It was obviously very crucial. With Hamilton out of the picture Vettel put his scarlet car on the front row alongside Valtteri Bottas, and the German effortlessly snatched the lead from the Finn at the first turn. Renault's restriction on the turbo to mitigate for the reliability woes suffered in Mexico hurt Red Bull and meant Verstappen was never in the fight for a podium.
Bottas is now all but certain to finish in third place in the championship - currently trailing Vettel by 22 points but 80 points clear of Daniel Ricciardo in fourth with one race remaining.
Bottas admitted he lost the race by getting a poor start and letting Vettel beat him to the first corner, but he believes it was very close in terms of performance between the two.
The next and final face of the Formula One season will be in Abu Dhabi on November 27. Reasons to be optimistic for 2018 then but with caution.
Following the incident, Hamilton rubbed salt into his wounds by criticising the Ferrari star's driving. "That often happens when the tyres are cold, but these things happen".
Esteban Ocon's record of finishing every race he started came to an end in Brazil after tangling with Romain Grosjean on lap 1. He failed to do so. However, the man who had two Interlagos farewells also had, in effect, two careers. It was early doors, for one. While they were in the pits, Hamilton actually briefly inherited the lead of the race before pitting for tires himself.
And he didn't like it one bit.
"But you must not underestimate that in traffic against the Ferraris it was pretty difficult".
"At the moment he is the world champion, I'm still not in that position and I hope I can be next year". Power unit problems deprived Vettel of the chance to qualify in Malaysia, forcing him into a mighty fightback from the back of the grid. "That sucks", said Hamilton. "Sprinting is what we are missing in F1". Fourth place was scant reward for the champion's drive. Super-confident on the brakes and blessed with a sixth sense to perfectly place the car, the Australian again made a case for the unofficial title as F1's best overtaker. "I just need to take whatever bubble of negativity from this experience and move forward and grow".
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