The Formula One title race is heating up as the season enters its last three races, with the gap between Lewis Hamilton and title leader Max Verstappen down to 14 points following Hamilton’s phenomenal drive over the weekend.
It was certainly a memorable weekend of racing, and for a recap of the events across the three days, make sure to check out our summary on the proceedings below!
With that in mind, Park Life Sport decided to take a look at the drivers who finished in the Top 10 in the race during the Brazil GP, and give our views on how each driver performed.
- Lewis Hamilton. 10/10
It’s fair to say Hamilton’s 101st F1 win can be ranked as highly as any of his previous results, following a weekend performance that surprised many on the track. Having taken a five place grid penalty for an engine replacement ahead of qualifying on Friday, Hamilton was set to line up Saturday first, before controversy struck.
Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying due to his Rear Wing failing FiA investigations, sending The Brit to last in the new Sprint Race, recovering to an impressive fifth in the 24 laps, before a memorable performance on Sunday.
Starting 10th for the race itself following the engine penalty didn’t slow down the seven time World Champion however, with Hamilton gaining four places on the opening lap, before slotting behind Verstappen in second a few laps later.
Verstappen defended well however, keeping the faster Mercedes behind him for 18 laps, before a great overtake led Hamilton to take a ten second lead before the chequered flag.
With this being his first win since the Russian Grand Prix in September, and the fast Saudi Arabian Grand Prix potentially favouring the faster Mercedes, Hamilton is certainly still looking for his record breaking eight title.
2. Max Verstappen. 8/10
A difficult weekend for Verstappen, who despite a great performance across the three days, didn’t have a car to match his impressive drive.
The Dutchman started Saturday’s sprint race on pole, following Hamilton’s disqualification, but was unable to maintain his position, with Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas storming away to take the three points on offer.
Verstappen starting the race strongly however, overtaking the Finn on the opening corner, and defended well from Hamilton until more controversy struck.
Hamilton attempted an overtake on Verstappen, with The Brit forced to leave the track, but Verstappen avoided punishment.
The defence couldn’t withstand however, with the pace advantage for the Mercedes leaving Hamilton to duke past Verstappen, ensuring his hunt for a first World Championship continues.
3. Valtteri Bottas. 6/10
The Finn had a characteristically mixed weekend, with a great performance in Sprint Qualifying to take pole, before Verstappen snuck ahead on the inside on the opening corner of the race.
Bottas then conceded his position to his teammate Hamilton, following team orders to help his efforts in the World Championship, leading his race to be largely focused on Sergio Perez instead.
Perez managed to leap ahead of Bottas during the race, before an effective undercut by the Mercedes pit crew left Bottas in a controlled position to take the final podium spot, and ensure Mercedes regained the lead in the Constructor Championship.
4. Sergio Perez. 6/10
Similarly to Bottas, Perez played a supportive role to his World Championship contending teammate, and set up his race well to continue this effort.
Tasked with slowing down Hamilton’s overtakes through the pack, he was successful for a few laps, but was ultimately unable to help his teammate enough to ensure a Red Bull win.
A late pit stop allowed him to take one point away from Hamilton with a fastest lap attempt, ensuring a damage limiting race for Red Bull proceeded almost as well as could have been expected.
5. Charles Leclerc. 7/10
Leclerc managed to register another solid performance for Ferrari as they continued their resurgence following two disappointing seasons.
Ferrari’s battle this year consists of a fight for third in the Constructors between themselves and McLaren, with Leclerc’s helping to extend this gap following the British teams struggles in Brazil.
6. Carlos Sainz. 5/10
An average rating, and a rather average raise for the Spaniard. The last driver to avoid getting lapped by Hamilton, Sainz struggled in the opening lap following a collision with his former teammate Lando Norris.
After this early setback, Sainz was able to settle behind his Monégasque but was unable to challenge him, allowing Ferrari to open up a 31 point lead from McLaren in the Constructors.
7. Pierre Gasly. 7.5/10
Another impressive performance for the Frenchman in a car which is lacking pace compared to most on the grid, but was able to draw Alpha Tauri level with Alpine in the constructors.
While his teammate Yuki Tsunoda struggled in 16th, Gasly fought against both Alpine’s for a majority of the race, completing two great overtakes in the dying embers of the race to gain valuable points.
8. Fernando Alonso. 7/10
A solid race for one of the veterans on the grid. Alonso started the race twelfth, but was able to gain a number of places due to taking a one pit stop strategy that helped the Spaniard massively.
The only dent in a solid day for Alonso was Gasly’s impressive overtake around the outside to draw Alpine level with Alpha Tauri, although the French team will still be confident of finishing ahead by the end of the season.
9. Esteban Ocon. 6/10
Similarly to his teammate, Ocon had a solid if unspectacular race in Brazil, defending well in the early stages in the race, before securing a decent few points for his team which could prove the difference in the end.
Perhaps Ocon’s most notable encounter during the race was his battle throughout with fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly, with the two going wheel to wheel on a number of occasions, before Gasly eventually continued his charge through the field.
10. Lando Norris. 5/10
Norris certainly had a busy Sunday, with an opening lap collision with Sainz leading to a puncture for Norris, leaving him last by some way, before a solid recovery drive to rescue a point for his team.
With his teammate Daniel Ricciardo retiring with engine issues, and with Ferrari scoring solid points, it leaves Norris and McLaren with it all to do in the final three races to match last season’s result of third in the Constructors championship.
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