The Fat Lady is get­ting ready to sing

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORSPORT -

NICO Ros­berg won the Brazil­ian Grand Prix on Sun­day to end Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamil­ton’s run of five con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries and cut his cham­pi­onship lead to 17 points with one race re­main­ing.

Hamil­ton took the che­quered flag 1.4 seconds be­hind after set­ting the fastest lap, with Mercedes break­ing For­mula One records with 11 one-two fin­ishes and 30 podium plac­ings in a sea­son.

“It was a great week­end,” said Ros­berg, who started on pole po­si­tion after lap­ping fastest in qual­i­fy­ing at In­ter­la­gos.

“There’s still all to play for. I just need to keep this go­ing now,” added Ros­berg, whose win made up for Texas when he started on pole and lost out to Hamil­ton.

The fi­nal race at Abu Dhabi next week­end will of­fer dou­ble points for the first time, and 50 for the win­ner, but Hamil­ton needs only a sec­ond­place fin­ish to wrap up his sec­ond ti­tle. Hamil­ton has 334 points to Ros­berg’s 317.

The team’s vic­tory equalled the record of 15 in a sea­son held jointly by Fer­rari and McLaren, with Ros­berg now on five to his Bri­tish ri­val’s 10.

The two Mercedes driv­ers were in a race of their own on a sunny Sao Paulo af­ter­noon. Hamil­ton’s only scare came on lap 28 as he pushed to gain an ad­van­tage when Ros­berg pit­ted, spin­ning and skid­ding off at turn four. That cost him seven seconds and a chance to win.

He said later: “I was much quicker up un­til that point and on that lap I’d gone a sec­ond quicker while Nico pit­ted. I thought I was go­ing to pit at the end of that lap so I used ev­ery­thing of the tyres. The next lap I had noth­ing left.”

After he pit­ted, the 2008 cham­pion steadily nar­rowed the gap un­til the Sil­ver Ar­rows were just half a sec­ond apart. But Ros­berg never al­lowed him to get close enough to make a move. Lo­cal hero Felipe Massa re­turned to the podium in front of a cheer­ing crowd with third place for Wil­liams, 41 seconds be­hind de­spite a stop/go penalty for speed­ing in the pit­lane.

Mean­while, it’s ru­moured that Fer­rari’s Fer­nando Alonso is set to join McLaren, with the for­mer twotime world cham­pion’s move due to be con­firmed be­fore the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. - Reuters

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

Sec­ond placed Lewis Hamil­ton (left) with win­ner Nico Ros­berg on the podium after last Sun­day’s Brazil­ian Grand Prix.

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