Nico Rosberg took pole ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, with Williams locking up Row 2 (Felipe Massa, P3; Valtteri Bottas, P4). The Top 3 remained intact through the start and opening lap. Massa came in during Lap 6 to get off his soft tires and onto mediums. Rosberg came in two laps later to do the same, with Hamilton following on Lap 9. Hamilton came out right behind Rosberg.
Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), both of whom started the race on the harder compound, ran 1-2. Hulkenberg pitted and Rosberg, Hamilton, and Massa passed Kvyat on track to re-establish their positions at the top. Massa was given a 5-sec penalty for speeding in pit lane that he served during Lap 26 (of 71). Rosberg pitted one lap later after blistering his tires.
Hamilton pitted on Lap 29, but came out more than 7 sec behind Rosberg. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) ran third, having only pitted once. Hamilton cut Rosberg’s lead to 5.8 by Lap 35, but was still suffering rapid tire wear. A huge lockup by Rosberg cut the lead to 2.9 sec on Lap 43. When Raikkonen pitted Massa reassumed third.
By Lap 49 the Rosberg-Hamilton gap stood at 2.1 sec. Rosberg and Massa pitted for the final time on Lap 51. Hamilton came in on the next lap. Rosberg maintained the lead and was nearly 1 sec in front during Lap 64, dominating Sector 2 of the course over Hamilton. The gap was 0.6 sec with three laps to go.
Rosberg took the win, cutting Hamilton’s lead going into the final event of the year 2 weeks from now in Abu Dhabi to 17 points. Massa took third, scoring a home podium on the anniversary of countryman Ayrton Senna’s death. Kvyat finished P11 after starting P17 in the last row of the grid.
Driver standings (Top 10)
Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain), Mercedes – 334
Nico Rosberg (Germany), Mercedes – 317
Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull-Renault – 214
Sebastian Vettel (Germany), Red Bull-Renault - 159
Fernando Alonso (Spain), Ferrari – 157
Valtteri Bottas (Finland), Williams-Mercedes – 156
Jenson Button (Great Britain), McLaren-Mercedes – 106
Felipe Massa (Brazil), Williams-Mercedes – 98
Nico Hulkenberg (Germany), Force India-Mercedes – 80
Kevin Magnussen (Denmark), McLaren-Mercedes - 55
Team standings (teams earning points)
Mercedes (Rosberg, Hamilton) – 651
Red Bull Racing-Renault (Vettel, Ricciardo) – 373
Williams-Mercedes (Bottas, Massa) – 254
Ferrari (Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen) – 210
McLaren-Mercedes (Magnussen, Button) – 161
Force India-Mercedes (Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez) – 127
STR-Renault (Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniil Kvyat) – 30
Lotus-Renault (Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado) – 10
Marussia-Ferrari (Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton) – 2
Next event: Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina) – Nov. 21-23