Grand Prix of Brazil – Race


Brazil is the penultimate race of the 2019 season; the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship titles are decided but there’s plenty to fight for in the midfield and further down.

Despite qualifying P4 (and then dropping 10 places because of engine changes), LEC has sewn up the challenge for most pole positions – he’s had 7 poles (Bahrain, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Russia, Mexico) compared to BOT (5 poles), HAM (4), VET (2) and VER (2).

Grid: VER, VET, HAM, BOT, ALB, GAS, GRO, RAI, MAG, NOR, RIC, GIO, HUL, LEC*, PER, KVY, STR, RUS, KUB, SAI*
*LEC has dropped to P14 due to a 10-place grid penalty for engine changes
*SAI didn’t set a time in Q1 so had to get the stewards approval to race; he also took some engine changes but he was already P20

Air temperature 21°C; track 49°C; a few clouds but no rain expected

ALB mechanics have spotted a problem with the tyre blankets; they’re replacing a controller to keep the tyres at the right temp before the start
Radio from HAM, there’s more play in the steering wheel than he’d like

VER leads everyone away on the formation lap
The top 10 are all on soft tyres; RIC, HUL, LEC, KVY, RUS & KUB on mediums but the rest on softs
Radio from HAM, asking why there’s a difference in the front tyre temps
The drivers at the front have to hold their cars on the brake as it’s uphill to Turn 1
Long wait for SAI to take his spot

1/71: HAM around VET to steal P2
NOR trying to defend P10 from GIO

02: VER, HAM, VET, BOT, ALB, GAS, GRO, RAI, MAG, GIO, LEC, RIC

03: VER fastest lap 1:13.099
DRS enabled

04: VER f/lap 1:13.007
LEC takes P9 from MAG
SAI past PER for P15

05/71: VER, HAM, VET, BOT, ALB, GAS, RAI, GRO, LEC, GIO
LEC inside GRO for P8

06: LEC locks his front right as he closes on RAI

07: LEC inside RAI for P7

08: RIC locking for a way round MAG
RIC inside but there’s contact – MAG spins, RIC has front wing damage

09: RIC pits; new front wing; soft tyres go on, so he’ll need to stop again

10/71: VER, HAM, VET, BOT, ALB, GAS, LEC, RAI, GRO, GIO, NOR, STR, SAI, PER, HUL, KVY, KUB, MAG, RUS, RIC
LEC inside GAS for P6
MAG takes P17 from KUB

11: Incident involving MAG and RIC is under investigation

13: LEC closing on ALB

15/71: VER, HAM, VET, BOT, ALB, LEC, GAS, RAI, GRO, GIO, NOR, STR, SAI, PER, HUL, KVY, MAG, KUB, RUS, RIC
RIC given 5-sec penalty for causing the collision with MAG

16: RIC closing on RUS
RUS looking to pass teammate KUB

17: RUS leaves the door open and RIC takes P19
Radio for BOT proposing Plan B; BOT agrees
RIC past the other Williams for P18

18: PER pits from P15; mediums go on; rejoins P17

20/71: VER, HAM, VET, BOT, ALB, LEC, GAS, RAI, GRO, GIO, NOR, STR, SAI, HUL, KVY, MAG, PER, RIC, KUB, RUS
HAM pits from P2; used softs go on; rejoins P6

21: VER pits; new softs; but KUB is released in front of him; rejoins P6, behind HAM
Clearly an unsafe release by Williams

22: HAM looking for a gap to pass LEC

23: HAM around the outside of LEC
LEC seems to let VER through
VER dives inside HAM for P3

24: VER f/lap 1:12.448
HAM around the outside of ALB

25/71: VET, BOT, VER, HAM, ALB… who pits

26: VET pits from P1; mediums go on – are they going to 1-stop?
Radio from HAM asking if he has an engine problem; told everything ok but a little hot

27: BOT pits; hard tyres go on, so definitely a 1-stop
Radio from HAM saying he can’t keep up with VER

29: VET f/lap 1:12.259
Radio from HAM saying he thinks they should have put him on mediums
Radio for LEC – Plan C
VET passes LEC for P3

30/71: VER, HAM, VET, LEC, BOT, ALB, SAI, GAS, RAI, GIO
LEC pits; rejoins P6

31: KUB given 5-sec penalty for unsafe release

33: Radio from HAM asking if the wind has picked up; told they’ve not noticed any change

35/71: VER, HAM, VET, BOT, ALB, LEC, GAS, RAI, GIO, PER, RIC, GRO, NOR, KVY, SAI, STR, HUL, MAG, RUS, KUB

Half distance

39: Radio from BOT also asking about the wind

40/71: VER, HAM, VET, BOT, ALB, LEC, GAS, RAI, GIO, PER

41: Radio from VER also commenting on the wind
Data feed shows wind is ~5.7km/h
Radio from HAM complaining about his tyres

42: BOT pits; mediums go on – what was the point of going on hard tyres?

