Five Take Aways from the Brazilian Grand Prix

It was an incident and drama packed Brazilian Grand Prix race day in which Lewis Hamilton did the business to claim his second win at the iconic venue in Sao Paulo and help his team wrap up the constructors’ title in the process.

Making that ten titles in five years, but it would be fair to say victory was gifted to him when Max Verstappen was punted out while leading the race by lapped Esteban Ocon.

Here are Five Take Aways from a memorable race:

What happened to Vettel?

It would seem that the newly crowned champion would not have anything to prove, while the runner-up in the driver’s standings just might. So, why did Seb slip from qualifying second to finishing sixth? He had a bad start and he didn’t manage his speed as he should have. His teammate, who got sacked from Ferrari and had little reason to press hard for his “former” employer put on a brilliant drive throughout the race to end up standing on the podium. Did Ferrari make a mistake letting Kimi go and can Vettel recover his drive, if not for him, certainly for the team? He should have worked harder to try to win the Constructors championship for his team. Hell, Kimi did and had little reason to do so.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 11: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 TAG Heuer is crashed into by Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM11 Mercedes on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 11, 2018 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // AP-1XFYXC8MS2111 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to for further information. //

A brilliant run by Verstappen up until the Ocon incident

Max put on a fantastic show coming from fifth starting position to the lead and nearly winning the race. But, as he has yet to learn, when you are leading, you don’t tempt fate. In the front-on photo of the moment they came together, Max had his inside tires right on the painted line.

Knowing, or supposing, Esteban might be there to make contact, he should have moved out at least a half car width for insurance just in case. Every seasoned driver who has risked losing the race by arguing with a backmarker has done that. Verstappen has a way to go in the maturity department.

Maybe this was a much-needed lesson. A sign he had indeed learned would be him taking credit for the collision with a statement similar to this, “I should have known the idiot would try something stupid like that” (not an actual quote), or something to that effect. The way it played out in the weight room, I’m not sure he got it.

LeClerc offers up proof he is capable and ready for the Ferrari

Charles put up a statement that he might truly be a good choice for his 2019 seat in a Ferrari. He qualified a strong eighth and then improved his position to seventh at race end. He was as they say, the best of the rest and made the most of a seventh (in the constructors’ championship) place car. And who was that just a position in front of him? Oh yea, it was Vettel.

Haas runs a solid mid-pack.

Haas is no longer a “new” team as such and needed to show continued improvement. This year they have. They are now solid mid-pack as a racing team and compared to longtime team Williams…well? They will continue to learn and improve in 2019.

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday - Wolfgang Wilhelm

What about Hamilton’s fantastic run?

Nobody is talking about what a fantastic run Hamilton had. It was evident that Verstappen had the quicker car as he was flying up through the top five and easily taking the lead away from Lewis. He had a better tire strategy and a faster car. Then “it” happened and Hamilton had then to try to maintain the lead on tires that are not really supposed to go over fifty laps.

But he did, and it wasn’t an easy thing to do. He struggled to maintain the lead as Max whittled away coming from nearly six seconds back to 1.5 sec. at the end. Along the way, Lewis matched Max’s times when he had to and did what no other driver has done, win after being crowned champion, whilst maybe showing the mark of a true champion.