For the second year in succession, Mercedes have proved their superiority and howsoever the Ferraris tried in the 2015 F1 season, they couldn’t come close enough. The machine excellence of the Mercedes was evident in several races over the last two seasons and amply demonstrated in the last two races at Mexico City and Sao Paulo’s famous Interlagos track. The Mercedes 1-2 finish has become so commonplace that no one is ever surprised now. Out of 18 races completed in the 2015 F1 season so far, the Mercedes team has come out with the 1-2 finish in 11 events at Australia, China, Spain, Canada, Austria, Britain, Belgium, Japan, United States, Mexico and now Brazil. Of the remaining races, where the 1-2 finish couldn’t materialize, Mercedes team managed 2-3 in Malaysia and 1-3 at Bahrain. Also when one of two Mercedes drivers couldn’t be together at the podium, Hamilton topped at Italy and Russia, while Rosberg won at Singapore. The Hungarian GP was the lone event, where none of the two could take the podium. Thus, Mercedes have already equaled their 11-race win record of the 2014 season. With just Abu Dhabi remaining in the 2015 season, they have a great chance to make 1-2 in 12 out of 19 races and break the 2014 record as well. In Brazil on Sunday, Nico Rosberg scored a resounding victory over teammate Hamilton after his no.1 finish at Mexico two weeks ago. Third placed Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was so far behind that he looked like someone, who also raced!
For the fifth consecutive race, Nico Rosberg secured the top pole position in the qualifying with relentless pace. The German posted a time of 1:11.282, 0.078 seconds ahead of teammate Hamilton with Sebastian Vettel settling for the third place more than half second behind. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was fourth, but he had to lose three grid places after a penalty on Friday. The fifth place in qualifying was taken by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. At seventh place was Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, who outraced teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian was ninth behind Felipe Massa while Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen took the tenth spot. There was a disappointment for Brazilian fans as local hero Felipe Nasr just missed out on the top-10 finish.
On race day, Nico Rosberg continued with his superb performance in Saturday’s qualifying by converting his top pole into victory at the Interlagos race track of Sao Paulo. As the German pulled away, he was given a hot chase by Hamilton as they headed into the first corner. But Rosberg managed to stay ahead. The two drivers remained bunched together and on the 16th lap, Hamilton tried one more time to get past. However, Rosberg remained in control and fended off the challenge. Rosberg lost some time, when he was held in his box for Vettel but lead positions remained unaffected after that pit-stop. After his first pit-stop, Hamilton raised his pace and, at one time, came to within 4/10th of a second behind Rosberg but couldn’t pass his determined teammate. In the second round of pit-stops, Hamilton’s challenge lost the tempo, when he slipped behind Kimi Raikkonen, who was employing Ferrari’s two-stop strategy. By the time Hamilton passed Raikkonen, the gap between him and Rosberg had considerably widened. Rosberg’s final pit stop came on the 50th lap and since Hamilton was instructed to pit one lap later, there was no change in the lead positions with Rosberg holding a 2-second advantage. Hamilton failed to find a better strategy and as the race ended; the 2015 world champion had to settle for the second place behind his Silver Arrows teammate. Rosberg crossed the finish line 7.7 seconds earlier than Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ended third, a further 4.4 seconds behind. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was fifth ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat finished seventh; Felipe Massa was eighth; Daniel Ricciardo ninth and Toro Rosso-Renault’s 2015 debutant 18-year old driver Max Verstappen finished tenth.
The second consecutive win at Brazilian Grand Prix has made Rosberg as the seventh driver to score back-to-back wins in Brazil. The last such occurrence was recorded 10 years ago by Juan Pablo Montoya. Rosberg also passed Nick Heidfeld’s record of 184 race-starts and entered his name as the second most experienced German driver in F1 history. Only Michael Schumacher, with 306 starts, has raced in more Grand Prix events. Rosberg’s victory also meant that world champion Lewis Hamilton’s 9 outings at Interlagos ended winless.
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