Hamilton has won the Brazilian GP 2016, denying Rosberg a chance to claim the 2016 title. The two are now separated by just 12 points, Abu Dhabi will decide this year’s F1 champion to mark an end to a very competitive season between the two teammates. The Brazilian GP 2016 lasted for over two hours, with rain and red flags accounting for most of that time. From crashes to spins, everything was just but a mess today!

Give it to Verstappen to put down a real show in the final minutes, climbing from seventh to third in what was undeniably fashionable for the eye to witness. Rosberg held on to second even after losing it to Verstappen at some point in the race. The German needed a P1 finish today in order to pocket his first F1 title.

Brazilian GP 2016 Results

1. Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Rosberg – Mercedes
3. Verstappen – Red Bull
4. Perez – Force India
5. Vettel – Ferrari
6. Sainz – Toro Rosso
7. Hulkenberg – Force India
8. Ricciardo – Red Bull
9. Nasr – Sauber
10. Alonso – McLaren

Felipe Massa will be taking part in his final home race this weekend as he retires after this season. Between 1982 and 1990, Alain Prost won six Brazilian GP titles, making him the most successful driver in Brazilian GP history. He is followed closely by Michael Schumacher with four wins. McLaren leads the manufacturer’s category with 12 wins, Ferrari is not too far away with 10 wins.

There was rain on the track even before the race began, and as the cars made their way to the grid, Grosjean spun his Haas and hit the wall. The car sustained significant damage enough to prevent him from making it to the race start. Rosberg started from pole and was on the verge of winning his first ever Formula 1 championship, he came to the Brazilian GP 2016 with 349 points. The condition before the race was if Hamilton wins then the title fight will move over to the Abu Dhabi GP, if Rosberg wins he would be crowned champion regardless of Hamilton’s finish position.

Inevitably, the start was delayed by 10 minutes due to the rain, the drivers were all in raincoats. As expected under these conditions, the race started behind the safety car.

The race got underway behind the safety car, with cars splashing between puddles of water. For Hamilton, being right behind the safety car was not doing any help. “I can’t really see much behind the safety car,” he said, “can we ask Charlie if I can go a bit further back? I can’t even see the lights.”

Three laps in and the safety car was still very much in play, multiple drivers were reporting tricky conditions especially on the corners.

“I think we can start, it’s just spray,” yup, that was Verstappen six laps into the race and still behind the safety car.

The safety car exited on lap 8/71 and Hamilton was quick to storm ahead of the pack, he retained the lead while Rosberg slotted into second. Verstappen did not waste time either as he passed Raikkonen for third almost immediately after the start.

Vettel became the first victim of the wet track after spinning out at Junaco on lap 11. He managed to get back on track but immediately dived into the pits for inters. The stop was a bit slow as he rejoined in 19th. Hamilton continued to extend his lead over Rosberg, Verstappen was 6s behind in third leading Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

The yellow flags flew after Ericsson crashed his Sauber on the final corner. Meanwhile Verstappen dived into the pits for inters and rejoined in fourth just behind Raikkonen and ahead of Hulkenberg and Perez.

Speaking of Perez, the Force India man spun a perfect 360 on lap 16 while exiting the final corner but managed to get back and retain sixth. Multiple drivers continued to report on worsening conditions. “It’s way too wet now – period,” said Magnussen.

The safety car exited on lap 20 but was back almost immediately after Raikkonen crashed on the pit straight.

The top ten after 20 laps comprised of Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Sainz, Nasr, Ricciardo, Ocon and Wehrlein.

Vettel was quick to air his grievances, “Conditions are mad. It’s just stupid, we need extremes and we need to stop the race. How many people do you want to crash? I nearly crashed into Kimi on the straight.”

What followed was a long pause during the safety car period. It was during this pause that Ricciardo received a 5s penalty for entering the pitlane when it was closed due to Ericsson’s crash.

If the race was to be stopped entirely, only half points would be awarded. Hamilton would thus gain 3.5 points on Rosberg instead of 7, meaning the title fight would extend to Abu Dhabi. For Hamilton to win the championship, he would need to finish first with Rosberg outside the top five or finish second and with Rosberg outside the top eight.

The restart saw all drivers take full wets, with some 50 laps left to go. The safety car led the way on lap 21, even as more heavy rain was expected to fall. Conditions were pretty much the same as before, and drivers confirmed that to their respective teams over the radio. Palmer joined the list of retirees after suffering a technical issue in his Renault.

And there was another red flag this time caused by Palmer who hit Kvyat from behind. As you would expect, there was an echo of booing across the grandstands. But Hamilton and Verstappen did not agree with race control, they concluded that the track was fine and driveable.

Annnnd this race was turning out to be something else. We have seen some fairly wet races this season but none was bad as this. The stop lasted for awhile but soon as race control announced it would resume in ten minutes the crowd cheered up.

The Brazilian GP 2016 was back in action, lap 29/71, some two hours after the start. The safety car led the race and it was Verstappen who was quick to jump one place up, passing Rosberg for second. Hamilton thus led the race away from Verstappen, Rosberg, Perez, Ricciardo, Sainz, Nasr, Ocon, Alonso and Vettel. The latter had improved from outside the top ten.

We were finally back into real racing, Hamilton and Verstappen were now exchanging fastest lap times with the Brit putting down a 1m25.779s. Verstappen almost brought out the flags again after spinning on the pit straight, but the Red Bull driver managed to hold on and still retain second.

After 40 laps, Hamilton held a 7s lead over Verstappen, and a 10s lead over Rosberg. Verstappen pitted on lap 43 for inters before rejoining in fifth behind Perez and Sainz. Rosberg was now second albeit 18s behind Hamilton. The slow lap was caused by a spin on the final corner.

Yellow flags flew again on lap 48 followed by another safety car after Massa crashed heavily near the same spot where Ericsson crashed. That meant the Brazilian was out of his final home race, not the way he really wanted to end it.

The safety car came in with 24 minutes left on the clock. Alonso suffered a full 360 spin and dropped back to 17th place, the top five remained pretty much intact with Hamilton in the lead, followed by Rosberg, Perez, Sainz and now Vettel.

With only a few minutes left, Gutierrez retired with what Haas referred to as an “emergency situation,” there was tension in the Haas garage as he expressed his frustration. Haas of course will drop Gutierrez next season in favor of Magnussen.

Verstappen was the man to watch in the final minutes, he climbed up from seventh to fourth after passing Hulkenberg, Vettel and Sainz. Vettel was quick to point out that the Red Bull had pushed him off track, the Ferrari landed on the grass but managed to get back on track to retain sixth.

The moves by Verstappen were pure gold from a spectator point of view. And as everyone was talking about his moves on Twitter, he passed Perez for third in what was another incredible maneuver.

The race went full distance in the end, with the final laps accounting for most of the action.

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