Brazilian Grand Prix: Race Report

Event:  Brazilian Grand Prix (Round 20 of 21)

Date:  Sunday, Nov. 11

Location:  Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo

Layout:  4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn circuit

Weather:  Began mostly sunny, but became increasingly overcast during race

Air Temps:  21.1-25.1 degrees Celsius (70-77.2 degrees Fahrenheit)

Track Temps:  34.8-44.9 degrees Celsius (94.6-112.8 degrees Fahrenheit)

Race Winner:  Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes

Haas F1 Team:  

●  Romain Grosjean – Started 8th, Finished 8th (Running, completed 71/71 laps)

●  Kevin Magnussen – Started 10th, Finished 9th (Running, completed 71/71 laps)

Haas F1 Team earned a double-points result for the fourth time this season in the Brazilian Grand Prix Sunday with drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finishing eighth and ninth, respectively, in the penultimate round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The six points from the collective result of Grosjean and Magnussen at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo allowed Haas F1 Team to solidify its fifth-place standing in the constructors’ ranks. The American squad now has 90 points and trails fourth-place Renault by 24 points and holds a 28-point advantage over sixth-place McLaren. Magnussen is ninth in the driver’s championship with 55 points, tying his highest season point total, earned during his rookie year in 2014 with McLaren when he finished 11th in points. Grosjean is currently 13th with 35 points.

The Haas F1 Team duo proved tenacious throughout the 71-lap race around the 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn circuit in São Paulo’s Interlagos neighborhood.

Grosjean started eighth and picked up one position at the start, surviving a scrape with the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson. Magnussen fell one spot to 11th in the opening-lap scrum.

A charging Daniel Ricciardo, who would go on to finish fourth, powered his Red Bull past Grosjean on lap four. But it soon became apparent that eighth was Grosjean’s rightful place, as he was never truly challenged thereafter.

Magnussen, meanwhile, leapfrogged Ericsson for 10th when the Sauber driver slowed on lap nine. Magnussen then set his sights on the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly, taking ninth on lap 13.

Both Grosjean and Magnussen navigated their pit stops flawlessly. Grosjean stopped on lap 32, swapping his Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires for White medium tires that would carry him through the finish. Magnussen made his stop on lap 41, jettisoning his Yellow soft tires for supersofts.

With their pit stops done and the pit stops of others having cycled through, Grosjean was eighth and Magnussen was ninth. They held these positions for the final 30 laps to pick up Haas F1 Team’s first double-points finish since the Aug. 26 Belgian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton won the Brazilian Grand Prix from the pole to earn his 72nd career Formula One victory, his series-leading 10th this season and his second at Autódromo José Carlos Pace. The Mercedes driver’s margin of victory over second-place Max Verstappen of Red Bull was 1.469 seconds. And after Hamilton clinched the drivers’ championship in the preceding Mexican Grand Prix, his win in the Brazilian Grand Prix clinched Mercedes’ fifth straight constructors’ title.

Only one race remains, with the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix set for Nov. 25 at Yas Marina Circuit.

“I’m very happy, and very happy for the team. With the damage we had on the car following lap one, I’m impressed. We lacked about a second of downforce on the car. Being able to do those lap times, I think we did an amazing job on the setup. I’m very happy with that. I think without that, being best-of-the-rest would’ve easily been on our side. I’m happy we finished eighth and ninth. Even if we’re far from Renault in the points, double-points finishes in the two last races would be amazing going into the winter.”

“It was tough luck on the first lap. I made a good start and I got through turns one and two very well. Then I was pushed out on turn four and I lost a few positions there. I had to get those positions back and close the gap to Romain again. We stayed put from there. I’m happy for the team to get a double-points finish again. It’s good to bounce back from the tough luck we experienced yesterday when I didn’t really qualify where I should have. We did some damage limitation. I’m happy we leave with points.” 

“It was a good result to have both cars in the points. Everybody did a great job over the whole weekend, and this is what you get when you do a good job. It was fantastic to lap the Renault that’s in front of us in the championship.”

The final round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit. Practice begins Nov. 23, qualifying takes place Nov. 24 and the race runs Nov. 25.