Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2017

Vettel romps to Brazil win as Raikkonen keeps Hamilton off the podium

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix summary

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Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix after passing Valtteri Bottas at the start of the race.

The Ferrari driver got away better when the lights went out and beat the Mercedes to turn one. He never looked back from that point, though Lewis Hamilton led several laps at the middle of the race after starting from the pit lane.

Start, Interlagos, 2017
Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures
Bottas nearly jumped ahead of Vettel when the pair made their pit stops in the middle of the race. But once Vettel came out ahead he never came under threat again.

Hamilton ran a long opening stint on the soft tyres to bring himself into contention. After switching to super-softs he easily passed Max Verstappen for fourth place. He caught Kimi Raikkonen with four laps to go but despite several attempts he wasn’t able to pass the Ferrari. Raikkonen therefore joined his team mate and Valtteri Bottas on the podium.

Hamilton’s cause was aided by a pair of first lap crashes which eliminated three drivers from the race and brought the Safety Car out for five laps. Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne retired after tangling at turn one, then Romain Grosjean took Esteban Ocon out at Ferradura. The Haas driver received a ten-second time penalty.

Verstappen finished fifth after making a late pit stop for another set of super-soft tyres. Team mate Daniel Ricciardo took sixth despite taking a hit from Vandoorne at the start which left him pointing the wrong way at turn two.

Felipe Massa finished ‘best of the rest’ in his final home race, chased hard by Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. The trio were covered by less than seven-tenths of a second at the end of the race. The lapped Nico Hulkenberg took the final point.

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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81 comments on “Vettel romps to Brazil win as Raikkonen keeps Hamilton off the podium”

  1. Bottas really is abysmal. Horrible performance as usual.

    1. Not sure about that one – I think that Ferrari is simply the WDC and WCC winning car in 2017 and Lewis and to a lesser extent Bottas have managed to “steal” both championships from Ferrari, Vettel, and Raikonnen. Bottas has been very solid.

      If Lewis was driving for Ferrari, they probably would have easily won the WDC and WCC. If Bottas was driving for Ferrari replacing Vettel or Raikonnen, they’d be up there too. So Bottas is not driving that bad.

      He’s 22 points off Vettel in a worse car and driving for his life, not for the championship.

      1. Hamilton fan?

        Vettel was clearly in ‘Alonso mode’ in that Ferrari. Lewis’ car was in a league above.

      2. That sounds like something that Skysports could write. Mercedes had a superior car this year but Ferrari was really competitive in many circuits.

        1. There were more races where Ferrari was fastest than vice versa. They just didn’t make full use of their dominance. While Mercedes (especially Hamilton) did and in fact also picked up the races where Ferrari would/should have had easy wins and faltered.

          Also Hamiltons great qualifying helped a lot of course. It’s not that easy to pass with these cars. Vettel was a lot faster in Spa, but could not get past. Also cause by a setup mistake taking on too much downforce limiting Vettels top speed of course, but still.

        2. More detailed, Mercedes started with a Diva car, impossible to get in to a stable working window. Outdeveloping their rivals they made the diva sing and simply steped a clear level above everyone else.

          And then they added Hamilton magic.

          Early season quite often Ferrari was able to outperform them, but as the year progressed they failed to match the development race and even got cought by the Red Bull.

          As for drivers Vettel did an Alonso, finishing second, Hamilton rose to the level of greatest in this generation, Bottas and Kimi failed to impress. Especially Kimi, considering he was not exactly thrown in to this role ladt minute.

          I am sure most will agree with this version of history…

        3. before Ferrari’s reliability issues, they had the best all round car. I think Ferrari failed to capitalize this year big time

      3. @freelittlebirds Ferrari did have the stronger race car at many circuits, however Mercedes had the better qualifying car at the vast majority (bar Russia, Monaco, Hungary and Singapore, if I’m not missing any). Then, starting from pole, it was incredibly difficult for Ferrari to overtake the Mercedes, even when they did have the race car advantage, because they weren’t able to get close enough in the dirty air kicked up by the Mercedes to be able to have a chance on the straights, given their inferior engine, even with DRS let alone slipstream. That’s why at tracks like Russia, Austria and Spa, we say the Ferrari following behind the Mercedes by around 1-2 seconds, while never being able to get a chance. It’s not because the drivers were worse, it’s because the cars were different. So while at those tracks the Ferrari looked quicker in race trim, the Mercedes was able to gain track position due to their qualifying performance, (or engine performance down into turn 1 in Russia’s case) and were able to take the victory comfortably.

