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Points but no prizes for Bulls in Brazil

Highlights

  • Max spends most of the race in fourth place, chasing Kimi Räikkönen.
  • Max’s hopes of a podium fade after Hamilton gets by on lap 58.
  • Daniel hit by Vandoorne in Turn 3 at start. Drop to P17.
  • Daniel surges through field to eventually finish in sixth place.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth in a Brazilian Grand Prix that saw Max’s hopes of a podium fade midway through the race and Daniel’s progress stall in sixth place after a storming comeback from the back of the field following a lap one collision.

At the start Sebastian Vettel snatched the lead ahead of pole position man Valtteri Bottas, with the Ferrari driver sneaking past the Mercedes man on the inside. Behind them Kimi Räikkönen held this starting third place ahead of Max.

At the start Sebastian Vettel snatched the lead ahead of pole position man Valtteri Bottas, with the Ferrari driver sneaking past the Mercedes man on the inside. Behind them Kimi Räikkönen held this starting third place ahead of Max.

Every time I was catching a car I passed it.

Further back Daniel was attempting to make a quick move up the order from 14th on the grid by going wide around the outside on the exit of Turn 3. However, on his inside Haas’s Kevin Magnussen collided with McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne who in turn collided with Daniel’s right rear tyre. The Dane and the Belgian were forced out of the race but while Daniel was pitched into a spin he was able to continue with no damage.

As Daniel joined the tail of the pack, ahead Haas’ Romain Grosjean tangled with Esteban Ocon, with the result that the Force India driver was forced to immediately retire.

The incident brought out the safety car and when the action resumed after five laps Vettel held his lead ahead of Bottas with Räikkönen third in the second Ferrari and Max fourth.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton, who had started from the pit lane after a crash in qualifying, was moving swiftly up the order and by lap 27 the Mercedes driver had climbed to fifth place.

Daniel, too, was scything his way through the field and by lap 12 the Australian was 12th and by lap 27 he was eighth.

With both men starting on the soft Pirelli tyre and those ahead on the supersoft, the then began to climb the order by virtue of pit stops around them and Hamilton assumed the lead on lap 30.


Our race in numbers: 

  • 19 – Points finishes for the team in Brazil. Max’s fifth and Daniel’s sixth today brought our Brazil points total to 217.

  • 2Career fastest laps now for Max, both in Brazil. After getting his first here last year, he took another today with a time of 1:11.044 on lap 64 of the race.

  • 26Today’s result means we have scored 26 points finishes this season. We’ve had a least one car in the points at every race so far. Today was our seventh double points finish of the season so far. 


Daniel was now in fifth place with Max right behind having made his first pit stop on lap 28, for soft tyres. With Daniel’s tyres ageing, he let Max through to fifth.

I think we maximised the result and that was fifth today.

Daniel made his second pit stop, for supersoft tyres, on lap 43 and resumed in eighth place. However, he quickly dismissed McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Williams’ Felipe Massa to regain sixth.

Ahead, fourth-placed Max, was coming under increasing pressure from Hamilton, who had pitted from the lead on the same lap as Daniel. By lap 55 Max had just 3.0s in hand over the Briton and was complaining that his tyres felt “like rocks”.

By lap 59 the gap had been erased almost entirely and though Max defended well in Turns 1 and 2, he couldn’t resist Hamilton’s pace and the Mercedes driver got past on the straight before Turn 4.

And it was there the race stalled. Max pitted on lap 62 to shed his problem tyres and when he rejoined the Red Bulls had sizeable gaps ahead and behind and no time to progress.

Ahead, Vettel took his 47th career victory ahead of Bottas. Räikkönen took his 91st career podium finish ahead of Hamilton.

Behind Max and Daniel, Felipe Massa ended his final Brazilian Grand Prix with an excellent run to seventh place, ahead of Alonso and Perez. The final point on offer went to Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg.