The cynics may dismiss it as ‘too little too late’, but Nico Rosberg’s second consecutive victory at Interlagos was impressive nonetheless, as he once more defeated Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, this time depriving the world champion of that elusive win he so craves on idol Ayrton Senna’s home soil. And the Brazilians on the current grid were out of luck too: Sauber’s Felipe Nasr could manage only 13th, and that after compatriot Felipe Massa was excluded from eighth for a pre-race tyre infraction.
Rosberg was majestic on his way to a fifth win of the season which put his runner-up position in the drivers’ world championship beyond Vettel’s reach. Hamilton pushed hard, trying at one stage to eke out his tyre life to run a shorter stint later against his team mate, but things didn’t work out and he had to settle for second again.
Vettel gambled on a short mid-race stint on softs, but it didn’t really help him to get close to the Mercedes, whose initial pace he had matched. Towards the end he closed on Hamilton, but only because the latter had backed off to preserve his hard-pressed tyres. Raikkonen, on a two-stop strategy to Vettel’s three, was a lonely fourth, well behind his team mate.