Mercedes conquer the constructors' championship at Interlagos, as Lewis Hamilton wins and Valtteri Bottas crosses the line in 5th. Verstappen closed in P2, after he had earned the race lead but his winning chances were marred by a highly debatable move by lapped Esteban Ocon.
Poleman Lewis Hamilton kept the lead, while Sebastian Vettel lost the position to Valtteri Bottas, who made a rocket start, going round the outside and gaining an easy advantage on the German owing to their different tyre compounds. Max Verstappen managed to overtake Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel in two laps and went up to P3, prior to an accidental swap between the two Ferrari drivers as Vettel locked up, allowing his teammate to get the inside line.
As Ferrari’s pace on Soft tyres started coming alive, both Raikkonen and Vettel went in to catch up , while Verstappen ended up glued to Bottas and blitzed him on lap 10 in Turn 1, through a brilliant manoeuvre on the inside.
The first pit stop among the top teams took place in the course of the 19th lap and it was Valtteri Bottas coming in right before Lewis Hamilton, as they both experienced pesky blistering on their front left. Verstappen inherited the lead of the race, ahead of the Ferrari duo. In the meantime, Marcus Ericsson spun and was forced to retire after he lamented a drivability problem on his Sauber, while his teammate Leclerc lapped in P7 behind Daniel Ricciardo. Sebastian Vettel pitted at the beginning of the 28th lap and rejoined the track in P9. Ferrari performed an astonishingly quick pit-stop with a 1.9s long tyre change.
Max Verstappen stayed out, as both Mercedes kept charging on their sets of fresh Mediums. Both Ferraris were stuck behind Valtteri Bottas, with Kimi Raikkonen displaying a slightly more competitive pace than his teammate, who had a hard time getting close enough to attack Bottas. Therefore, the German was told to let Kimi through, in order to try and get the position on the Mercedes driver, with the constructors’ championship fight being still on.
Daniel Ricciardo was gifted with the lead as Verstappen went in for a tyre switch from SS to Soft. The Dutchman claimed P1 during the 40th lap of 71 by overtaking and barring Lewis Hamilton. However, the unthinkable happened between lapped Esteban Ocon and Max Verstappen. A bizarre incident caused by Ocon cost Verstappen the race lead, causing both drivers to spin.
Lewis Hamilton found himself back at the top of the pack, ahead of Verstappen and Raikkonen. Ricciardo and Vettel were engaged in a vivid battle, in which the Australian had the upper hand, while the German opted for a second stop during the 53rd lap. He went on SuperSofts to tackle his lackluster pace, which improved significantly as his fastest laps showed. The German chased down Leclerc, who had advanced to P6, while Esteban Ocon was handed a 10-sec stop and go penalty due to his obnoxious behaviour.Ricciardo charged to fourth, fending off Bottas before the Finn made his second pit-stop. In the end the Australian did not make it to the podium, as the third spot was kept by Kimi Raikkonen, who performed impressively compared to his teammate today. Apparently Vettel had an issue from the beginning of the race and finished down in 6th, in front of his teammate-to be Leclerc. Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen yielded a point-paying result, respectively 8th and 9th, and Force India's Perez rounded up the top 10.