Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hamilton Takes the Title Race Down to the Wire

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hamilton Takes the Title Race Down to the Wire

Article excerpt

LEWIS Hamilton delivered a wet-weather masterclass at a chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix to take the championship battle into the final race of the season.

Nico Rosberg, who crossed the line at a rain-soaked Interlagos in second, would have been crowned champion had he won here.

But Hamilton kept his cool in a marathon race suspended on two occasions, and taking over three hours to complete, as persistent rain wreaked havoc in Sao Paulo.

Rosberg now must secure a topthree finish in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight's time to clinch his first title. The penultimate round of the season was delayed by 10 minutes and then eventually started behind the safety car following continuous rain at a venue which so often throws up a dramatic race. Yesterday it was no different.

When the safety car eventually peeled in after seven laps, Hamilton led from Rosberg, Max Verstappen immediately passing Kimi Raikkonen for third place.

But after just six laps of racing, the safety car was back in action again after Marcus Ericsson lost control of his Sauber and slammed into the barrier at the final corner.

The field, led by Hamilton, then toiled behind the slow-moving safety car in the treacherous conditions as the debris was cleared. On lap 20, the decision was taken to re-start the race, but, within seconds, Kimi Raikkonen crashed out.

The 37-year-old Finnish driver slammed into the nearside barrier before his car slid across the track and collided with the opposing wall. Raikkonen sat there helplessly in his Ferrari as a number of cars came within feet of hitting his car.

"This is just bad, just stupid," Sebastian Vettel, one of the drivers who had to take evasive action, yelled over the team radio. "Red flag is what it needs, we need to stop the race. How many people do they want to crash, I nearly crashed into Kimi in the middle of the straight, I couldn't see anything."

The race was immediately stopped with Hamilton leading from Rosberg and Verstappen.

After clearing the wreckage from Raikkonen's harrowing crash, the race was up and running again, albeit behind the safety car, following a 35-minute delay. But after just seven laps and a further 15 minutes the race was suspended once more, with the conditions deemed too dangerous to race. …

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