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Brazilian Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2014

Circuit information
CircuitAutódromo José Carlos Pace
LocationSão Paulo
CountryBrazil
TimezoneGMT -03:00
Race debut1972
Laps71
Length4.309 km
Distance305.909 km
Line offset0.030 km

Two close teammate battles dominated the race in Brazil, with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen going head to head, as well as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg scrapping for the lead. Elsewhere, there were just two retirements amidst a high number of pit stops, as well as a couple of penalties handed out by the stewards. The party atmosphere in Brazil delivered, as the championship tension ratcheted up another notch.

Event overview

Excitement ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix was building. The championship couldn’t be won at Interlagos, thanks to double points, but there was still a great atmosphere at the track, a fine battle going on at Mercedes, and a potentially great race awaiting everyone. The weather suggested rain during the weekend, although it wasn’t clear which sessions it would affect, if any.

There were spots of rain on track ahead of qualifying but most of the attention was on the surface of the circuit itself. The tarmac had been resurfaced, and was superbly smooth, resulting in higher speeds and lower grip levels. Without Caterham and Marussia, qualifying saw four drivers out in the first and second sessions, with no major surprises.

Felipe Massa looked as though he could trouble the Mercedes drivers, with the advantage of the home crowd behind him, he was less than half a tenth of a second off Rosberg’s Q2 time, and set the provisional pole position time in the penultimate round of flying laps. It was not to be, but Massa was best of the rest behind Rosberg and Hamilton, who couldn’t put a clean lap together to challenge his teammate for the top spot.

Jenson Button qualified well in fifth, with Daniel Ricciardo disappointingly down in ninth place – both Red Bull drivers struggling for pace a little in Brazil. Adrian Sutil was forced to start from the pit lane after his Sauber developed a problem with the turbo.

The race got underway with a clean first lap and a very short first stint. Pastor Maldonado came in on the fifth lap, with Massa next time round, and both Bottas and Button on lap seven. Massa was found to have been speeding in the pit lane, so was given a five second stop/go penalty for his next stop. Rosberg pitted at the end of lap seven, and Hamilton was close behind him.

That left Nico Hülkenberg leading the race, with Daniil Kvyat behind him. They still had to stop, of course, but couldn’t hold off the Mercedes pair anyway. Hülkenberg pitted, leaving Kvyat out there. The Toro Rosso driver lost a position to Massa before diving into the pit lane for his own first stop of the day. Rosberg regained his lead, whilst further back, the Red Bull drivers had lost out in the pit stops. Vettel in 12th was told his teammate, directly behind him, would drop back to reduce the pressure on both their tyres.

During the second round of pitstops, Hamilton put in some incredible laps to try and make the gap over his teammate, but then locked up and drifted sideways to lose the time once more. Rosberg retained the lead again. Hamilton was on the radio panicking about his mistake but the engineers talked him down. “All is not lost,” they said.

Kimi Räikkönen had been running third after just one stop, but when he did come in for his second it was a delayed one. The front jack failed, dropping the car back down to earth with a bump before the tyre changes had been completed. A second attempt finished the stop and the Ferrari rejoined in 13th place, undoing all Kimi’s hard work. Williams were also struggling in the pit lane, with two slow stops for Bottas leaving him all the way down in 16th.

Daniel Ricciardo suddenly slowed on track, cruising his Red Bull back round to the pit lane, retiring from the race. The replays showed a front suspension failure which curtailed his running.

Hamilton had managed to close the gap to his teammate by the time their third and final stops of the afternoon were complete. He rejoined directly behind Rosberg, piling on the pressure to the race leader. Meanwhile, Räikkönen was back up into the points thanks to his different strategy. Fernando Alonso moved in behind his teammate, and they put on a fabulous fight for several laps before the Spaniard got himself ahead.

Romain Grosjean’s Lotus came to a halt out on track with smoke pouring from the rear of the car. All eyes were on the front, though, where Hamilton was desperately looking for a way to get into the lead. He ran out of time, with Nico Rosberg crossing the line to take the win. Felipe Massa scooped third place, to the crowd’s delight. The win for Rosberg closed the gap in the championship, helping his chances, but it would all come down to the final race of the year – in Abu Dhabi.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
07 NovFridayFree Practice 112:00
GMT +00:00
10:00
GMT -02:00
Free Practice 216:00
GMT +00:00
14:00
GMT -02:00
08 NovSaturdayFree Practice 313:00
GMT +00:00
11:00
GMT -02:00
Qualifying16:00
GMT +00:00
14:00
GMT -02:00
09 NovSundayGrand Prix16:00
GMT +00:00
14:00
GMT -02:00

All content in the series Brazil 2014