        1. @hugh11 yes but there’s a caveat to that – Hamilton is the one who qualified and stayed ahead in most of the races. Neither of those was guaranteed as Bottas has shown us. I think the Ferraris generally make better starts than the Mercs – we’ve seen them swamp the Mercs over the past 2 years from Row 2 as if they have pole.

          Even winning a significant number of poles and wins, Hamilton was still pretty far behind Vettel during the summer break and only gained a lead and won the WDC championship because of Vettel’s and Ferrari’s mistakes. There were some huge point swings for Vettel in a few races – probably 35 alone at Singapore, 12 at Baku, and I suspect 15 in Japan assuming Vettel could have gotten on the podium.

          That puts Vettel firmly ahead of Lewis or close. It also gives Ferrari a shot or a lead in the WCC :-)

          1. @freelittlebirds Bottas qualified ahead at Austria and stayed ahead. He’s only had 2 other poles – Bahrain, where he had tyre issues, and here, where he got beaten into turn 1 (and then had an eh race). Hamilton is the best reference for what the Mercedes is capable of doing. Re your point of Ferrari’s making better starts – while it’s true in the last few years they have, I think this year the starts have been even, if anything Mercedes a bit better.

            Yes that is true, that the mistakes probably cost Vettel the title (though I still think Singapore was a racing incident, as so often the guy on pole comes across on the guy in 2nd, looking at starts from both Hamilton and Vettel, just this time Raikkonen happened to be there and Vettel couldn’t see him). However, I think many would’ve considered him winning the WDC to be him winning it at a disadvantage to his rival, due to the points I raised before. Even if his car was aerodynamically faster, and could put in quicker lap times in race trim in clean air, they weren’t able to compete with the Mercedes power and qualifying prowess. Even if they had been able to though, assuming the mistakes you mentioned happened, Vettel would’ve still lost the title, so yes, those were more costly to his challenge than the car.

  2. Abysmal performance by Bottas as usual. Totally useless in that gorgeous car.

    1. And who destroyed that “gorgeous” car by a mistake of his own making and finished 2 places behind Bottas?

      Hamilton was much better than Bottas in the race, but Bottas did do better on the whole as he finished ahead and didn’t make a massive mistake in qualifying. Saying Bottas is totally useless is very unreasonable. He was 0.127 behind Hamilton in P1, 0.048 in P2 and 0.003 ahead in P3. Then got pole in qualifying. And in the race he finished only a few seconds behind Vettel. Both Bottas and Vettel seem to have said they they believe that Mercedes and Ferrari have basically been evenly matched all weekend. Vettel did better, but not by that much. He said That He felt under pressure but was pleased Bottas couldn’t make it to the DRS range. So I don’t think Vettel was coasting. Hamilton did far better than Bottas during the race, but finished the races in the lowest position a Mercedes should have been capable of if I’m honest. He did on the whole have a great recovery though. But I think you are being very unreasonable towards Bottas.

      1. If it was Hamilton in that P1 spot we would have a booring victory. Potentially even Mercedes 1-2.

      2. I’m sure you’ve seen the replays of Hamilton crashing out in that first qualifier. It’s clear the car’s underside was making contact with the track, with sparks clearly in evidence on the slow mo. In other words the ride height was too low even with modest fuel loads. Mercedes later admitted to a fault with tire pressures. There were clearly factors beyond Hamilton’s control.

        The situation isn’t helped by commentators referring to Hamilton’s mistake in qualifying. Thankfully Hamilton wasn’t injured in that crash.

        As a result of his ‘failure’ we had the spectacle of him and Riccardo coming from the rear of the field to almost make the podium. I am sure there’s a word in drama for this.

        Needless to say, in the pre-race trackside interviews, Eccles favoured the eventual winners.

