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Pass masters - Watch six of the best moves through the Senna 'S'

17 Nov 2015

The Senna ‘S’ has long been regarded as one of F1’s most iconic overtaking spots, and it more than lived up to that reputation in Sunday’s race in Brazil. From Max Verstappen’s around-the-outside heroics to Felipe Nasr’s daring late lunge, we take a look at the best of the action at Interlagos’ celebrated opening turn…
Nasr on Button

Jenson Button made countless passes into the Senna ‘S’ during his memorable, title-winning drive to fifth in the 2009 race, but this year he was more often than not on the receiving end. Here the Briton is passed for P14 by the Sauber of home favourite Felipe Nasr, whose late, smoke-filled lunge drew predictably enormous cheers from the crowd.

Verstappen on Perez

Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen had never raced at Interlagos heading into Sunday’s Grand Prix, but you’d never have known it. Indeed, the 18-year-old rookie sensation spent much of his afternoon showing the rest of the field just how easy it was to pass into Turn 1. His favourite move? This spectacular around-the-outside pass on Force India’s Sergio Perez to take P9 at the beginning of lap 32. “It was very hard to get past because he was pulling away on the straights the whole time,” Verstappen explained. “Then, when he was struggling with his tyres, he made a bad exit out of the last corner and I managed to have a very good one. I tried around the outside and luckily succeeded. We touched a bit but in the end we didn’t have any damage.”

Ricciardo on Perez

Daniel Ricciardo had to use the DRS and every bit of his Red Bull’s straight-line speed to overhaul Sergio Perez into Turn 1 on the 49th lap, but a slightly compromised exit meant that the Mexican - with the benefit of Mercedes power under his right foot and the DRS - was almost in a position to snatch P11 back on the run down to Turn 4, only to be denied by some stout defending.    

Maldonado on Nasr

After his early heroics, Nasr found himself tumbling down the order in the latter stages of the race as his gamble on making only two tyre stops began to unravel. On lap 57 he was more or less powerless to prevent the DRS-assisted Lotus of Pastor Maldonado flying past into Turn 1 to snatch P9 in a flurry of sparks.

Verstappen on Nasr

Two laps after being passed by Maldonado (and then by the sister Lotus of Romain Grosjean), Nasr was passed for 11th place by the charging Toro Rosso of Verstappen. This time the Brazilian defended the inside line much more robustly, but little did he know that Verstappen had already toughed it out around the outside of Perez, and was more than willing to do so again…

Verstappen on Maldonado

Max Verstappen was determined to extend his five-race point-scoring streak in Brazil, and two laps from home he moved himself into position to do just that with yet another pass at Turn 1. This time Maldonado was his victim, the young Dutchman making full use of the DRS and his relatively fresh tyres to ease inside the Lotus. “I think it’s good for me - fighting for points and practising overtaking,” said Verstappen after another starring display. “If you are running first you don’t practice it anymore, so it’s good to practice it now.”

And the one where it all went wrong…

Rightly or wrongly, Pastor Maldonado has developed something of a reputation as a magnet for trouble, and the Venezuelan was involved in another spot of bother in Brazil when a bungled pass into the Senna ‘S’ saw him clash with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson. "It was just too late,” the Swede said of Maldonado’s move, and the onboard certainly seems to support this claim. With Ericsson already turning into the corner ahead of him, Maldonado was forced to take a tighter apex, the consequence of which was that he took too much kerb, got loose and slithered back into the unfortunate Sauber driver’s path. The stewards launched an immediate investigation - it didn't take them long to reach a conclusion...