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Vettel beats Bottas in Interlagos and caresses the runner-up

Vettel beats Bottas in Interlagos and caresses the runner-up

The German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) achieved this Sunday victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix, the nineteenth and penultimate round of the Formula One World Championship, and was one step away from the runner-up, for which he fights with Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), second in Sao Paulo despite starting from pole.

Vettel achieved his fifth victory of the season and the third in Brazil by finishing ahead of Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), already world champion, who started from the garage street and that climbed to fourth position.

Sebastian Vettel added his forty-seventh victory in Formula One, the fifth this season and the third in Brazil, where he already prevailed in 2010 and 2013.

The four-time world champion finished first at the Interlagos circuit in São Paulo ahead of Bottas, who started from pole just ahead of him and overtook him at the first corner.

Then Vettel controlled the race with authority to cross the finish line first. The German joins this triumph to those achieved this year in Australia, Bahrain, Monaco and Hungary.

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The podium was completed by Kimi Raikkonen, who in the final section withstood Hamilton’s attack. After this race Vettel leads Bottas by 22 points in the final contest for the runner-up.

Hamilton, already mathematically world champion for the fourth time and who on Saturday could not contest the qualifying session for a track start, started the race from the ‘pit lane’ and in last place, and managed to climb up to fourth place in a display of riding and riding potential.

The Englishman started on hard tires and extended his first stop until lap 44 of 71 of which the test consisted of climbing spectacularly. In the final stage he even disputed third place with Raikkonen, but the supersoft tires he mounted at his only stop prevented him from doing so.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda) qualified in eighth place and his compatriot Carlos Sainz (Renault), in eleventh.

Alonso started from sixth place and on the first lap he moved to fifth. In the sixth of the 71 laps he was overtaken by the Brazilian Felipe Massa (Williams) in the resumption of the test after the intervention of the safety car due to an accident between the French Esteban Ocon (Fiorce India-Mercedes) and Romain Grosjean (Haas- Ferrari).

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In a solid race at Interlagos, the two-time Asturian world champion reached the final part of the race with options to snatch seventh place from Massa, but also with the threat from behind the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Force India). All three reached the home stretch in a fist.

In the end, Alonso had to settle for seventh place to score for the fourth time in the 19 races played in a frustrating season. Massa, in the last Brazilian GP of his career, was seventh and Checo Pérez, ninth.

Carlos Sainz (Renault), also from Spain, qualified eleventh, one place in the points area, and three behind the one from Madrid on the starting grid.

The Dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull-TAG Heuer) occupied fifth place and signed the fastest lap: a 1: 11.044 that becomes a new record of the José Carlos Pace Autodrome and that until this Sunday the Colombian had, with 1: 11.473, Juan Pablo Montoya from 204 with a Williams.

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His teammate Daniel Ricciardo rallied from fourteenth to sixth, even after being relegated to last place by a run off on the first lap. Massa, Alonso, Pérez and the German Nico Hülkenberg (Renault) completed the points area.

After 27 races in a row crossing the finish line, Esteban Ocon suffered the first retirement of his Formula One career in Brazil when he was knocked off the track on the first lap by his compatriot Romain Grosjean, sanctioned with 10 seconds for his maneuver.

The World Cup is now heading to Abu Dhabi, whose Yas Marina circuit will be the scene of the last round of the championship from November 24 to 26. The fight for the runner-up between Vettel and Bottas will be the point of attraction. EFE

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