        1. Ricciardo had sparks flying from his car throughout a lot of the race so he should have hit the wall too no? That is just normal. They often rub the floor in places. The trye pressures won’t make you crash…
          Bottas had incorrect tyre pressures in the first stint of the race in Bahrain.
          Hamilton admitted he made a mistake and isn’t that enough to admit he messed his own race result up? Recovering to 4th is obviously good, but Bottas on the whole clearly had a better weekend and he qualified on pole and finished 2 places above Hamilton.

    2. It is really hard to overtake in Brazil without significant speed advantage that Hamilton and Ricciardo had compared to the midfield cars. So I would say that the the start was bad and after that the top 3 were just cruising.

  3. Great race. Very exciting, battles all through the field and watching different strategies play out. Really enjoyed that one round my favourite track to drive.

    Vettel did what he needed to do, got ahead into turn 1 and was able to keep it ahead of the faster Mercedes, although they almost did a Ferrari at the pit stop.
    Hamilton did very well, shame his tyres gave up on him at the end so he wasn’t able to have a proper go at Raikkonen, although the lock up wouldn’t have helped, but it looked more like the rears that had gone. Having the new engine components he had would’ve helped him, but he made some pretty good overtakes, albeit not Daniel Ricciardo level (though he didn’t have to, as he was never that far back).
    Talking of Ricciardo, he did superbly as well. Classic overtakes from him (although Crofty saying ‘and down the inside goes Daniel Ricciardo is getting repetitive, come on Crofty, mix it up a bit). After some heavy contact at turn 1, he must’ve had a bit of damage, making his drive all the more impressive.
    Massa did well in his final race, although he was never under real threat from Alonso (he actually pulled out a bigger gap down towards the finish line, even though Alonso had slipstream then DRS towards the end as well). Had a good career, though I feel we’ve all been hard done by of his best years by the Hungary incident.
    Hulkenberg in 10th, all that the car could do on the day. At least he didn’t have a car issue for once… Hahaha… *cries internally*
    And poor Ocon… 27 race streak over, thanks to Grosjean not being able to control his car. Both Haas’ ruined races on the first lap too, as I’m not sure what Magnussen was doing as there was no one up his inside but he decided to just force both Vandoorne and Ricciardo off the track. Dangerous driver he is.

    1. @hugh. +1. spot on. Felipe made me smile; in the points. and where was the Williams paydriver? Haas would do better to shun French drivers, I guess, lol.

    2. Hass have one of the worst drivers lineups. They should fire both and try new talents.

      1. aka Leclerc and Giovinazzi, so they might actually have a chance of scoring points unlike in the Sauber.

  4. The crowd was incredible today, they enjoyed a very good race, battls throughout the field. Interlagos always delivers.

    1. Yes that is why Interlagos should always be the final race of F1 and not some tar in a desert !

      1. Just make sure you wear flip flops, shorts and a T-shirt, no watches or other jewellery when you visit (advice from a Brazilian friend)

  5. As much as I like Kimi, I didn’t expect him to stay ahead of Hamilton, so that was a pleasant surprise for me.

    Having said that, it looks like its the job of a Finn to disappoint in each race. So, Bottas did the honours by failing to capitalize on his stellar qualifying by driving a lackluster race. Losing first place wasn’t due to a poor start on his part or a stellar one on Vettel’s part, and from then on he just seemed out of it – couldn’t even make an undercut work.

    Hamilton did a nice drive through the field, helped in part by 3 retirements and 2 other cars pitting after lap 1 and the early safety car.

    Happy for Massa being best of the rest at his home ground, and for keeping Alonso at bay – especially given the role Massa played for years to Alonso.

    Grosjean’s evokes very different laughter compared to Max – Romain’s (faux?) surprise at his 10-second penalty had me cracking up.

    1. Yeah. Kimi avoided complete embarrassment there. He has been humiliated this season by Valterri and Seb. Again he almost lost a podium against a car that started last. Max started last in USA and took 3rd momentarily. Lewis started from the pitlane and almost got him. This guy needs to go next year. Only one from the top 6 to not win a race this year.

      1. Max started 16th.*

      2. Only one from the top 6 to not win a race this year.

        @krichelle – ooh, that’s a nice observation, one that is probably going to make it to @keithcollantine ‘s stats for 2017!

