Updated: November 10, 2014 3:21:57 am
Germany’s Nico Rosberg won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday to end team mate Lewis Hamilton’s run of five successive victories and cut the Briton’s championship lead to 17 points with one race remaining.
Hamilton was second, 1.4 seconds behind, with Mercedes setting a Formula One record of 11 one-two finishes in a season with their 30 podium finishes in 2014 also a record. “It was a great weekend,” said Rosberg, who started on pole position after lapping fastest in every practice session and phase of qualifying at Interlagos. “The whole weekend I’ve been feeling comfortable in the car, I was able to attack and control the gap to Lewis in the race so that worked out great. “There’s still all to play for. I just need to keep this going now,” said Rosberg.
The final race at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit on November 23 will offer double points for the first time — 50 for the winner — but Hamilton now needs only a second-place finish to wrap up his second title. Hamilton has 334 points to Rosberg’s 317. The team also equalled the record held by Ferrari and McLaren of 15 wins in a season, with Rosberg now on five to his British rival’s 10. The two Mercedes drivers were in a race of their own on a sunny afternoon, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg the only other driver to lead during the pitstops.
Hamilton made a big mistake on lap 28 as he pushed to gain an advantage after Rosberg had pitted, spinning and skidding off at turn four. That cost him seven seconds and, he said, ultimately the win.
From then on, the 2008 champion charged back, steadily narrowing the gap until the ‘Silver Arrows’ were just half a second apart. “It was an amazing race, I had a great time,” said Hamilton, who was hoping to become the first British driver to win six races in a row.
Brazilian Felipe Massa returned to the podium in front of his cheering home crowd with third place for Williams, 41 seconds behind despite a stop/go penalty for speeding in pitlane.
Massa had only himself to blame for more lost time when he pulled in to the McLaren pits instead of Williams. Mercedes-engined cars filled the four top slots, with McLaren’s Jenson Button fourth, and Red Bull’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel fifth.
Ferrari duo Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were sixth and seventh with Hulkenberg eighth and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen ninth. Finland’s Valtteri Bottas took the last point for Williams.
Hamilton win better for F1
Bernie Ecclestone reckons Lewis Hamilton would be a better champion for Formula One than Mercedes team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.
Ecclestone said that at the start of the season he had expected Rosberg to be the winner. “I thought that would probably suit the team better. I thought that if there was going to be any help, which I am certain that there hasn’t been, then maybe there would be a bit more support forthcoming from a German team for a German driver. So yes, I was sure that Nico would do it.
Privately I thought that Lewis would be a good champion. He is more widely known around the world than Nico. Consequently, he would be the better champion for the sport.”
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