Tag: Brazilian Grand Prix

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.



F1 2016: Brazilian GP Tyre Choices

Driver tyre choices for the Brazilian Grand Prix are as follows:

DRIVER Hard Medium Soft
Lewis Hamilton 1 4 8
Nico Rosberg 1 4 8
Sebastian Vettel 1 5 7
Kimi Raikkonen 2 4 7
Valtteri Bottas 1 3 9
Felipe Massa 1 3 9
Daniel Ricciardo 1 5 7
Max Verstappen 1 5 7
Kevin Magnussen 1 4 8
Jolyon Palmer 1 4 8
Nico Hulkenberg 2 3 8
Sergio Perez 2 3 8
Daniil Kvyat 1 4 8
Carlos Sainz 1 4 8
Fernando Alonso 1 4 8
Jenson Button 1 4 8
Marcus Ericsson 1 5 7
Felipe Nasr 1 5 7
Pascal Wehrlein 1 4 8
Esteban Ocon 1 4 8
Romain Grosjean 1 5 7
Esteban Gutierrez 2 4 7

F1 2015: BBC and Sky Guide

As has been the case for the last three years, Formula One coverage will continue to be split between the BBC and Sky Sports in the UK. All 19 races will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, while BBC will show ten live – including the Canadian, British and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – with nine as extended highlights. Here is a breakdown of each broadcaster’s coverage for the year ahead.

2015 Calendar

  1. Australian Grand Prix 13th – 15th March
  2. Malaysian Grand Prix 27th – 29th March
  3. Chinese Grand Prix 10th – 12th April
  4. Bahrain Grand Prix 17th – 19th April
  5. Spanish Grand Prix 8th – 10th May
  6. Monaco Grand Prix 22nd – 24th May
  7. Canadian Grand Prix 5th – 7th June
  8. Austrian Grand Prix 19th – 21st June
  9. British Grand Prix 3rd – 5th July
  10. German Grand Prix 17th – 19th July
  11. Hungarian Grand Prix 24th – 26th July
  12. Belgian Grand Prix 21st – 23rd August
  13. Italian Grand Prix 4th – 6th September
  14. Singapore Grand Prix 18th – 20th September
  15. Japanese Grand Prix 25th – 27th September
  16. Russian Grand Prix 9th – 11th October
  17. US Grand Prix 23rd – 25th October
  18. Mexican Grand Prix 30th October – 1st November
  19. Brazilian Grand Prix 13th – 15th November
  20. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 27th – 29th November

Races in bold indicate the races shown live in full by the BBC. As was the case in 2014, the BBC’s live races include Malaysia, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Japan, Russia and Abu Dhabi. In addition to those races the BBC will also show Bahrain, Hungary, and Brazil live. This means the new addition to the calendar – the Mexican Grand Prix – will not be broadcast live on the BBC.

Sky Sports F1

Continuity is key for Sky Sports F1 with the 2014 team returning for 2015. Coverage will be fronted by Simon Lazenby and Natalie Pinkham, alongside roving reporter Ted Kravitz. Martin Brundle and David Croft will provide commentary while expert analysis will be given by Damon Hill, Anthony Davidson, Johnny Herbert and Bruno Senna.

Race weekends will be complemented with weekly editions of The F1 Show and live coverage will also be shown of the supporting GP2 and GP3 races.

Viewers can watch live on TV with Dolby 5.1 surround sound, via Sky Go or using Race Control accessed via the red button or the Sky Sports App for iPad. Race Control users can choose two of up to ten camera views, including driver and pit-lane cameras, and data streams to watch on split-screen.

“There are so many exciting story lines next season and we’ll cover every twist and turn from Australia to Abu Dhabi,” Sky Sports F1’s executive producer Martin Turner said.


Although not explicitly stated, it appears the BBC F1 team will also remain as 2014 for the upcoming season. With coverage fronted by Suzi Perry, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard, analysis will come from Allan McNish and pit-lane reporting from Lee McKenzie. Commentary will once again be provided by Ben Edwards and Coulthard for the TV feed, while James Allen will commentate on races for BBC Radio 5 Live joined by McNish. Jennie Gow will feature on the radio coverage as a pit-lane reporter.

There will be comprehensive coverage of the whole season across television, radio and online. All races will be live on BBC Radio 5 Live or 5 Live Sports extra and fans can also follow all the action and the latest news on the F1 section of the BBC Sport website and via the BBC Sport App. World Champion Lewis Hamilton will continue to write his column for the BBC website.

