The Joy of Six: seasons from hell | Niall McVeigh

From Cleveland’s collapse to Ferrari’s lowest ebb and Doncaster Rovers’ destruction amid fire and fury, we look back on six calamitous campaigns

Ten years before he made his name as the inscrutable, hooded overlord of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick was handed his first chance as an NFL head coach by the Cleveland Browns, a historic franchise wounded by years of failure.

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Source: Formula 1

McLaren would love Fernando Alonso to win motor racing’s triple crown | Giles Richards

Spaniard has won F1’s Monaco GP twice, made his Indy 500 debut and will compete in a prototype in 2018 Daytona 24 Hours as a stepping stone to Le Mans

It has taken the best part of a season but Fernando Alonso may yet throw off the fug that has engulfed him come Formula One’s final round in Abu Dhabi. Certainly closing the curtain on McLaren’s disastrous relationship with Honda will give the Spaniard reason for a sigh of relief but there is a strong likelihood that events even sooner may prove enough for Alonso to revel in racing again.

He is expected to undertake a test in Bahrain on Sunday of Toyota’s TS050 Hybrid after the conclusion of the World Endurance Championship, as a precursor to the team taking him on for the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours. Toyota will not comment on any deal but he is understood to have already agreed a seat with them at next year’s race.

Related: Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 debut was superb but his engine let him down again

Related: Hamilton and Vettel whet appetite for 2018 but guns spell danger for Brazil GP | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

Hamilton and Vettel whet appetite for 2018 but guns spell danger for Brazil GP | Giles Richards

The F1 world champion proved his hunger remains while Ferrari fought back but Valtteri Bottas, the quality of racing and the future of the Brazilian Grand Prix are a concern

After making his only major error of the season with a crash in qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton said he wanted to redeem himself in the race. Finishing in fourth place after starting from the pit lane was better than he expected. It was a performance acknowledged by the Mercedes executive director, Toto Wolff, who said: “It was the best fourth place I’ve ever seen. If you consider starting from the pit lane and ending up 5.4 seconds behind the leader, it’s quite an astonishing drive.” In doing so, Hamilton performed pass after pass. Many were perfunctory given his car’s advantage, but his reactions in dealing with Sergio Pérez’s spirited defence into turn one were indicative of a driver at the top of his game. He had wanted to end the season strongly with two wins, a goal that was beyond him after qualifying. That he chose to still hurl himself at the race, attempting to chase down third place right to the flag shows how hungry he is – a far cry from when he lost focus after taking the title in 2015. With his eye now on next season and the race win beyond him, the charge to fourth was the best statement of intent he could make.

Related: McLaren cancel Interlagos testing after F1 Brazilian GP security lapses

Related: Sebastian Vettel wins Brazilian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton fightback

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Source: Formula 1

McLaren cancel Interlagos testing after F1 Brazilian GP security lapses

• Pirelli and Mercedes staff among those targeted in five separate incidents
• McLaren and Pirelli decide not to keep staff in São Paulo for week of testing

A Formula One test involving McLaren at Interlagos has been cancelled following harrowing security incidents at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Eight members of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team suffered a distressing ordeal when they were robbed at gunpoint shortly after leaving the circuit on Friday night.

Related: Sebastian Vettel wins Brazilian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton fightback

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Source: Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel wins Brazilian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton fightback

• Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen into second and third
• Hamilton finishes fourth after starting race in pit lane

Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix for Ferrari, putting in a commanding performance to beat the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas into second place, with Kimi Raikkonen taking third. Lewis Hamilton, crowned world champion at the last round in Mexico, had started from the pitlane at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace after crashing in qualifying but came back with a determined and aggressive drive to secure an impressive fourth place.

The championship has been decided but Vettel has been clear he wanted a strong finish to the season and the win will be of some solace for the German and Ferrari. Vettel said on Saturday that he and the team would have “failed” if they did not secure second place in the championship, behind Hamilton. He was 15 points ahead of Bottas and now goes into the final round in Abu Dhabi with a 22-point lead and that second place almost assured.

Related: F1: Sebastian Vettel wins Brazil GP as Hamilton storms back for fourth – as it happened

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Source: Formula 1

F1: Brazil GP – live!

3.42pm GMT

Bernie Ecclestone’s asked if the Brazilian circuit is his, after talk of him buying Interlagos earlier this year. “It’s nothing to do with me, I’m a spectator,” he says. “I’ve bought a ticket and that’s it.” Yeah yeah, all right.

3.38pm GMT

Two F1 legends, three-times world champion Sir Jackie Stewart and two-times world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, are both in attendance at Interlagos, where it’s absolutely heaving and pretty hot too. It’s sizzling in Brazil, around 28 degrees.

