Brazil GP preview

21 Nov

How’s the championship looking going into the final race?

Well, the constructor’s championship was tied up last weekend by Red Bull. The team now have 440 points (73 points more than Ferrari). But the drivers championship isn’t decided yet, Sebastian Vettel goes into the final race with 13 more points than Fernando Alonso so for a Vettel championship he needs to finish at least 4th regardless of where Alonso finishes.

So it’s not that great for Alonso, what could help him win the championship?

Luckily for Alonso Interlagos has built up a reputation as a track with unpredictable weather, and if it rains then Alonso will be in with a chance since the Ferrari has been the quickest car in wet conditions.At the time of writing the weather forecast is this: Friday is expected to be sunny, Saturday is forecasted for mostly cloud and there should be rain on sunday so it appears the F1 gods don’t want this race to be too clear cut.

So it should be a good race! How have the two contenders performed in Brazil in the past?

Alonso has raced at Interlagos 10 times, but has never won there despite finishing on the podium there 6 times. Sebastian Vettel on the other hand has only been to Brazil 5 times but did win the race in 2010. The driver who’s won the most races at Interlagos is Michael Schumacher, who’s won at the circuit 4 times. Ferrari hold the record for the constructor who’s won the most at Interlagos, they’ve won the race 8 times, whilst Red Bull have won the race only 3 times (consecutively from 2009 to 2011).

Who’s the fan’s favourite? 

Anyone Brazilian so this year there support will be split between Bruno Senna and Felipe Massa, Senna especially seeing as he’s the nephew of triple world champion Ayrton Senna. Massa on the other hand has been improving over the year and has been especially strong at Interlagos winning the race in both 2006 and 2008. Fernando Alonso is likely to be more popular with the home fans than Vettel seeing as Fernando is Massa’s team mate but if there are some Ferrari team orders the fans will quickly change sides.

Where will the race be won or lost?

This race will be won or lost off track not on it with strategy being key, do you go for a wet setup and risk a poor qualifying performance or a dry one to start near the front and risk rain in the race also the timings and numbers or pit stops will be crucial, since despite the circuit being one of the shortest the pit lane is easily one of the longest.

Who else will be mixing it up at the front? 

Despite winning last weekends American GP it is unlikely Lewis Hamilton will win in Brazil, only finishing on the podium once in 5 previous attempts, Jenson Button also doesn’t look like a good bet, in 12 races at the circuit he’s only been on the podium twice, but the championship rival’s team mates should make more of an impact. As previously mentioned Felipe Massa has won two home races but he has struggled at this track since his horror crash in 2009. Mark Webber has also won two races at the circuit (2009 and 2011) and so long as his Red Bull doesn’t suffer from it’s customary KERS failure Mark will be a bug contender for the victory. Kimi Raikkonen should also be touted as a contender, he won the race in 2007 and has finished on the podium a further 3 times.

So what time do I need to get up for the sessions?

WARNING: these times are in GMT

Since Brazil is west of the UK the race is late on in the afternoon as apposed to early in the morning. Practice 1 starts at 12:00 (midday) on Friday, Practice 2 at 16:00 also on Friday, Practice 3 on Saturday at 13:00 and Qualifying only a few hours later at 16:00. The race will start at 16:00 on Sunday and since the race generally last around one and a half hours it should end around 17:30.


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