A new addition to the BBC F1 coverage this year is Formula 1 Rewind which will be presented by Suzi Perry. Murray Walker will be recounting classic Grand Prix from the past.

“Like all F1 fans, we can’t wait for the 2015 season,” Ben Gallop, the BBC’s Head of F1, said. “With Lewis Hamilton as World Champion, F1 in Britain is in a great position and we’re delighted with our race package. These live races, combined with our ever-popular highlights programmes and our extensive coverage on radio and online means F1 fans can follow every step of Hamilton’s title defence on the BBC”.

The BBC negotiates with fellow broadcaster Sky on the division of live and non-live races, with a variety of factors being taken into account when deciding the picks. For the races not shown live on BBC TV audiences are offered a wealth of ways to follow the action with extended TV highlights and live radio and online coverage.

The BBC has a deal to broadcast Formula 1 racing, through to and including 2018.

2014: The Brazilian Grand Prix in Numbers

Total number of laps completed (by driver)

Adrian Sutil 181
Nico Rosberg 179
Daniil Kvyat 179
Lewis Hamilton 173
Pastor Maldonado 170
Kevin Magnussen 169
Kimi Raikkonen 168
Nico Hulkenberg 167
Felipe Massa 164
Sebastian Vettel 163
Romain Grosjean 161
Fernando Alonso 147
Esteban Gutierrez 143
Valtteri Bottas 141
Jenson Button 138
Daniel Ricciardo 121
Jean-Eric Vergne 114
Sergio Perez 104
Max Verstappen 26
Felipe Nasr 22
Daniel Juncadella 17

Total number of laps completed (by team)

Mercedes 352
Lotus 331
Williams 327
Sauber 324
Toro Rosso 319
Ferrari 315
McLaren 307
Force India 288
Red Bull 284

Number of race laps: 71
Number of safety cars: 0
Number of race starters: 18
Number of times race lead changed hands (includes pole sitter): 7
Number of different race leaders (excludes pole sitter if lead changes off the line): 3
Number of classified drivers: 17
Number of retirements: 1
Number of drivers on lead lap at chequered flag: 9
Number of teams scoring points: 6
Most places gained: 6 (Daniil Kvyat 17th – 11th)
Number of visits to pit-lane: 53
…of which were pit-stops: 52
Stop/go penalties (added to pit-stop): 0
Drive through penalties: 0
Retirements in pit-lane: 1
Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton 1:13.555 on lap 62

Nico Rosberg withstands pressure to win Brazilian Grand Prix for first time

Nico Rosberg has kept his championship hopes alive by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix. While it was mathematically impossible for Lewis Hamilton to win the title, Rosberg winning meant that he goes to Abu Dhabi with a 17 point deficit.

Having topped all three practice sessions Rosberg went on to secure pole position and retained the lead when the lights went out. It was a clean getaway for all 17 cars off the grid, with Adrian Sutil joining the back of the pack from the pit-lane following a late technical change to his car. There were concerns about the tyres due to the high track temperatures – clocking around the 55 degrees mark at the start of the race – and Pastor Maldonado was the first to pit for new tyres on just the fifth lap, moving from the soft compound to the medium compound. After a positive qualifying session where they qualified ‘best of the rest’, Williams started to come undone in the race. Local favourite Felipe Massa picked up a 5 second stop/go penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. He also made a pit-stop faux pas later in the race after driving into the McLaren pit-box. His team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a problem in one of his pit-stops when it appeared that he needed his seat-belts adjusted.

Williams weren’t the only team to have problems in the pits, as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen also lost time. The front jack was lowered before his front right tyre was secured, costing precious time as the car was raised again. He had enjoyed close battles in the race with Jenson Button and team-mate Fernando Alonso. He was also one of a few drivers who made a two stop strategy work, while the choice of the day was a three stop. There were two retirements from the race and they came in the form of Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean. Ricciardo – who has finished every race since Bahrain in the points (including three wins) – retired after 39 laps due to front suspension failure. He got his car back to the pits and the team took a look at it but were unable to do anything to allow him to get back on his way. Grosjean came to a stop at the side of the track with just eight laps to go. Elsewhere on the track Ricciardo’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel finished in fifth place behind Button and ahead of Alonso. Other drivers finishing in the points were Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen and Bottas.