      3. err The Mercedes is in a league above the Ferrari and Lewis was helped by the safety car. Wow what a difefrence a race makes. Kimi 3rd last time.

      4. Hamilton got really near all the top 3 so I dont understand why it would have been a total embarassment. Safety car helped to prevent the top three from escaping, Hamilton had a great tactic with going a long stint with soft tyres and then attacking with ss but his tyres gave up before he reached Raikkonen.

    2. @phylyp there’s no way for the Merc to pass the Ferrari – Lewis realized that very early on in the season and changed his strategy so he could win the championship by avoiding any passes on the Ferraris by winning pole at any cost and then staying ahead on lap 1.

      1. @freelittlebirds – fair point, that as a car the Ferrari is quite capable of putting up a hard defence against the Mercedes.

        But then, given the drivers involved in this specific instance (Hamilton vs. Kimi) and Hamilton’s tyre advantage, I thought it was a done deal, so was happy to be proven wrong by Kimi.

        1. “putting up a hard defence against the Mercedes. ” You mean like they did in Spain?

        2. @phylyp Hamilton had lost that tyre advantage before he got there. The blistering got worse and worse and his lap times were going up.

      2. Huh??? Hamilton overtook Vettel twice to win races, what are you talking about?

        1. @kgn11 Yes, you’re right that Hamilton has overtaken Vettel.

          I think it’s under very special conditions that the Merc can pass the Ferrari – do you recall at which races and at what laps Hamilton overtook Vettel? I think once the Ferrari has light load, the Merc can’t pass it except with massive differentials in compounds. At Baku on the massive straight, Hamilton was driving the Mercedes to its limit to reclaim the position but still was barely able to come within a car’s length of Vettel.

  6. Massa you will be missed, you are a Champion in my heart !

    Love from India !!!

  7. Feel bad for Wehrlein. His pitstop on lap 1 really ruined his race completely…poor guy didn’t pit again, and was setting laps in the 1:16s towards the end. He finally seemed to have found good qualy pace this weekend…it’s a shame he didn’t get a chance to do well in the race.

    1. @neutronstar
      I have to disagree. Unlike last race, where his first lap pit stop was so predictably unreasonable that I still wonder if he had a puncture, this time around Sauber’s call made sense. The Safety Car meant that they could split their strategies without losing time in the pits, and it worked pretty well until around lap 50. His tyres didn’t quite make it to the end, but he was able to follow the Renaults for much of the race, so the strategy did put him in a position where points were not impossible anymore, in the event of a collision further up the field. He was eventually caught by Ericsson despite being the faster Sauber driver of the day (when the Safety Car came in, Ericsson was 11th and Wehrlein 15th, with tyres that were just a single lap fresher, and by lap 20, Ericsson was told to let Wehrlein pass), but that was pretty much unknowable at the start of the race. I think Sauber got it right this time around, and they took a reasonable gamble that almost allowed them to finish higher than a conventional strategy would’ve permitted.

      1. Well, if Sauber did want to score points and if Wehrlein was the faster driver of the day, it made no sense not to pit him again. He was running comfortably ahead of Ericsson when the latter made his first stop. Wehrlein had already stopped once, and pitting him again (maybe a lap after Ericsson did) would have allowed him to not only finish ahead of Ericsson, but also a lot closer to the cars ahead, which would have been more favorable a situation. However, he ended up behind his teammate due to his strategy.

        I think Sauber decided to not pit Wehrlein again only to be fair to Ericsson, having already asked the latter to let Wehrlein by.

      2. I think expecting a driver to do the entire race on soft tyres and not losing pace at a significant rate towards the end would be a tad too ambitious of Sauber especially if they hoped to give Wehrlein a chance at points, considering their inherently slow pace. I doubt they were completely unaware of how his pace would drop. They were too defensive with his strategy imo, not pitting him with Ericsson.

        Also, I don’t ever remember him following the Renaults? He was able to keep up with Gasly for a while though, before his tyres started losing grip and performance in massive amounts, and that was between lap 45-50 I think.

