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Rosberg cruises to Brazil win

NEWS STORY
15/11/2015

With the Mercedes duo enjoying a 0.5s advantage over their nearest rivals, we really, really need the intervention of the weather gods today if we are not to suffer a total procession.

Sadly, despite the continued forecasts of rain - storms even - this does not appear likely.

Both titles decided, we can forget about any challenge there, however, there appears to be continuing animosity between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg so we can only hope.

Toto Wolff has made it clear that he wants Rosberg to finish runner-up in the championship, and from the look of things the German is more likely to receive assistance from Sebastian Vettel than the guy in the Mercedes. Then there is Lewis' long-held ambition to win the race synonymous with his all-time hero, Ayrton Senna.

Valtteri Bottas' three-place grid drop for overtaking under a red flag on Friday means we have an all-red second row, though we have a funny feeling that the Finn could be trading blows with his countryman Kimi Raikkonen not too far into the first lap.

A strong performance in qualifying sees Nico Hulkenberg start fifth, the German eager to start clawing the limelight back from his Mexican teammate.

The much anticipated upgrade from Renault hasn't provided the boost Red Bull expected (demanded?), Daniil Kvyat, who stuck with the old engine, out-qualified teammate Daniel Ricciardo who went for the new one, picking up a ten-place grid penalty in the process. Starting from nineteenth, the Australian admits that he will be praying for rain today... he won't be the only one.

Bottas' grid penalty means her starts alongside teammate Felipe Massa, thereby adding to the two-by-two appearance of the grid, Red Bull and Force India the only teams not playing the symmetry game.

That said, Massa has been struggling all weekend, constantly unhappy with the balance of his car and, like several others, hurting following the modifications carried out to the kerbing at a number of corners.

Starting ninth and tenth, Mas Verstappen and Carlos Sainz have the perfect opportunity to close the gap to Lotus in the constructors' standings, maybe even leapfrog the troubled Enstone outfit.

"It's only for sixth place," you cry, however, let's not forget that the F1 prize point is decided by one's finishing position in the team standings, the difference between sixth and seventh being worth many millions.

Despite his penalty for impeding Massa, Felipe Nasr will be fired up by his home fans even if his team has no hope of improving on eighth.

At the back, Manor will be happy to get both cars to the flag again, and, hard to believe, this will be the aim of McLaren also. Sadly however, it is the team that almost went under last year has the best chance.

How bad is it at McLaren, well if you use Twitter you may have seen #placesalonsowouldratherbe, a hashtag that takes full advantage of the scene yesterday when, following yet another failure, Fernando Alonso took to sunbathing by the side of the track.

Overnight McLaren has changed the engine in the back of the Spaniard's car, his third engine of the weekend.

Raikkonen has also had an engine change overnight, however the Finn is using an old unit so there is no penalty.

Tyre choices are medium (prime) and soft (option), and with wear and degradation levels lower than last year, two different two-stop strategies are theoretically the quickest options, although a three-stop is also possible.

A three-stopper would be: start on the softs and then change to softs again on laps 15 and 30, before moving to mediums on lap 46.

The two quickest two-stoppers are: start on softs, change to mediums on lap 17, mediums again on lap 44. Alternatively: start on mediums, change to softs on lap 27 and then mediums on lap 44.

There are two DRS zones, the first detection point is at the apex of T2, with activation shortly after T3, while the second has its detection point just after T13, with activation after T15.

Following Friday's atrocities in Paris, the drivers' parade lap saw all competitors wearing black armbands, whilst the truck carrying the drivers was decorated with the tricolour.

Ahead of the race there will be a minute's silence not only in respect of what happened on Friday but also in tribute to those who have lost their lives or have been injured in road traffic accidents.

The pitlane opens and one by one the drivers head down the pitlane.

An early problem for Sainz (again), the Spaniard's Toro Rosso grinding to a halt close to the pitlane exit.

The minute's silence in honour of last Friday's murders, and the victims of road traffic accidents, is observed, followed by the national anthem.

In the meantime, Sainz' car has been towed back to the pits and will hopefully start from the pitlane.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul RB, 16/11/2015 7:25

"I agree, Hamilton's manner after the race, especially on the podium was graceless and boorish. Just when you thought this guy had finally grown up he does it all over again. Such a pity for, doubtless, he is a true talent but I think not a particularly nice person, except when he's winning, when everything is rosy. And the, "racing drivers only want to win", cliche is an excuse for the school playground, not for grown ups. His behaviour was shameful. "

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2. Posted by Willie, 15/11/2015 23:06

"Raikkonen said he was bored -- he ain't the only one. Even worse than Mexico."

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3. Posted by JackTheCat, 15/11/2015 21:36

"LOL at the negative ratings for my post.

Fact: Senna took Prost out of the 1990 Japanese GP deliberately (he even admitted it)

Fact: Hamilton has not done anything similar.

Ergo why hold Senna up as a true champion, legend and role model over Hamilton?

It's not an unreasonable question so instead of clicking the Negative rating why not answer?

P.S. Playing devil's advocate here as I don't get all this true champion, role model, good loser baloney... I just want drivers who race hard even if that does include overstepping the mark from time to time!"

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4. Posted by JackTheCat, 15/11/2015 20:31

"No he will never emulate Senna as he is too fair a guy to deliberately take his rival out of the race!

For sale: Pete Rickitt's rose tinted spectacles - the most powerful rose tinted device money can buy! LOL!

Congrats to Rosberg on a flawless display, if he continues like this he will start favourite for 2016!"

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5. Posted by Peter Rickitt, 15/11/2015 19:19

"Another graceless display from Hamilton - that does no service to the sport and sets a bad example to youngsters: thus, he will clearly never achieve his ambition of emulating Senna.
Some you win, some you lose: a true champion and 'legend' accepts this."

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