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Vettel wins in Brazil, Hamilton fourth from pit lane – Race Report

Brazilian Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel took the win in Sao Paulo for Ferrari ahead of Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas.

Vettel took the lead from polesitter Bottas with a pass into the first corner having started on the front row, before creating a small gap to the Finn.

Mercedes attempted to undercut Vettel during the pit stop phase, stopping a lap earlier than its Italian rival but Vettel retained the lead when he exited the pits.

Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after starting from the pit lane. He was 14th at the end of the first lap and charged his way to the top five before making his pit stop.

The world champion was on a contrary strategy, starting on the softs before using the faster supersofts at the end of the race to pass Max Verstappen for fourth on the run into Turn 4.

He caught up to Kimi Raikkonen for the podium towards the end of the race, but could not find a way through.

Verstappen was fifth ahead of team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was also on a recovery drive. He started 14th on the grid after taking an engine penalty, and was then collected by a Turn 2 incident between Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, which put both drivers out of the race.

Ricciardo pitted for soft tyres at the end of the opening lap, and went on a similar charge through the field to Hamilton’s, finishing the race in sixth.

Felipe Massa was tied up in a race-long battle with his former Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso for seventh, having passed the Spaniard on the restart following a safety car period for the start incident.

Sergio Perez threw his name into the battle in the closing stages of the race but was unable to make an impact. He finished ninth, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg completing the top ten.

Esteban Ocon’s consecutive finishes as a Formula 1 rookie came to an end on the first lap after contact Romain Grosjean at Turn 6. The Force India driver attempted a move around the outside of the fast right-hander, but Grosjean lost the rear of his Haas and slid into Ocon.

Grosjean received a ten second time penalty and two penalty points for the incident.

Lance Stroll suffered a late front-left tyre failure during his battle for 12th with Pierre Gasly, dropping him to 16th and last.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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