      3. And whether Sauber’s strategy was acceptable at the time or not is besides the point anyway…I just feel that being the better driver this weekend, Wehrlein deserved to finish ahead of Ericsson…but in the end, it was his ridiculously long stint on the softs that ultimately led to him getting beaten by his teammate.

        1. It isn’t like Ericsson hasn’t been treated similar in the past. In Hungary, I think he did over 60 laps on softs. And last year in Mexico, he managed 69 laps on one set of tyres and finished 11th when only a Manor retired. Sauber often do try risky things. They did with Wehrlein in Spain and Basically the only reason he got points was because of the safety car. It is often worth risking things with a team like Sauber. I’m not completely sure that Wehrlein looked quicker than Ericsson this race though on the whole.

          1. Sauber use these weird strategies a lot. They’re at the back of the field anyway, so they can gamble a bit with their strategy. Usually they’ll pit one driver at the end of the first lap just to have the pitstop out of the way and to have a clear track (a very 2010-style strategy), or they start on a harder tire compound to be able to run a very long first stint.
            In Spain Wehrlein was successful with that strategy partly because the midfield contenders all had to react to each others’ stops and lost out as a result, but also because he was simply fast. Only the Force India’s managed to pass him on fresher tires, but Hülkenberg was barely faster. The virtual safety car didn’t even help him that much, as most other drivers could make their second stop at the same time.
            At this stage of the season, Sauber simply don’t have the pace anymore to make these strategies work for them, but this time they came reasonably close.

  8. FORZA FERRARI…………..!

  9. The difference between Lewis and Bottas was ridiculous. The Merc was clearly the best car today.

    The pace of the redbull on the straight was sad t see.

    1. Keep in mind, Hamilton was driving a car with a brand new engine that he could run in qualy mode for half the race, and his setup was optimized for today’s conditions. The car has also, I suspect, been developed towards Hamilton’s strengths this year, rather than Bottas’s.

      Bottas was driving a used power unit, and was set up for qualifying conditions yesterday. The qualifying lap Bottas put in was pretty impressive, so obviously, he’s got some talent– they just need to work on his race pace.

      1. Bottas’ race pace wasn’t bad – he finished a few seconds behind Vettel and Raikonnen couldn’t catch him. Even if Bottas got close to Vettel, there was no way the Mercedes could pass the Ferrari – if you ask Lewis and Valtteri, they’d tell you it’d be easier for a Sauber with old tyres to pass a Red Bull on brand new tyres.

        1. That Mercedes really is terrible in dirty air.. The moment they cannot lead lap 1 they are in deep trouble.

      2. if you really believe ”the car is set up more for lewis” then if next season lewis outclasses bottas again,i don’t wanna hear no more excuses.
        also how was lewis car setup for todays conditions,when lewis had no practice to test the setup?
        bottas race pace has been disappointing in many races this season,not just in this race.
        vettel wasn’t even pushing 100%,he had more pace for sure.

    2. @anunaki I dunno about that – Hamilton’s Mercedes was a totally different car than Bottas’ and any other drivers since it started on the pit lane… Yesterday Bottas eked out the pole by 4/100ths of a second and it was only because Vettel didn’t do a fast lap…

      Lewis’ Mercedes on the Supersoft should have chewed up Raikonnen’s Ferrari on the Softs but we have to go back to some of my comments at the start of the season to understand that the Mercs simply cannot pass the Ferraris especially with low fuel loads.

      1. I didn’t think of that guys. But it’s not just today Bottas is underwhelming

        Or maybe Lewis is just so fast and Bottas is normal

        1. I don’t think he’s underwhelming – he got beaten on the start by a small margin and that was unfortunate but after that, it was game over for him. If he had managed to pass Vettel on the undercut, it would have been a great race and it would have been nice to see if he could have held off Vettel.

          1. Indeed, he got the job done in quali, after Vettel did a poor Q3 lap.

            On start he was ahead in first phase, great reaction time, but then lost pace… (deployement issues, slip in third gear, to much power?), after all was lost, they tried undercut and he was slightly short of the mark.

            Very fine margins, have he had a tad more speed, he would have a new victory.