Sergio Perez, who had started from the back row of the grid, finished in 15th place while also serving a five second stop/go penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. Daniil Kvyat finished just outside the points in 11th with Pastor Maldonado 12th, Jean-Eric Vergne 13th and Esteban Gutierrez in 14th. The last finisher was Sutil having started from the pit-lane.

Up at the front Rosberg withstood intense pressure from Hamilton to take his fifth win of the season. His previous best result in Brazil had been fourth back in 2007. He beat Hamilton by just over a second but it was enough. Despite the penalty, Massa raced on to a third place finish, standing on the podium in front of an adoring home crowd. The championship will conclude in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time with double points up for grabs. If Hamilton finishes first or second, the title is his. But if Rosberg wins and Hamilton finishes third or lower, it will be him who is crowned world champion. Ricciardo is solid in third place and cannot be caught, while Red Bull have secured second in the constructors championship.

Sauber reveal all new line-up for 2015

The Sauber F1 team has confirmed that it will run with an all new line-up in 2015.

Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr will pilot the Saubers next year, with both bringing substantial backing from sponsors. Ericsson was confirmed first at last weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin while the Swiss team confirmed his team-mate last night ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“We are pleased to announce this co-operation,” Sauber’s Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said of the Ericsson announcement. “We have got to know Marcus as a highly motivated driver. He did not have an easy rookie season this year in Formula One, however, he kept calm and improved continuously, mainly in the last races. We are convinced that signing Marcus can give the team a fresh impetus.” Ericsson’s signing came off the back of him missing the racing in Austin due to Caterham – his current team – going into administration. He will also be absent from the grid in Brazil. “Fresh from a very turbulent week, I was suddenly given my best early Christmas present ever,” the Swede said. “The Sauber F1 Team has put its trust in me for 2015, and it makes me proud, as Sauber is known to be one of the best teams in developing young drivers. It will be a great challenge. I will give my very best to develop both as a driver, and to be part of the challenge to put the Sauber F1 Team back closer to the front where it belongs.”

Ericcson will be partnered by current GP2 driver Nasr, who brings with him his sponsor Banco de Brasil. The Brazilian driver is currently second in the GP2 championship and has appeared in some FP1 sessions this year as a test driver for Williams. “It is a very important step in my career to sign with the Sauber F1 Team for the 2015 Formula One World Championship,” he said. “This is an unforgettable moment that I owe to all of those who have supported me – my family, my friends, my sponsors, my teams and my country. Today the dream has come true.”

“Sauber was responsible for the arrival in F1 of great names such as Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel,” Nasr continued. “I am proud now to also be part of this racing family. I had a wonderful year at Williams Martini, where I learned a lot and prepared myself to be a race driver in Formula One.” Kalternborn was equally as enthusiastic about the partnership. “We have been following Felipe’s career path for some time now,” she revealed. “He fully deserves his position in Formula One having had a very successful career in junior categories. We are happy that he will be driving for our team next year. This means that Brazil will have one more young and talented driver in the sport. Banco de Brasil has been an important partner for Felipe so far, and we are delighted that such a renowned company is continuing to support him during this important step. We look forward to this partnership.”

Felipe Massa: 200 GP and the Magic Formula

This weekend Williams Racing driver Felipe Massa will celebrate his 200th Grand Prix start. The Brazilian, who entered Formula One in 2002 with Sauber, is celebrating the milestone at the British Grand Prix where his team celebrated 600 GP a year ago. So here is a look at his magic formula.

12 years

Massa entered Formula One in 2002 when he drove for the Sauber team, having just won the Euro Formula 3000 championship in 2002. 12 years on, in 2014, Massa is still on the grid, albeit not for 12 seasons. He was replaced at Sauber at the end of 2002 and had a year on the sidelines before returning in 2014.

3 teams

Despite having quite a long Formula One career, Massa has only driven for three teams – Sauber, Ferrari and of course now Williams. Massa spent three years racing for Sauber but it is his Ferrari relationship that lasted the longest.

7 team-mates

Over the years Massa has driven with a number of high profile drivers. He started his career partnering Nick Heidfeld, before then racing alongside 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, and Giancarlo Fisichella. When he was promoted to a Ferrari race seat in 2006 he partnered seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher before being joined by Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. Raikkonen departed at the end of 2009 and Massa’s next team-mate was Fernando Alonso. Following his departure from Ferrari, Massa has partnered Valtteri Bottas at Williams.

