Well, there you go. Max starts on pole and wins the Brazilian Grand Prix. Regulation victory; nothing to see here; move along.
Ahem… perhaps not. Max has been mega in Brazil a couple of times without getting the full reward. He’s earned that trophy the hard way. What a fabulous grand prix though – and not just because we won.* Not wanting to blow one’s own trumpet** but did Spy not say in the preview that Interlagos is never-a-dull-race circuit, and that we had a very good chance of getting a result? Frankly, even without the Safety Cars at the end of the race, it was going to be a classic: all the strategies were coming together for a pretty mental last few laps even before the yellows were thrown. After that it was just bedlam – even without the Maranello pratfall.
That said, the Ferraris hitting each other was… entertaining. Obviously, it’s not funny when someone spears off into a barrier or anything like that, but when teammates go clang and they both limp off into retirement, the rest of the pitlane generally gets a collective fit of the giggles. It’s not very mature – but then if we were very mature we’d probably all have real jobs.
Frankly, it’s happened to us often enough that you have to see the funny side when it’s someone else. In fact, to those of us of a certain vintage, it looks like a carbon copy of Seb vs Mark in Istanbul 2010.
Of course, that wasn’t the last collision of the race. Alex is just incredibly unlucky to not make it a one-two finish, and take his first podium. He deserved so much better than getting punted off by Lewis. That’s pretty hard to take – but his time will come. Alex did the mature thing and shrugged it off, called it one of those things, and insisted he’s not angry, just a bit frustrated.
I think what he said is correct though. You might be warranted getting angry at other drivers but, whatever else he does, Lewis, like Kimi, is a scrupulously clean racer. He’s trying to win a grand prix; he saw a gap; he went for it and, for the first time in a very long time, made a bollox of it. When he stopped in parc ferme he immediately went looking for Alex to apologise, and then made sure he took full responsibility in every interview he did. Class act.
It was nice to see Pierre up there, he’s a quick driver, a good racer who earned Toro Rosso their second podium of the season and a second double podium for Honda! It was also nice, when Lewis took his penalty, to see Carlos Sainz take a first podium and make it a full house for Red Bull Junior Team alumni. Probably not the way Carlos imagined getting his first podium but funny for the rest of us during packdown to see pretty much the entire McLaren team up on the podium, jumping around like crazy people to the acclaim of an empty grandstand. The pitlane gave them a whoop and a holler though. That’s just good manners.
And that’s Brazil. Sleepy end to the 2019 season? Not so much…
* and yet yes, totally because we won.
** though a kazoo would perhaps be more appropriate.