        2. @anunaki

          Or maybe Lewis is just so fast and Bottas is normal

          That is one thing I get a bit frustrated with some peoples views on. I often see the same people saying Hamilton is simply stunning. Or far better than anyone else. Or at his strongest ever form. While at the same time saying Bottas is doing a poor job. Well if Bottas is doing a poor job, Hamilton is just doing good, but nothing special. If Hamilton is as strong as some are saying, then Bottas has done a very solid season on the whole. I don’t rate Hamilton quite as high as others. But he’s certainly easily been incredibly strong in the 2nd half of the season. And I think that is one think that is making Bottas look worse than he really is. Bottas has been reasonably consistent. He currently has as many podiums as Vettel and Hamilton. And an interesting stat I’ve just seen on another forum is that Bottas’s average finishing position when you remove any retirements from any of the drivers is 3.06. Hamilton’s is 2.74. And that isn’t really that big. Hamilton has been a lot better than Bottas this season, but I think Bottas has been very under rated by many. He hasn’t been quite as strong as he was in the 1st half of the season but lets remember Keith rated him the 4th best driver in the mid season driver rankings. He’s gone downhill a bit since, but he isn’t poor like many people seem to suggest.

      2. “Hamilton’s Mercedes was a totally different car than Bottas’” No no mate! Behind the wheel was a totally different driver, that’s the only difference.

        1. Well, Hamilton did crash in qualifying. Damaging a huge amount of his car. So a massive amount of it was replaced, including a brand new engine. And that will have allowed him to use it at its maximum the whole race without the team being at all concerned as they know there is only 2 races it needed to do. Whereas Bottas, has an older engine that will be far closer to the end of its life. So it is likely that Bottas won’t have been going as fast as he could the whole time. And it certainly is true that Hamilton did have some pace advantage. He wasn’t stuck behind cars with very similar pace for virtually the whole race. It was Bottas’s fault he didn’t get a good start, but after that, it is known that Mercedes often has trouble following other cars unless they are far slower. So from the point Bottas got overtaken, I don’t think he could have done much more. Hamilton did a good recovery and got incredibly close to the winner, but ultimately finished in the lowest position that car should have as it was clearly better than Red Bull. And it was only because of his own mistake in the first place that he had to get 4th instead of a very likely win.

          1. Good point about the engine being different.

            Also Totto let slip that they had an engineer call from the ‘factory’ to approve another race mode for the new engine. Which tells me Hamilton was driving much of the race within the limits for the new engine and could have gone even faster. Which means with nothing to lose he was also providing vital data on this new engine.

    3. I think part of the reason is that Mercedes struggles behind other cars more than most teams do. This may sound silly as Hamilton got past many. But he was in a car that was significantly faster than all of them other than the top 4 drivers this race. So the only time Hamilton noticeably struggled to do several good laps I think was when he was trying to get past Verstappen. Where as because Bottas got past by Vettel, he was basically in dirty air of a car with similar pace the entire race. Mercedes certainly have mentioned that they struggle in this area and I think that was what Toto said could maybe have been making Bottas suffer a little. If Bottas had managed to have a better start, I think he’d have managed a much closer pace to Hamilton.

      1. It seems to me the Mercedes package is geared towards qualification. An All or nothing strategy. If they qualify well, they don’t need to worry about being caught in the turbulence of other cars, instead DRS Plus their energy recovery system is suppose to make up for their areo-package. I think besides reduced down force, their real issue is cooling when their engine is running at its hardest and they don’t have clean air in front.

        I wonder if they can cheat on ‘ground effect’ to get more air that way into or around the engine? Or is that too risky?

    4. @anunaki, I wouldn’t be 100% certain that Mercedes had the best car as I get the impression that Vettel wasn’t pushing the car as hard as he could have and could have gone faster.

      I get the impression that, once he got ahead, Vettel simply eased out enough of a gap to Bottas to be comfortable, just in case of any problems or if he hit traffic, and then just paced himself against Bottas to maintain that gap. As grat notes, Hamilton also had the luxury of being able to push unusually hard with his car because his engine was brand new and only has to last for two races, whereas those of the drivers ahead of him are more heavily worn.

  10. I really admire Haas and that the team are trying to do. I’d go as far as being a supporter if not for their two imbecile drivers. Replace them and I’m in!

  11. I don´t know about Bottas, I mean, what is the problem that he is having? It´s not the car, that Mercedes is one of the most dominant cars that F1 has ever seen and we just saw the sister car start from the pit lane and if it were not for wearing out the tyres, it would have been threatening Bottas in 2nd position.

    He has been a real disappointment this season. He did not seem to point Vettel under pressure at any point in the whole race.

    That said, kimi raikkonen hardly put any pressure on him either. Nothing against those two personally but it just seems that Raikkonen and Bottas are not hungry enough, Look at Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Hamilton, all of them see able to do something amazing to change the outcome the race but the two Fin´s see to just slot into whatever position they can find and stay there.

    1. What could Bottas do? He lost the start by a tiny margin and that was it. Only other chance he has was to try the undercut and that nearly worked.

      Ferrari does better in hot conditions anyway and Vettel could easily hold the gap, but overtaking a car that’s about the same speed is pretty much impossible.

      Apart from the fact that Bottas is using an old engine that still has to last another race probably. While Hamilton had the better setup, strategy and engine for this race.

    2. I don’t quite see how Bottas has been a real disappointment the whole season. Lets compare the end results of the 2015 season to now. Rosberg was 59 points behind Hamilton. Bottas is currently 65 points behind Hamilton and there is just one more race to go. This is Bottas’s first season with Mercedes. And he’s up against Hamilton who’s almost had 5 now. Rosberg was in his 6th year against Hamilton with 3 years experience by the end of 2015. And Mercedes were far more dominant then than there are this year, and the gap between them Rosberg and Bottas is very similar. I don’t see how Bottas has on the whole been disappointing. He certainly has at times, but has stood out on several occasions and done a good job for the team. He’s also tied with Vettel and Hamilton for the most podiums this year showing he is at leased reasonably consistent.

      1. the 2015 season was only between lewis and nico.ferrari and redbull were not a threat.
        so finishing second for either lewis or nico was almost a given.

        1. Which is my exact point towards Rosberg having an advantage to be closer to Hamilton?? That should mean that Rosberg should have been way closer to Hamilton than Bottas is now. As Bottas has had much more of a fight on his hands with other teams. And yet the points difference is tiny. Therefore, I don’t think Rosberg’s 2015 performance was a lot better than Bottas’s this year, especially when you consider that was Rosbergs 6th year with the team and this is Bottas’s first. And Hamilton is also getting rated higher than ever before by many now, which may be what is making Bottas look worse than he is.

      2. @thegianthogweed , I much prefer him to Rosberg, he is a nice driver on track and off and as i said, I have nothing against him which is why I am disappointed in his form this year. I had hoped to see some of that sparkle and magic that he showed at Williams in 2015 (?) when they had a half decent car.

        I think he is capable to putting a car 1 or 2 places ahead of where it should be.

        You know the way Alonso and Hamilton can drive the wheels off a car that is good for 6th place and get podiums. I had hoped that Bottas would do that but I do not recall a single moment this season where he has done anything special. He just seems to drive the car to it´s average potential and then coast from there.

        It is a lot like watching Mr Raikkonen these days, if his car is capable of 4th then he will probably just about manage 4th instead of pulling it out of the bag at getting 3rd or 2nd.

        It will be even more disappointing if he sits in a pseudo number 2 role and spends the rest of his days at mercedes getting beaten every weekend by his team mate, much like it was for Rosberg most of the time, it really messed his head up, to the point where when he finally got a WDC he quit straight away.

        I hope he pulls it out of the bag next season and we some some excitment from him.

    3. Yeah, well Bottas and Kimi are hardly on the level of Vettel and Hamilton.

      Kimi is past his prime and was declining in speed for a decade, and Bottas is a decent driver by F1 standard. Certainly good, but not consistently great. To bad, because they are adorable and compared to their elite teammates have a much more pleasant personalities.

    4. Hamilton and Merc got exactly what they wanted for this year – a semi-competitive rear gunner who wouldn’t threaten his number 1 status. Bottas is a solid driver but not championship caliber. It may bite them next year as far as the WCC ges.

      Same situation with Vettel and Kimi, only Kimi proved today he has still got a lot left in the tank even though he is in the twilight of his career. As good as Bottas no doubt.