8 seasons at Ferrari

He made his debut in 2003 with Ferrari, spending the year as their test driver. Massa’s stint at Ferrari was a lengthy one and it saw him become one of only a handful of drivers to compete in more than 100 races for one team. At Brazil in 2011, Massa started his 100th team for the team and finished in fifth place. In 2012 and 2013 he added to his tally, and left the team with a grand total of 139 races for the Scuderia. He came close to winning the championship with them in 2008, but was narrowly pipped at the post. In his first season with the team he finished third in the championship.

2nd longest serving Ferrari driver

Massa is beaten only by Schumacher – who raced in 181 races for Ferrari – in terms of the amount of races for the Scuderia. With a total of 139 races, that puts him clear of fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello. It also makes Massa third in the all time list for most races with one team – between Mika Hakkinen’s 131 and David Coulthard’s 150, both for McLaren.

11 wins

Massa has 11 wins to his name in Formula One. His first was at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix before going on to win his home Grand Prix that same year. Wins in Bahrain, Spain and again in Turkey in 2007 brought his tally to five, before winning six more times in 2008. His 2008 wins were at Bahrain, Turkey, France, the European Grand Prix, Belgium, and an emotional home victory which saw him nearly win the world championship. That win also happens to be his last in Formula One to date.

3 wins at the Turkish Grand Prix

Massa took to the Turkish Grand Prix like a duck to water and won the race on three occasions – 2006, 2007 and 2008. He didn’t let anyone else have any of the fun on those three years as he also secured pole position for all three races.

5th Brazilian driver to win in Brazil

In 2006, Massa became the fifth Brazilian driver to win his home Grand Prix. He followed Emerson Fittipaldi (1973 & 1974), Carlos Pace (1975), Nelson Piquet (1983 & 1986) and Ayrton Senna (1991 & 1993).

36 podiums

Including his 11 wins, Massa has stood on the podium a grand total of 36 times. His first Formula One podium was at the 2006 European Grand Prix where he qualified in third and narrowly beat McLaren’s Raikkonen. His most recent podium was last year’s Spanish Grand Prix where he finished third.

16 pole positions

Massa’s first victory was preceded by his first pole position, at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix. He out-qualified his team-mate by mere hundredths of a second but made it count, going on to win by over five seconds. Eight of his wins have come from pole positions, including the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix where he also set the fastest lap of the race. His pole lap was emphatic, beating Jarno Trulli by four tenths of a second.

15 fastest laps

As well as his pole positions, wins, and podiums – Massa also has a number of fastest laps to his name. 15, to be precise. The 2006 Spanish Grand Prix was his first one, and the most recent was this year’s Canadian Grand Prix.

7th – average finishing position in championship

Massa’s average finishing position in the world championship is seventh. Finishing in the top three on two occasions, Massa has finished solidly in the top ten since his move to Ferrari. The one exception is 2009, when he finished 11th, but he was forced to miss half the season after a nasty accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix saw him hit by a spring and sustaining life-threatening injuries. Thankfully he made a full recovery and was able to return to racing in 2010.

70% of finishes in points

Of his 199 starts, 119 of them have resulted in points finishes. That’s a 70% finishing record in the points. He has a finishing record of 84% from his 199 race starts thus far.

4th most experienced driver on the grid

Massa is the 4th most experienced driver on the grid, behind Jenson Button, Alonso, and Raikkonen. Fellow countryman Barrichello holds the record for most F1 starts, at 322.

1 point away

One point – all that stood between Massa and a world championship in 2008. So near, and yet so far…

So: 12 years + 3 teams + 7 team-mates + 8 seasons at Ferrari + 2nd longest serving Ferrari driver + 11 wins + 3 Turkish Grand Prix victories + 5th Brazilian driver to win Brazilian GP + 36 podiums + 16 pole positions + 15 fastest laps + 7th (average finishing position in the championship) + 70% finishes in points + 4th most experienced driver on grid + 1 point = 200 GP.

The passionate Brazilian impressed at the last race, the Austrian Grand Prix, when he qualified in pole position. He finished the race in fourth place but the Williams duo showed good pace, with Bottas finishing third behind the Mercedes duo. The team showed decent pre-season pace so they will no doubt be hoping to continue their Austrian form into this weekend’s British Grand Prix. Massa’s 100th Grand Prix start was the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, a race which he won…