Vettel wins Brazilian Grand Prix despite late push from Hamilton
SAO PAULO (AP) Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday to solidify his hold on second place after Lewis Hamilton clinched the season title two weeks ago in Mexico City.
It was Vettel's 47th career win and his fifth this season. It was also the German's third victory in Brazil.
Vettel started second on the grid, but overtook pole sitter Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes on the first lap and then led most of the way.
Vettel probably won the race with his start.
''I thought I had a pretty good launch,'' Vettel said. ''I knew I had to go for it. There was a little bit of a gap.''
Hamilton started last after crashing in qualifying but managed to push his way into contention, staying out longer while the other leaders changed tires earlier because they were running on softer tires.
Bottas finished second with Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari taking third. Hamilton was fourth, 5.4 seconds behind Vettel.
Hamilton closed relentlessly, and Vettel was asked if he was ever worried about the Englishman passing him.
''Not really,'' he replied. ''I didn't think he was a threat.''
Vettel has 302 points with the final race in two weeks in Abu Dhabi. Third-place Bottas has 280. Even if Bottas wins in Abu Dhabi, Vettel can take second place in the season by finishing in eighth place or higher.
''He's got quite a lead now, so it will take a miracle in Abu Dhabi,'' Bottas said.