It may have been a dead rubber but the Brazilian formula One Grand Prix provided some exciting racing and Sebastien Vettel with a win, with Ferraris taking first and third places.
Vettel skinned Valtteri Bottas off the line to snatch pole, which he never relinquished as Bottas failed to find the speed he needed to get back at the German, while teammate and new World Champion Lewis Hamilton flew through the field from last place to finish fourth.
Bottas had lined up on pole position for Mercedes, and had hopes of overhauling Vettel for the runner-up position in the championship. His second place effectively sees that hope disappear. Vetel took control of the race from the first corner on a sunny afternoon at Interlagos, and he is now 22 points clear of Bottas with only the Abu Dhabi season-ender remaining. It was his fifth win of the season, 47th of his career, and Ferrari’s first since Hungary at the end of July.
Max Verstappen blitzed the fastest lap to finish in fifth, just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s second Red Bull. For Felipe Massa it was an emotional race, as the retiring 36-year-old Brazilian finished seventh for Williams, and was then invited onto the winners’ podium to bid farewell to his home fans for the last time and be interviewed by former champion Rubens Barrichello.