Lewis Hamilton proved he offers a “magic ingredient” in Formula 1 by claiming fourth place from a pitlane start at the Brazilian GP, Monday’s national newspapers say.
Hamilton was forced to start in the pits after his uncharacteristic Qualifying crash but produced a majestic Sunday drive, scything his way through the field at Interlagos.
The Briton finished less than a second off the final podium place and five seconds behind race-winner Sebastian Vettel, as he displayed all the skills which have made him a four-time world champion.
“Lewis Hamilton starting at the back of the grid is like a burst of rain – a magic ingredient in Formula One’s mix. It was a truth the world champion proved by marauding through the Brazilian Grand Prix,” wrote Jonathan McEvoy in the Daily Mail.
Sky F1's Paul di Resta is at the Skypad to look at all the major talking points of the Brazilian GP, won by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel
“For 10 years he has been the man most likely to light up any dull race, and by setting off from the pit lane to finish fourth and within one second of the podium in sunny Sao Paulo, he lived up to his extravagant past.
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“The world champion’s Sunday was a Sabbath of redemption after his Saturday trauma, a very rare mistake in his stellar season causing his Mercedes to slew 90 degrees and plant itself into a tyre wall within the first two minutes of qualifying.
“The points are hardly material now the contest is over, and Sebastian Vettel’s first victory since July was too late for him in the title reckoning.
“As for Hamilton, it was a champion’s display. He even led the race for 12 laps, though that was because the four cars in front of him pitted.”
Ted Kravitz reviews a scintillating Brazilian Grand Prix where Sebastian Vettel overtook Valtteri Bottas on the first lap to win
In the Daily Telegraph, Oliver Brown described Hamilton’s performance as one of F1’s best comeback drives which confirmed the 32-year-old’s hunger to stay in the sport for many years yet.
“In the canon of catapulting drives from the outer darkness, Lewis Hamilton produced one of Formula One’s finest yesterday. It was as if he had reconnected with his younger karting self, deciding, after the catharsis of his fourth world title, that it was time to have some fun,” Brown wrote.
“This was one of Hamilton’s most emphatic statements that he intended to stay in F1 for the long haul. Only 32, and a far more complete driver than in his youth, he is only likely to stop in this sport if he loses interest.
“But there appeared scant danger of that as he wore a bright yellow helmet in honour of his late idol Ayrton Senna, attacking this grand prix with an audacity that the Brazilian would have applauded. Soon enough he will sign a contract extension with Mercedes that could earn him a record £45 million a year.”
In the lead, Vettel controlled the race from Turn One to the chequered flag and The Guardian’s Giles Richards opined the German and Ferrari had left a timely reminder of their abilities for next season.
“Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari had seen the title slip away but managed to lay down their marker for next season with a commanding victory at Interlagos,” Richards wrote.
“The German controlled the race with great skill, finishing with a rightful victory but is perhaps still left wondering what might have been but for that disastrous sequence of three races earlier in the season.
“Vettel had thoroughly deserved the win but Hamilton hurling himself at Interlagos was also a clear reminder of just why he was able to take his fourth title this year. Both made a distinct impression on an otherwise dead rubber.”
And The Times’ Rebecca Clancy believes Vettel’s victory can be Ferrari’s springboard to return even stronger in 2018.
“It was a crucial win for the German and Ferrari. The team have imploded since the break, with reliability problems and poor judgment calls costing them valuable points and ultimately both championships.
“Victory in Sao Paulo can be used as a springboard into the winter break, using that momentum to carry them through to next season.”
Don’t miss the F1 Report on Wednesday at 8.30pm on Sky F1 as Williams co-founder Sir Patrick Head joins Marc Priestley and Natalie Pinkham to review the Brazilian GP.
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