Sport Driver Ratings: 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

19:50  14 november  2017
19:50  14 november  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Hartley targeting maiden F1 points in Brazil

  Hartley targeting maiden F1 points in Brazil Brendon Hartley is confident that he can secure his maiden Formula 1 points at the Brazilian Grand Prix, in what will be his third weekend as a Toro Rosso driver. Hartley replaced Pierre Gasly for the US Grand Prix, with Gasly instead competing in the Japanese Super Formula finale. Hartley proceeded to secure the seat for the remainder of the season, replacing Daniil Kvyat. After finishing 13th on his debut at Austin, Hartley retired from the subsequent Mexico Grand Prix with a power unit failure. Unlike in the US, however, Hartley did progress to Q2 in qualifying at Mexico. He is optimistic that his third F1 weekend will see him break into the top 10 and score his first points. “I’m very happy to be heading to Brazil with Toro Rosso,” Hartley stated. “With the help of the team I made big progress in Mexico and I’m confident that, with a little bit more luck than last time out, we can fight for points. “I’m starting to feel at home in the F1 paddock and Sao Paulo is a track I enjoyed and know quite well from when I raced there back in 2014 for the final round of the WEC Championship.” Hartley resumed his Porsche LMP1 duties on Sunday, by claiming second in the six-hour World Endurance Championship race at Shanghai. The result was enough for Hartley and team-mates Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber to secure the WEC championship title. It is Hartley’s second WEC crown following his triumph in 2015. In what has been a congested schedule for Hartley in recent weeks, as he has combined Toro Rosso and Porsche duties, he noted that Brazil will be his “fifth race weekend in a row.

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Now that Hamilton had put the exhaustive talk of a dwindling championship fight to bed, the paddock could at last refocus on the racing. And what a terrific weekend of action ensured.

A pole margin of less than half a tenth of a second; the newly crowned world champion in a high-speed crash on his first lap in qualifying; superb recovery drives from a duo of the grid’s most dynamic wheel-to-wheel racers and a win for Ferrari when they needed it most.

But even Hamilton’s heroic performance on Sunday could not steal the adulation from the undisputed star performer of the weekend. In his final race on home turf, Felipe Massa’s seventh place was a homage to his emotive victory at Interlagos in 2008; his final victory in Formula 1 (barring miracles in Abu Dhabi).

Wolff: the battle for 2018 has already begun

  Wolff: the battle for 2018 has already begun Mercedes will get a head start on 2018 by testing new parts and devices at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Having already sealed the 2017 constructors’ and drivers’ championships, team boss Toto Wolff said Mercedes will use the final two weekends of the season “as the first two Grands Prix of 2018”. “The final two Grands Prix present the first two test opportunities ahead of the new season, trialing new and interesting concepts that the competitive landscape on track simply didn’t allow for earlier in the year,” he said. “[We] will be running a series of experiments over the final two Fridays – with the option for a race day too, if the team feels that the risk connected with any idea is manageable and there is valuable learning for 2018 and beyond.” Mercedes is expected to test aerodynamic instrumentation devices during Friday practice and new pit stop equipment. It’s a position most other teams don’t find themselves in. While Ferrari is comfortably ahead of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship, Sebastian Vettel is still in a fight with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ competition. Further back, the midfield battle is still unresolved. Toro Rosso, Renault, and Haas all within six points of one another.

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The Brazilian’s habit for being lifted by his home fans is uncanny; if he could only bring the same level of electricity and determination he brings to Interlagos to every track, perhaps Massa could have achieved much more in his career. As it stands, it was second beautifully emotional send-off for one of the paddock’s dearest friends.

Villeneuve labels Bottas' Brazil drive as 'embarrassing' .
Ex-Formula 1 driver Jacques Villeneuve says Valtteri Bottas’ performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix was nothing short of “embarrassing”. Bottas, who started from his third pole position of the season, lost out to the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel at the first corner – a position he would struggle to reclaim. Despite almost jumping the German through the pitstops, the Finn couldn’t find his way past and finished in second position just 2.7 seconds off Vettel. However, team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who started from the pitlane following a crash in qualifying, scythed his way through pack to finish fourth and only 2.7s behind Bottas after the 71-lap event. 1997 world champion Villeneuve was quick to criticise the performance by the Mercedes driver, believing Bottas performed at the level of a “number two” driver on Sunday. “It was a great drive from Vettel, he won it at the start,” Villeneuve told Motorsport.com. “He was aggressive. “When you see what the Mercedes was capable of, you just have to look at Lewis and Bottas wasn’t up to pace. It’s embarrassing for Bottas. “Lewis finished around three seconds behind him when he started from the pits. “It’s embarrassing. He simply is not on the pace of Hamilton. It’s been like that all year. That’s his level. Which is a good number two.

Source: http://uk.pressfrom.com/news/sport/-224498-driver-ratings-2017-brazilian-grand-prix/

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