      Couldn’t figure out why Hamilton wouldn’t get out of his car after the race – probably sulking because he didn’t get the podium.

      Hamilton is “offended” Ferrari never wanted him and is hell bent on making them regret it as he has stated. This weekend will do little to cause Ferrari to second guess picking Vettel.

      When all’s said and done, Vettel and Ferrari handed the WDC to Hamilton – too many mistakes. Merc was pretty much flawless.

  12. The 2nd time this year that the fastest 2004 race lap has been beaten in race conditions, ie., an official lap record from that season has officially been beaten.

  13. Did Bottas not learn how to cover the inside when starting from pole in years gone by? Aggressive stuff from Seb at the start but Bottas left the door open.

    Great recoveries from HAM and RIC. Max was the only one in the top 6 to 2 stop, really was off the pace today. Pretty average I would say.

    ALO v Massa at the end was personal. I am glad Felipe won that one and I wish him and his family all the best moving forward.

    Finally, Congrats to Seb and Ferrari on a much needed win.

    Abu Dhabi should be interesting

    1. Max made a two stop because he could. Other cars were forced to continue with heavy blistering and even parts of tyres coming off. Why gamble a puncture if you have the gap?

      I though it was rather clever of Red Bull/Verstappen to go for a safety stop.

  14. Finally… another Ferrari win! Passed quite some time since their last win for a team fighting for the WDC. Anyway, great!

    Great to see RAI resisting HAM and getting that podium place in the end, but he’s underperforming, should be out of F1 now.

    Wonder if Stroll is F1 material indeed. He had few really good races in the middle part of the season and it seemed he overcomed the debut problems, but now it seems he’s again kinda trashed by a +36 years old and retiring Massa. I mean, now he’s in F1 for enough time if you ask me and if we compare his performances (to his team mate and) to the (way) newcomers like Gasly, Hartley (perform compared to their team mates too)… I think Stroll should follow Palmer and be fired.

    About Palmer: no doubt now he was the “issue” in that car, as Sainz is proving now. It’s good that he’s out of F1. Hulk seems to be really competitive and have the edge over Sainz, too bad he might never get a great car to prove what he can do. If you ask me, I think he’s better than Bottas, for example. Wish he was in the #77 car or in the #7 one.

    The moment you notice again a certain carreer went wrong indeed: ALO being happy fighting for 5th place with MAS in the debut of the race. It’s a shame indeed to see ALO in such “state”. He still has “it”, but might be too late even for some random wins. It looks like F1 is becoming more and more a manufacturers teritorry and unless we have some nasty surprise a la LMP1 to see Mercedes and Renault retire again in the coming few years, McLaren might think about building their own engine if they want to become champs again. And now more than ever since they upped their game massively in the street cars department, so they’re not just an F1 team who built 2-3 great cars for street use in a 50 years of existence. They passed a long time ago the stage RBR is in now (consolidating their name in F1 as a serious team and also making their “street” debut with Aston Martin), so they better be thinking about building their F1 engine.

  15. some people are claiming lewis had optimal setup,but how?he wasn’t able to test the setup in practice.
    also the it was a lot hotter in the race than in practice,so completely different conditions.
    also bottas race pace has disappointed in many races this season,not just today,so saying lewis was only quicker because he had a new engine,doesnt mean much.

    1. but couldn’t drive the same in Mexico.

  16. Still i rise

    #blessed.

  17. Good race by Vettel i thought, gutsy deserved win. Bottas should of done better i thought. Lewis would of Won by a minute had he been on the front row.

  18. Something I have spotted in the highlights video on YouTube (from 2:54 – 2:59): Ricciardo’s left hand side of his steering wheel doesn’t seem to be partly flexible in certain parts. Is it used so he keeps the complete grip on the steering wheel during fast corrections?

  19. Mercedes W08 is a bit like the ROTJ Death Star.

    At the start of the season, it looked like they hadn’t built it properly.

    It’s only after the summer break that Merc have shown that it was “fully operational”.

    Power advantage of the works Merc is unbelievable considering we are in the 4th year of the engine rules. Hamilton was cruising past like an LMP1 against a GTE…

    Concerned that 2018 will be the same story again.

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