Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel picked up his third win at the Interlagos Circuit on Sunday afternoon to increase his lead over the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in the 2017 drivers Championship with one round remaining. Bottas finished right behind the German driver after losing the lead at the start while the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top three.
While the trio at the front stayed close to each other for the majority of the race, all eyes were on the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. Hamilton started from pitlane due to a crash in qualifying on Saturday while Ricciardo started 14th due to an engine penalty.
Unfortunately, there was contact at the start of the race involving Vandoorne, Ocon, Grosjean and Ricciardo, sending the Australian further down the grid and knocking Ocon and Vandoorne out altogether. Grosjean was later handed a ten second penalty for his part in the incident, but for Lewis Hamilton, the arrival of the safety car to clean up the debris was a godsend.
When the safety car came in Hamilton was already into 14thplace, and from there he charged past a multitude of his colleagues. On the soft compound rubber he was putting in some strong lap times, even faster than Vettel at the front, who was on the super soft and faster compound.
When the leaders came in for their stops, Lewis was still able to set good times and was soon in the lead of the race, however it was a false lead and one he had to give up when it was his turn to pit for the softer compound tyre.
From that moment on he was the quickest man on track, until a few laps from the end when Max Verstappen complained that his car was undriveable and came in for a change of tyres. Armed with a fresh set of supersofts, the Dutchman recorded the fastest lap ever around the Interlagos circuit.
Meanwhile, Hamilton was right on the gearbox of Kimi Raikkonen, however a lock up a few laps from the end ruined any chance he had of making it onto the podium and he was forced to settle for fourth, not bad after starting from pitlane!
At the end the first four all followed each other across the line with only a few seconds from first to fourth.
Max Verstappen crossed the line fifth ahead of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.
Home hero Felipe Massa, who was contesting his final race at the Interlagos Circuit as a Formula One driver, crossed the line in P7 with a hard charging McLaren Honda of Fernando Alonso chasing him all the way to the line. The Spaniard finished in a close 8th with the sole remaining Force India of Sergio Perez in 9th.