Formula 1 post-race report: Brazilian Grand Prix

The boring season comes to an end
by Sharleen Banzon | Nov 25, 2013


It was another Red Bull one-two--maybe not in the order Mark Webber had hoped for, but that wasn\'t what he was misty-eyed about when he took off his helmet during his final post-GP parade lap. Some of the sport\'s followers believe Sebastian Vettel should have given his teammate the victory in Brazil to finally put closure to the Multi-21 affair, while others think the Australian veteran wouldn\'t have wanted to win that way. What we know for certain is Webber can walk away from Formula 1 with the full conviction that he has challenged the very best of his contemporaries very closely, even beating them a fair few times to boot.

\"It was a very good finish to my career, a good fight with all the guys I\'ve enjoyed fighting with for most of my career: Seb, Fernando, Lewis, Nico, all the guys who have been in the window for the last five or six years,\" he said in the post-race podium interviews. \"I want to thank the team--I enjoyed the last few laps. It was a very nice way to finish. I want to thank everyone in Australia. I wouldn\'t be here where I am without the support in the early days. It\'s been a thoroughly enjoyable career. A great journey, one which I\'m proud of, and there\'s been so many people who have played a special role in my career. They know who they all are--thank you very much if you are watching. And, yeah, enjoy watching Formula 1 next year with these guys, but off to Porsche and looking forward to it.\"

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Here are the results of our predictions.

1. The 2014 Williams pair will outqualify their current teammates. Valtteri Bottas did put one over Pastor Maldonado, but Felipe Massa failed to place higher than Alonso, who showed his superiority in wet conditions and said he could\'ve dragged his Ferrari to the front row if not for a mistake on his final hot lap. Half a point.

On Sunday, both Bottas and Massa ran into trouble. While the latter finished P7, two places up from his starting position, he\'d gotten drive-through penalty for repeatedly going over the off-limits part of the pit-lane entry line--something he later said other drivers had been guilty of as well. Meanwhile, Bottas collided with Lewis Hamilton as he tried to unlap himself on Turn 4 at about two-thirds distance, resulting in a crash that ended his race.

2. Sebastian Vettel and Max Chilton will register new entries in the record books. A full mark here: Chilton is now the only rookie to have seen the checkered flag in all the races of his first full season, and his 19 finishes is the longest streak from the start of the career of any F1 driver. The kid knows how to keep out of trouble, but arguably, the back of the grid isn\'t the most happening place in GPs.

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Seb, too, expanded his CV with a series of record-breaking and record-equaling \"season mosts\": most number of wins (13, tied with Michael Schumacher), most number of consecutive victories (9, from the Belgian GP to the Brazilian GP), and most number of points (397). He may have also taken the plum for most number of times a driver used the word \"obviously\" in an interview, as this official transcript shows.

3. At least one Toro Rosso will finish in the points. Next year\'s Aussie flag bearer at Red Bull gave us and himself a point, but only just--he finished P10. We made this prediction on the evidence that Toro Rossos usually went around well in the wet, and both little Bulls did qualify in the top 10. The heavens decided it had done enough crying for the weekend, however, so we got only a few harmless drops on race day.

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Special mention goes to the McLaren boys, who didn\'t progress past Q2--Sergio Perez even had to settle for the P20 grid slot, following a penalty for a gearbox change. Nevertheless, he and Jenson Button finished P6 and P4. It\'s small consolation for a bitterly disappointing and podium-less season.

4. In the drivers\' championship, Mark Webber will finish third and Nico Hulkenberg will finish 10th. Hulkenberg secured 10th in the standings with a steady drive to a P8 finish. Now, if only he could secure a seat for 2014 as well. And Webber will have to dust off his tux for the FIA gala in December, having clinched third in the championship by 10 points. We hope for his sake he won\'t trip and fall on prize-giving day--he took a right thump on the head when he slipped on the podium.

5. No more movements for second and third in the team battles. Close fight, this, after Mercedes decided to put a touch more downforce on the cars in case of Sunday rain...and after Nico Rosberg seemed to make a mess of tire management in his first stint, sliding alarmingly backward from his front-row grid spot...and after Lewis picked up a puncture and a drive-through penalty in the Bottas incident. While the Silver Arrows pulled it off in the end, they probably felt like they\'d died a few deaths in the process.

