Tag: Autódromo José Carlos Pace

F1 2016: Brazilian GP Preview

The 2016 Formula One grid features five world champions – Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, and Sebastian Vettel. All five have won one or more of their championships at Brazil and this weekend could see a new champion crowned in the form of Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg currently has a 19 point lead over team-mate and a victory in Sao Paulo will see him become World Champion, regardless of what Hamilton does. There are a number of other ways that Rosberg can become champion as well but he can’t win it if Hamilton wins the race.

Circuit: Autodromo José Carlos Pace
Number of Laps: 71
Circuit Length: 4.309km
Number of Corners: 15
Lap Record: 1:11.473 Juan Pablo Montoya 2004
Previous Brazil winners still on the grid: 5
Most Successful Team: McLaren (12 victories)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Hard, Medium and Soft

The Autodromo José Carlos Pace features a number of elevation changes and a number of bumps making it a unique challenge for teams and drivers alike. Throw in often mixed weather conditions and some areas with little run off area and it normally throws up an exciting race. The race no longer hosts the final race of the season – that will be held in Abu Dhabi – but this year’s championship can still be won there as it has so many times before.

It is quite a flowing track meaning that brake wear is low while there is a high demand on ERS deployment. Drivers will change gear approximately 42 times per lap and will sit at full throttle for 60%. It is quite a short circuit meaning drivers will circulate 71 times during the race. There is also a high possibility of safety cars.

In the run up to this year’s race a number of pieces of the 2017 jigsaw have fallen into place. Renault have confirmed that Jolyon Palmer will remain next season to partner Nico Hulkenberg. Kevin Magnussen is expected to sign for Haas – with Esteban Gutierrez recently confirming his departure from the team. Esteban Ocon will move from Manor to Force India to partner Sergio Perez. This leaves just Sauber and Manor to confirm their driver line-ups for next year.

In qualifying, a few teams still have finely poised head-to-head battles between their drivers. In the qualifying head-to-heads Hamilton, Vettel, and Hulkenberg all lead their mates 10-9 so with two races remaining can still be beaten.

This weekend will also be special for Felipe Massa as he prepares to retire from Formula One at the end of the year. He has won his home race once before – a bittersweet victory in 2008. He crossed the line in first and for a few seconds he had done enough to win the world championship, until Lewis Hamilton did enough to become champion by finishing fifth. It was a highly emotional podium for Massa in front of his home crowd which he handled with dignity. It would be a fitting end to his career to have one last podium at home.


2012: Brazilian GP: Preview

It is hard to believe, but after 19 races, eight different race winners, and 13 different drivers on the podium, here we are at the last race of the season. Brazil will once again hold the season finale, which this year will see two men go head-to-head for their third title. Sebastian Vettel leads Fernando Alonso by 13 points with everything still to play for given that anything can happen, and in Brazil it generally does. Red Bull wrapped up their third Constructors’ Championship at Austin so all focus will be firmly on making sure Vettel can beat Alonso. All Vettel has to do is finish fourth and he will be champion, regardless of where Alonso ends up. But Interlagos, as the circuit is often referred to despite officially being called Autódromo José Carlos Pace, often throws up plenty of drama and so Vettel cannot rest on his laurels and think that is all he has to do. Here are the different championship permutations:

Sebastian Vettel is champion if…

  • He finishes the race in fourth or higher
  • He finishes seventh or higher if Alonso is second or lower
  • He finishes ninth or higher if Alonso is third or lower
  • Alonso does not make the podium
  • It goes to count-back as he has more wins

Fernando Alonso is champion if…

  • He wins the race and Vettel finishes fifth or lower
  • He finishes second and Vettel is eighth or lower
  • He finishes third and Vettel is tenth or lower

Brazilian GP Stats

Circuit Name: Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Number of Laps: 71
Circuit Length: 4.309km
Lap Record: 1:11.473 J P Montoya (2004)
2011 Results: 1. Mark Webber 2. Sebastian Vettel 3. Jenson Button

Previous Brazilian GP winners still on the grid: Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Kimi Räikkönen and Michael Schumacher.

Last Time Out

Formula One made a triumphant return to America with the inaugural race at the new Circuit of The Americas, won by Lewis Hamilton. Before the race Ferrari played a strategic move by breaking the seal on Felipe Massa’s gearbox, resulting in him taking a five place grid drop. They did this in order to move Alonso, who had been out-qualified by his team-mate and was due to start on the dirty side of the track, up a position to start on the clean side in the hopes he would have a better start. It worked as Alonso was fourth after turn one and he eventually finished third, minimising the amount Vettel extended his lead by. Vettel lost out in a race long battle with Hamilton, who pulled off a great move in the DRS zone to take the lead with 14 laps left. Massa fought back to finish fourth, with Hamilton’s team-mate recovering from a disappointing qualifying session which saw him start 12th but finish fifth. There was some great racing up and down the field with Kimi Räikkönen going wheel to wheel with Button, and the two Williams drivers also getting close. There were only two retirements from the race which were Jean-Eric Vergne due to broken suspension and Mark Webber because of an alternator failure.

Not only will this weekend’s race provide the battle ground for the championship decider, as well as the season finale, it is also a special race for a number of other people. For Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna it is their home race. Massa is yet to win a race this season. In fact, his last victory came at this very track back in 2008 when he was fighting Hamilton for the championship. However, after a strong showing at Austin, this could be where he gets his first win. He knows the track well, he has won here twice before, and it would be a fitting end to his season. For Lewis Hamilton it will see the end of his long relationship with McLaren as he prepares to move to Mercedes for 2013. He has been with McLaren for six seasons and he won his 2008 championship with a crucial last corner pass on Timo Glock in Brazil. He won at Austin and says he wants to end his McLaren career with a win, but McLaren haven’t won in Brazil since Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005, can he do it this weekend? And finally, as he did back in 2006, Schumacher will hang up his helmet after this weekend’s race as he retires for a second time. Mercedes have been having a barren spell in terms of points but it would be nice to see Schumacher return to the points one last time before he retires.

Pirelli will bring their hard and medium compound tyres this weekend, as well as an additional two sets of 2013 prototype tyres for each team to test in Friday Practice. Weather reports suggest there could be rain this weekend meaning the intermediate and wet tyres may also come into play. Altitude plays its part as the track sits 800m above sea level meaning engine power is reduced. 2012 has been a season full of twists and turns, surprises, and plenty of drama – will there be one more twist in the tale on Sunday?


Local Brazilian time

Free Practice 1 10:00 Friday
Free Practice 2 14:00 Friday
Free Practice 3 11:00 Saturday
Qualifying 14:00 Saturday
Race 14:00 Sunday

Don’t forget to check The H Duct for Free Practice, Qualifying and Race reports with a post-race discussion over at EnterF1.