Rosberg protects his lead throughout the Brazilian Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg won Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, leading from start to finish to beat Mercedes teammate and already-crowned season champion Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg started from pole and won his second consecutive race — his fifth victory of the season — to clinch second place in the season standings with one race to run in Abu Dhabi.
Rosberg and Hamilton spent the entire race 1-2, remaining that way through three pits stops.
Nico Rosberg celebrates his Brazilian Grand Prix victory. Picture/AP.
Hamilton turned some of the fastest laps near the end but could not catch his teammate and rival.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, exactly the way the top four racers started on the grid.
It was Hamilton’s ninth race in Brazil, and he has yet to win.
He often compares his struggle to that of Brazilian great Ayrton Senna, who needed eight races to win his home race.
Drivers wore black armbands as a sign of mourning for those killed in deadly attacks in Paris. In addition, a French flag decorated with a black ribbon was displayed on a truck used during the drivers’ parade before the race.
The race at Interlagos was run on a dry day free of rain, which is often a feature of the Brazilian GP outside Sao Paulo. It made for a race with few incidents, and little excitement in the racing.
Rosberg safely protected his lead at the start with Hamilton right behind. Both pitted early and Rosberg managed to hold the lead by 0.9 seconds after the first round of stops with Vettel and Raikkonen right behind.
A third of the way through, Hamilton was closing on Rosberg — cutting the gap to 0.4 seconds — with Vettel slipping sevens second behind the leaders. But that was as close as Hamilton ever got.
“I’m faster but I can’t get close,” Hamilton said over the team radio as he began to slip further off the lead in second place.That summed up the day.
Two more pits, and the positions held with almost no passing in the entire race.
Results from the Brazilian Grand Prix (71 laps):
1. Nico Rosberg (GER/MER) 1hr 31min 9.090sec
2. Lewis Hamilton (ENG/MER) +7.756
3. Sebastian Vettel (GER/FER) 14.244
4. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/FER) 47.543
5. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/WIL) 1 lap 6. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/FOR) 1 lap