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That\'s the checkered flag waving for this season. Withdrawal kicking in already? Yes--but between now and the Australian GP in March, we\'ve got seat-swap news, 2014 car launches, and pre-season testing to look forward to. It won\'t be long until the five lights are going out again, and we\'re looking forward to it already.

Total score: 4.5 out of 5

Season average: 2.5 out of 5

Photos from Infiniti Red Bull Racing


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BRA Starting grid Race results
Pos Driver (Team) Quali (Start tire) Driver (Team) Time/Gap
S. Vettel (Red Bull) 1:26.479 (M) S. Vettel (Red Bull) 1hr 32:36.300
N. Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:27.102, +0.623 (M) M. Webber (Red Bull) +10.452
F. Alonso (Ferrari) 1:27.539, +1.060 (M) F. Alonso (Ferrari) +18.913
M. Webber (Red Bull) 1:27.572, +1.093 (M) J. Button (McLaren) +37.660
L. Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:27.677, +1.198 (M) N. Rosberg (Mercedes) +39.048
R. Grosjean (Lotus) 1:27.737, +1.258 (M) S. Perez (McLaren) +44.051
D. Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) 1:28.052, +1.573 (M) F. Massa (Ferrari) +49.110
J. Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1:28.081, +1.602 (M) N. Hulkenberg (Sauber) +1:04.252
F. Massa (Ferrari) 1:28.109, +1.630 (M) L. Hamilton (Mercedes) +1:12.903
N. Hulkenberg (Sauber) 1:29.582, +3.103 (M) D. Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) +1 lap
H. Kovalainen (Lotus) 1:27.456, +0.977 (M) P. di Resta (Force India) +1 lap
P. di Resta (Force India) 1:27.798, +1.319 (M) E. Gutierrez (Sauber) +1 lap
V. Bottas (Williams) 1:27.954, +1.475 (M) A. Sutil (Force India) +1 lap
J. Button (McLaren) 1:28.308, +1.829 (H) H. Kovalainen (Lotus) +1 lap
A. Sutil (Force India) 1:28.586, +2.107 (M) J. Vergne (Toro Rosso) +1 lap
P. Maldonado (Williams) 1:27.367, +0.888 (M) P. Maldonado (Williams) +1 lap
E. Gutierrez (Sauber) 1:27.445, +0.966 (H) J. Bianchi (Marussia) +2 laps
C. Pic (Caterham) 1:27.843, +1.364 (M) G. van der Garde (Caterham) +2 laps
S. Perez (McLaren) 1:28.268, +1.790 (M) M. Chilton (Marussia) +2 laps
G. van der Garde (Caterham) 1:28.320, +1.841 (M) C. Pic (Caterham) retired
J. Bianchi (Marussia) 1:28.366, +1.887 (M) V. Bottas (Williams) retired
M. Chilton (Marussia) 1:28.950, +2.471 (M) R. Grosjean (Lotus) retired

Notes: Hhard compound; Mmedium compound. Qualifying was done in mixed conditions using intermediate and full-wet tires, so drivers had a free choice of dry start tire for the race. Listed qualifying laps 16-18 and 20-22 set in Q1; 11-15 and 19 in Q2; and 1-10 in Q3. S. Perez originally qualified P14, but was given a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change

BRA Championship Standings
Pos Driver Points Constructor Points
1 S. Vettel 397 Red Bull 596
2 F. Alonso 242 Mercedes 360
3 M. Webber 199 Ferrari 354
4 L. Hamilton 189 Lotus 315
5 K. Raikkonen 183 McLaren 122
6 N. Rosberg 171 Force India 77
7 R. Grosjean 132 Sauber 57
8 F. Massa 112 Toro Rosso 33
9 J. Button 73 Williams 5
10 N. Hulkenberg 51 Marussia 0
11 S. Perez 49 Caterham 0
12 P. di Resta 48    
13 A. Sutil 29    
14 D. Ricciardo 20    
15 J. Vergne 13    
16 E. Gutierrez 6    
17 V. Bottas 4    
18 P. Maldonado 1    
19 J. Bianchi 0    
20 C. Pic 0    
21 H. Kovalainen 0    
22 G. van der Garde 0    
23 M. Chilton 0     
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