F1: Rain wrecks havoc at Brazilian Grand Prix
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Hamilton leading when rain disrupts Brazilian GP
SAO PAULO, Nov 13 - The Brazilian Grand Prix has been halted after 20 of 71 laps as rain wreaked havoc at Interlagos and Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo is set to serve a five- second penalty that may cruel his hopes of a victory when racing restarts.
With cars crashing all over the soaked circuit, Ricciardo and Red Bull ignored that the pit lane was closed due to the stricken Sauber of Marcus Ericsson blocking the pit entrance and made a stop.
Later team principal Christian Horner would claim that the team felt Ricciardo “had a puncture” to try and allow the pit stop but race officials deemed it not to be fact and slapped Ricciardo with a five-second penalty.
The red flag came after experienced Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen lost it on the main straight at the restart on lap 19 almost collecting German teammate Sebastian Vettel as he went.
“This is just bad, just stupid,” Vettel, who had spun off on lap 10 and ended up facing oncoming cars amid the spray, exclaimed over the radio.
“Red flag is what it needs, we need to stop the race. How many people do they want to crash? I nearly crashed into Kimi in the middle of the straight, I couldn’t see anything,” added the four-times champion.
The red flags were waved seconds later.
Hamilton, who trails Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 19 points with one race remaining after Brazil, had been 3.1 seconds clear of his teammate when the race was stopped.
Rosberg, race winner for the past two seasons in Brazil, can take his first title if he triumphs in Sunday’s race or scores seven points more than Hamilton.
French driver Romain Grosjean crashed his Haas into the barriers on his way to the starting grid after losing control on standing water.