Brazilian Grand Prix Preview: Rosberg Sets Sight on Title
With just two races remaining on the Formula 1 calendar and the championship title within reach for Rosberg and Hamilton, the scene is set for a fascinating Formula 1 Grande Premio do Brasil.
A two week hiatus since the last race in Mexico has built the tension for what may be the season decider at the famous Interlagos circuit. And there could be few better tracks to host such an important race.
The Autódromo José Carlos Pace – or more commonly known as Interlagos for its positioning between two lakes – first hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1973 as a 7.960km / 4.946 mile circuit around the side of the natural bowl in which the track is located. It was later modernized and shortened with the current layout staging the Brazilian Grand Prix every year since 1990.
There are a few things that make Interlagos unique. To begin with, the track is now relatively short at just 4.309km / 2.677 miles giving the drivers little time to rest. It is a smooth flowing circuit but is one of the few that has an anti-clockwise layout.
Esteban Gutierrez from Haas explains: “It is quite physical for the neck, and it being anti-clockwise factors into that. The strength goes to the opposite side and all the main straight is not really one straight – it’s a whole corner. In the race I remember my neck getting a good workout.”
Interlagos is also renowned for its bumpy surface. Being built on swampland, the bumps have appeared over time and even an asphalt resurface a few years ago only temporarily fixed the problem. Beyond being a nuisance for the drivers it will undoubtedly impact the mechanical set-up of the cars.
The bumps in the track can also quickly become pools of water when the variable Brazilian weather turns wet.
“We are expecting very poor weather in the lead up to the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend with a chance of showers on both Saturday and Sunday. We are hoping it will be dry, however we could see a situation similar to 2013 when the first real dry running we had was on race day,” said Pat Symonds from Williams.
Brazilian-born Felipa Massa has been an icon of Formula 1 for many years but will race his final home grand prix after announcing his retirement earlier in the season.
Felipe has a remarkable 248 starts to his name and had it not been for a remarkable 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix – where Felipe lost the title to Lewis Hamilton in a frantic finish – we would also be fare welling a champion.
But none of that will deter the usually loud and vibrant Brazilian crowd from getting behind Felipe for the last time.
Said Felipe: “Interlagos is home. It’s the place that I grew up. It will be emotional racing there for the final time on such an amazing track.”
“I’m looking forward to enjoying every single lap and hopefully I can manage to finish the race with a good result.”
Title On The Line For Rosberg
Nico Rosberg enters the Brazilian Grand Prix knowing that a victory will secure him the title. Even another second place at each of the remaining races will be enough.
So far, Rosberg has done well to handle the pressure by focusing on one race at a time and he is now in a strong position knowing that he doesn’t have to be overly aggressive.
The pressure instead falls on to Hamilton to take the important victory and keeps his championship hopes alive. Will he deliver or will Rosberg claim the title in Brazil?
The race will start at 14:00 local time and will run over 71 laps.