Lewis steers clear of the chaos


Vic­tory for Hamil­ton ahead of Ros­berg in Brazil en­sures the cham­pi­onship is de­cided in Abu Dhabi

It would go down to the wire. In re­lent­less rain, Lewis Hamil­ton did ev­ery­thing he could to keep his world cham­pi­onship dream alive, tak­ing his 52nd grand prix vic­tory to lie sec­ond to Michael Schu­macher in the all-time win­ners’ list, while Nico Ros­berg nished in his wheel­tracks to en­sure that the driv­ers’ ti­tle would be de­cided in more cle­ment con­di­tions in Abu Dhabi.

Here, at In­ter­la­gos, the 24th dif­fer­ent track at which he has won an F1 race, Hamil­ton was im­pe­ri­ous on his way to his rst Brazil­ian GP vic­tory. In treach­er­ous con­di­tions, with two redag stop­pages, and af­ter many laps spent trail­ing be­hind the Safety Car, he never put a wheel wrong on an af­ter­noon where sev­eral driv­ers crashed out of con­tention.

Ros­berg, a driver yet to win in the wet, lacked the speed to con­test vic­tory in Brazil. But he didn’t need to. He knew that with a 12-point lead, he could nish third in Abu Dhabi and still claim his rst ti­tle, wher­ever Hamil­ton nishes.

But the star of In­ter­la­gos was un­ques­tion­ably Max Ver­stap­pen. His prodi­gious tal­ent came to the fore with a breath­tak­ing drive, pass­ing ri­vals around both the in­side and the out­side, and nd­ing lev­els of grip with re­mark­able ease. In the last 17 laps, al­beit on fresh rub­ber, he was in a class of his own, climb­ing from out­side the top ten to nish on the podium.

Red Bull team boss Chris­tian Horner was asked whether that was a drive wor­thy of the sta­tus of Senna’s Monaco ’84 per­for­mance or Schu­macher’s ’96 Span­ish Grand Prix win.

“It’s right up there,” he agreed. “I don’t think it gets much bet­ter than that. I think we’ve all wit­nessed some­thing very spe­cial this af­ter­noon. He made a de­ci­sive move on Kimi Räikkö­nen at Turn 1 at the start that showed he meant busi­ness today. You could see be­hind the Safety

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