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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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
Source: Formula 1