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Winners and Losers - Brazil

16 Nov 2015

The cynics may dismiss it as ‘too little too late’, but Nico Rosberg’s second consecutive victory at Interlagos was impressive nonetheless, as he once more defeated Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, this time depriving the world champion of that elusive win he so craves on idol Ayrton Senna’s home soil. And the Brazilians on the current grid were out of luck too: Sauber’s Felipe Nasr could manage only 13th, and that after compatriot Felipe Massa was excluded from eighth for a pre-race tyre infraction. We take a look back at Sunday’s formbook in the Formula 1 Grande Premio Petrobras do Brasil 2015…

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg, P1
Lewis Hamilton, P2

Rosberg was majestic on his way to a fifth win of the season which put his runner-up position in the drivers’ world championship beyond Vettel’s reach. Hamilton pushed hard, trying at one stage to eke out his tyre life to run a shorter stint later against his team mate, but things didn’t work out and he had to settle for second again.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel, P3
Kimi Raikkonen, P4

Vettel gambled on a short mid-race stint on softs, but it didn’t really help him to get close to the Mercedes, whose initial pace he had matched. Towards the end he closed on Hamilton, but only because the latter had backed off to preserve his hard-pressed tyres. Raikkonen, on a two-stop strategy to Vettel’s three, was a lonely fourth, well behind his team mate.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, P5
Felipe Massa, Excluded

Bottas got one of his lost grid places back at the start then drove a canny two-stop race to stay out of trouble and bring his FW37 home in a solid fifth place. Massa continued to struggle on his home track but finished eighth on the road. However, on the grid his right-rear tyre was found to exceed temperature limits by 27 degrees Celsius, and after a post-race stewards’ enquiry he was excluded from the results. Williams intend to appeal the decision.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, P6
Sergio Perez, P12

Hulkenberg was very happy to make a two-stopper work and to take a strong sixth place that confirmed Force India’s fifth place in the overall standings. Perez had a tougher time with the handling of his VJM08 and at one stage complained of poor straight-line performance on his way to 12th.

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, P7
Daniel Ricciardo, P11

Kvyat once again extracted everything he could from his RB11, with the older-specification Renault powertrain. Seventh was a decent result, but Ricciardo was disappointed with 11th, rueing his grid penalty for switching to the disappointing new engine with its heavily revised specification.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean, P8
Pastor Maldonado, P10

Lotus had no real problems. Grosjean did a strong three-stop run to take eighth, while Maldonado started on mediums and looked good for a while on two-stops before gradually falling back out of the points. He got a five-second time penalty for pushing Ericsson into a spin the Turn 1, but eventually got a point when Massa was excluded.

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen, P9
Carlos Sainz, Retired lap 1, engine

Verstappen was in tremendous form in a car that should not have been running as high as he made it run. His battle with Perez and Grosjean was nail-biting stuff, and his round-the-outside passes on the Mexican and, later, Nasr provided some of the race’s best entertainment. Sainz’s engine cut out on the grid, forcing him to start from the pits, and when it cut out again on the opening lap he had to retire.

Sauber

Felipe Nasr, P13
Marcus Ericsson, P16

Sauber had a tough time, considering that Nasr ran second during the opening pit stops. Sadly, his gamble on a two-stop strategy failed to pay out, while Ericsson’s prospects were damaged when Maldonado sent the Swede briefly skybound when the Lotus hit the Sauber in Turn 1 midway through.

McLaren

Jenson Button, P14
Fernando Alonso, P15

The McLarens lacked straight-line speed as usual, but both drivers felt that they are making progress on the chassis front. Alonso had to have a second new engine fitted ahead of the race after his problem in qualifying, and his 12th of the year and associated replacement bits earned him 25 grid penalties.

Marussia

Will Stevens, P17
Alexander Rossi, P18

Stevens finally got the upper hand over team mate Rossi, as Marussia recorded yet another two-car finish to round out the American’s tenure in the second car, which passes back to Roberti Merhi for the season finale in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight’s time.