2016 Brazilian Grand Prix - Round 20
- Sunday, November 13, 2016
- Grande Premio do Brasil
- F1 World Championship
Ooh, this was raw, gladiatorial stuff, an old-school high-risk track and hard rain. Combined with wet tyres that had no grip and inters that couldn’t clear the water through the high-risk final part of the lap, cars were flying off the track, phenomenal avoidances spearing either side of their violent trajectories. The safety cars (five of them) and red flags (two of them) had the effect of keeping the tyres cold and hard in their hazardous phase. So the accidents fed on themselves.
It took time to properly get going – five racing laps from the first 20 – but when the cars did finally run long enough to heat up the rubber, a fantastic race unfolded. Lewis Hamilton won it, always in control, but the star of it was Max Verstappen with a quite sensational drive to third. Adventure and jeopardy interspersed with how the changing intensity of rain kept the track on the cusp between inters and wets. Red Bull threw the dice for him, attempting to get the jump on the two Mercs by switching to inters, but it never quite fell right for them. All that fell was the continuing rain – leaving Max to surrender the inters gamble, giving him just 15 laps to charge his way from 14th to third, inventing some of the most outrageous passing places Interlagos has ever seen along the way. His moves, so incisive and inventive, came so quick they barely cost him any time to those further ahead – thus bringing everyone but Hamilton and Rosberg into his voracious reach before the end.
Permanent road course
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Benz F1 W09 EQ Power+), 1m10.540, 136.621 mph, F1, 2018
First Race1971 Interlagos F2