3.28pm GMT

Christian Horner, insists he wants Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, out of contract in 2018, to be in it for the long haul – together at Red Bull. Verstappen signed a whopping new deal last month and Horner anticipates talks with the Australian driver will commence once the season has climaxed in Abu Dhabi. “My objective is to make sure that this pairing, which is such a fantastic pairing, we keep together for the next few years,” he says.

3.22pm GMT

The ever impressive and fearless Max Verstappen, who starts fourth on the grid this afternoon, has been having a chinwag before the race. “At the moment Lewis is the world champion, I am not in that position, but I hope I can be next year,” he says. “We will have to see.”

3.17pm GMT

1. Bottas 2. Vettel
3. Raikkonen 4. Verstappen
5. Perez 6. Alonso
7. Hulkenberg 8. Sainz Jr
9. Massa 10. Ocon
11. Grosjean 12. Vandoorne
13. Magnussen 14. Ricciardo
15. Wehrlein 16. Stroll
17. Ericsson 18. Hartley
19. Gasly 20. Hamilton*

*Hamilton will start from the pit lane

11.27am GMT

After spending most of this season in the shadow of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, the affable Valtteri Bottas stepped up to the fore at Interlagos on Saturday. He finished qualifying on pole, pipping Sebastian Vettel to top spot by 0.038secs. “I got a good lap in the end and it was a shame Lewis was out in the beginning,” Bottas said.

Bottas dedicated his pole to Mercedes, who all in all, had a pretty miserable weekend. A minibus full of team personnel was robbed at gunpoint in São Paulo on Friday night (no one was injured) while Hamilton crashed out in style, thumping into the tyre barrier at a brisk 160mph at turn six. “It was very unusual of me,” Hamilton said. As for Bottas, who still has hopes of overhauling Vettel in the drivers’ championship with two races to run, he tooted that his pole would “cheer everyone up” at Mercedes.

Related: Hamilton’s crash and minibus robbery dampen Mercedes mood at F1 Brazil GP

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Source: Formula 1

F1 won’t be a proper fight until funding is fairer, says Paddy Lowe

• Williams technical officer insists the sport is hamstrung by financial disparity
• ‘There are two completely different races going on,’ he claims

That both Formula One titles have already been decided should not detract from what is usually the glorious spectacle of racing at Interlagos, but behind the scenes F1 is in the opening stages of some very tough trading. Its new owner is considering some of the most difficult decisions it has yet to make and with the future of the sport being forged, it does not look like being a smooth process.

Proposals for new engine regulations for 2021 have already created controversy but they are not the problem F1 must face. Paddy Lowe, now back at Williams as the chief technical officer, has been in F1 since 1987 and after initial success at the team he returned to this year he went on to win further championships at McLaren and Mercedes. He is unequivocal about the real issue. “Look at the gap between the teams,” he says. “It is like the Premier League and the Championship. There are two completely different races going on.

Related: Ferrari have been in F1 since day one but this may be the beginning of the end

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Source: Formula 1

Mercedes F1 team minibus robbed at gunpoint outside Brazilian GP circuit

• ‘Valuables were stolen but most importantly everybody is safe and uninjured’
• Incident took place on Friday night says Mercedes team spokesperson

Armed robbers held up a Mercedes team minibus outside the Brazilian Grand Prix circuit in São Paulo on Friday night but nobody was hurt, a spokesman said.

“We can confirm that a team minibus was robbed at gunpoint last night leaving the circuit,” he said. “Valuables were stolen but most importantly everybody is safe and uninjured.”

Related: Brazilian GP: Lewis Hamilton to keep up pressure on Sebastian Vettel

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Source: Formula 1

Brazilian GP: Lewis Hamilton to keep up pressure on Sebastian Vettel

• British driver intends to keep momentum going into next season
• Hamilton has one eye on Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 GP victories

With Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton having sewn up the Formula One constructors’ and drivers’ championships, the temptation for both parties to take their foot off the throttle at the Brazilian Grand Prix might be forgiven.

There is no indication either party is inclined to do so, indeed taking momentum into 2018 is the target at Interlagos on Sunday.

Related: Lewis Hamilton’s failure to pay tax on air miles may backfire spectacularly | Marina Hyde

Related: Lewis Hamilton enjoys his fourth F1 world title just as much as his first

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Source: Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton enjoys his fourth F1 world title just as much as his first

• Briton has no comment on Paradise Papers’ private jet revelation
• Mercedes driver aims to keep pressure on Sebastian Vettel in last two races

Lewis Hamilton has said securing his fourth Formula One world championship is an achievement he is enjoying equally as much as his first, for McLaren in 2008. Speaking before this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix the British driver declined to make any further comment on the allegations of tax avoidance made in the Paradise Papers.

After taking the championship at the last round in Mexico Hamilton became the most successful British driver, with one more title than Sir Jackie Stewart and behind only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher in the record books.

Related: Lewis Hamilton says tax allegations will not distract him from racing

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