43: Radio from HAM asking “what are you waiting for?” – he really wants to pit

44: HAM pits; mediums go on; not a fast stop (3.3sec); rejoins P3
BOT f/lap 1:10.698

45/71: VER pits; mediums; 1.9sec stop; rejoins P2, ahead of HAM

46: VET, VER, HAM, ALB, LEC, BOT, GAS, RAI, GIO, PER, GRO, NOR, KVY, SAI… HUL pits
BOT looks at the inside of LEC but backs off

47: BOT fails to pass LEC again

48: LEC and BOT lap a Williams but LEC (on hard tyres) stays ahead of BOT (on mediums)
Radio from HAM, “I need more power”

49: LEC defends P5 again; maybe a bit late

50/71: VET pits; softs go on; rejoins P4
VER, HAM, ALB, VET, LEC, BOT, GAS, GRO, NOR, SAI

51: ALB pits, releasing VET; softs; rejoins P6

52: Smoke from BOT’s engine but he closes on LEC again
BOT pulls to the side of the track; parks the Mercedes

53: HAM within DRS range of VER
Radio from VER complaining HAM didn’t slow enough under yellow flags

54: Safety Car deployed
Radio for HAM told to box opposite to VER

55/71: VER pits; softs go on; rejoins P2 but a couple of lapped cars are between him and HAM
LEC pits too

56[SC]: BOT’s car has been moved behind the barriers

57[SC]: Lapped cars can pass the SC – why? They should have brought the SC in, but now they’ve given VER a chance to attack HAM

59[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
HAM backs them to almost walking pace

60/71[SC]: HAM, VER, VET, ALB, LEC, GAS, GRO, SAI, RAI, GIO, PER…
VER around HAM in Turn 1, takes P1
ALB passed VET too
Will LEC threaten VET?

61: ALB closing on HAM

62: VER, HAM, ALB, VET, LEC, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO, RIC, GRO, PER, NOR, HUL, STR, KVY, MAG, RUS, KUB; retirements: BOT
DRS enabled

63: ALB using DRS to get tucked up right under HAM’s wing
GRO falling down the order – he’s now P15
HUL under investigation for passing before the SC restart line

64: VET attacking ALB

65/71: VER, HAM, ALB, VET, LEC, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO, RIC

66: LEC dives inside teammate VET to steal P4
Contact – VET clipped LEC
LEC’s front right suspension broken; he’s off
VET has a puncture – it’s destroying his bodywork
Safety Car deployed

67[SC]: HAM pits; rejoins P4, behind ALB and GAS
Replay – it’s clear VET moved across on LEC

68[SC]: STR has hit some debris – it’s broken his suspension!

69[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
VER approaches the restart line as slowly as possible

70/71: HAM immediately takes P4 from GAS
ALB runs wide; turns across HAM; contact!

71 = final lap: GAS is ahead of HAM
Incident involving ALB and HAM under investigation

VER takes the chequered flag
GAS P2 with HAM alongside him

Incident involving ALB and HAM will be investigated after the race (duh!)
HUL given 5sec penalty for overtaking MAG at the control line on the restart
Will they also investigate the VET-LEC collision?

Provisional result: VER, GAS, HAM*, SAI, RAI, GIO, RIC, NOR, PER, KVY, MAG, RUS, GRO, ALB*, HUL*, KUB
DNF: VET, LEC, STR, BOT

Apparently there are “a number” of drivers under investigation for using DRS under the yellow flags

Hey, Rubens – you’re supposed to talk to GAS before HAM!

HAM: “I massively apologise to Albon, I went for a move and the gap just closed. Completely my fault. I took a lot of risks today.”

When they asked Damon Hill if there should be a penalty for the ALB-HAM collision, Damon said ALB deserves a penalty for leaving the door open with a 6-time world champion on his tail 🙂

I’m watching the official FIA documents page for announcements…

Update: HAM has been given a 5-sec penalty for the incident with ALB, which drops HAM to P7 [video]
That moves SAI up to P3 … except he’s one of those under investigation for using DRS under waved yellow flags.

Update: Stewards have decided neither Ferrari driver was “predominantly at fault” so no penalty for VET or LEC.

Update: No penalty for SAI, so he’s confirmed in P3

Update: HUL given 5sec time penalty … but didn’t they say that at the end of the race?

OK, final classification is published.
Result: VER, GAS, SAI, RAI, GIO, RIC, HAM, NOR, PER, KVY; MAG, RUS, GRO, ALB, HUL, KUB
DNF: VET, LEC, STR, BOT
Fastest lap: BOT (but he DNF so no point awarded for f/lap)