-PODIUM

Red Bull:
Qualifying – VET P1 – WEB P4
Race – VET P1 – WEB P2
A perfect way to end the season for Red Bull, and the best way to wave farewell to Webber who had a great battle with Alonso throughout the race. Vettel has now set the record of the most wins in a season as he won his 13th race of 2013; he has also equalled Ascari’s record of most consecutive wins as they both now have 9. Webber had a bit of a stumble on the podium which made a few of us giggle, but it was an emotional goodbye and I wish Mark the best of luck in his new career!

Ferrari:
Qualifying – ALO P3 – MAS P9
Race – ALO P3 – MAS P7
I was pleasantly surprised with Alonso, I didn’t expect him to maintain third place – maybe that’s because I thought Grosjean and Hamilton would breeze past him but I was wrong! It was nice to see him back on the podium, whereas his team-mates penalty left him at the lower end of the top ten. It’s a shame that Massa got his drive through penalty, but rules are rules and he left the track on more than one occasion. What’s worse is that Alonso said he would have let Massa have third so he could be on the podium at his home Grand Prix celebrating his last race with Ferrari.

McLaren:
Qualifying – BUT P15 – PER P14 (P19 including grid penalty)
Race – BUT P4 – PER P6
There best race this season, and McLaren are the only team that have been classified in every single race in history. They have also beaten BMW’s record from 2008 after completing 99.17 of the seasons total distance (BMW completed 98.30). Button and Perez both recovered well from their grid spots, and to finish well in the top 10 is a great achievement, especially after a really underwhelming season.

Lotus:
Qualifying – GRO P6 – KOV P11
Race – GRO DNF – KOV P14
Unfortunately an engine failure resulted in ending Grosjean’s last race, and to make matters worse for Lotus, Kovalainen just didn’t have the speed to creep into the top ten. Kovalainen has said he under-estimated the job that needed doing at Lotus, and I can’t help but wonder whether they chose the wrong man. By doing so, they have affected their relationship with reserve driver Davide Valsecchi.

Mercedes:
Qualifying – ROS P2 – HAM P5
Race – ROS P5 – HAM P9
Both Mercedes’ drivers had great starts, and Rosberg even put himself in first place at the first corner. Rosberg had balance problems and thus fell victim to the Red Bulls, his team mate and Alonso; however, he did well to finish in fifth. Hamilton made a rookie error that dropped him to ninth place when he should have finished in fourth. If he had he used his mirrors he would have known Bottas was alongside him – perhaps he didn’t expect the Fin to try and unlap himself, but you should always expect the unexpected in F1!

Sauber:
Qualifying – HUL P10 – GUT P18
Race – HUL P8 – GUT P12
A solid finish for Hulkenberg, I don’t think he could have achieved anything better than that. Similarly to the Mercedes’ drivers, Hulkenberg had the wrong set-up and was really vulnerable down the straights. Gutierrez did a good job, it’s a shame he couldn’t quite get into the points but finishing 12th from 18th is a satisfying recovery.

Force India:
Qualifying – DIR P12 – SUT P16
Race – DIR P11 – SUT P13
Di Resta very nearly made a two stop strategy work, but unluckily for him fell just one place short of a point. Sutil did OK despite starting from the lower end of the grid. I think rain would have played to Force India’s advantage, likewise a few other teams, but they’ve kept sixth in the constructor’s, and that’s all that’s important.

Williams:
Qualifying – MAL P17 – BOT P13
Race – MAL P16 – BOT DNF
The Williams’ drivers had an eventful race, both drivers had a bit of contact but sadly for Bottas it ended his race. If you’re going to unlap yourself you have to take more care than that; he did have a bit of extra space, so you could argue that he could have avoided the collision had he moved over – however the penalty that Hamilton received was fair. Maldonado gave Vergne no room and ultimately the two came together, it was deemed a racing incident which I believe was the right thing to do.

Toro Rosso:
Qualifying – RIC P7 – VER P8
Race – RIC P10 – VER P15
Ricciardo did a good job to take the last point, and I’m very excited to see what he can do in Red Bull next year – just imagine the smiles on the podium! Vergne had an awful start and as a result came out of the top 15 after the pit stops, he came together with Maldonado towards the end of the race, but no penalty was given to either driver.

Caterham:
Qualifying – PIC P19 – VDG P20
Race  – PIC DNF – VDG P18
It’s a unfortunate that they couldn’t snatch tenth back from Marussia, especially because they have been the better team in the last few rounds, but trying to finish 13th in the final race was a bit ambitious. Their driver line up for next year is still unknown, though I fully expect them to come back stronger!

Marussia:
Qualifying – BIA P21 – CHI P22
Race – BIA P17 – CHI P19
Credit to Marussia for producing a car that’s finished every race of the season, and credit to Chilton for bringing the car home on each occasion. Bianchi has been the best back marker for a while, and even though Caterham have been the quickest out of the two teams, Bianchi kept ahead of Van der Garde. Well done to Marussia for finishing tenth in the constructors and getting that all important money!

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Race

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