Brazilian Grand Prix – Interlagos

By Pat Espresso

The most exciting F1 championship for decades heads to Brazil for the penultimate race of this enthralling series, promising fans a scintillating spectacle at a track that is a true test of driver skill.

Sao Paulo’s Interlagos circuit boasts the famous Senna S, one of the longest straights on the calendar, a seriously bumpy surface and an anti-clockwise layout. It is also the second shortest track of the year.

Add to that its passionate fans, unpredictable weather and a host of real overtaking opportunities and we have the recipe for a vintage race. It’s no wonder the ramshackle venue remains a firm favourite.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso goes to Brazil as champion-in-waiting, heading the drivers’ table but facing a strong challenge from Red Bull and McLaren who will be desperate to score strongly to give themselves a chance to snatch victory in the last race at Abu Dhabi.

Qualifying is always intense at Interlagos, with the short 2.6 mile circuit ensuring that times are often split by the smallest margin. With the potential for very hot or very wet weather, drivers will be anxious to avoid even the slightest mistake during Saturday’s session. One or two tenths can cover seven or eight cars so a perfect lap is essential.

While it is theoretically possible for Alonso to seal the championship in Brazil, the season so far suggests there are still surprises in store. Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa will be under pressure from his countrymen in the stands to prove his backbone by putting in a strong performance. But would Ferrari allow him to take the chequered flag? An intriguing question.

For Red Bull, their Korean disaster will be forgotten as they try to forge their way back to the front. Team boss Christian Horner has said that each driver will be given an equal chance to win the race, despite many neutral fans thinking that it is time for the team to get behind Mark Webber to have a chance to overturn Alonso’s lead.

Even McLaren are still mouthing the “no team orders” mantra, despite Jenson Button needing pile-ups at both remaining races to have a chance of retaining his title. Lewis Hamilton has parroted the team line but privately he must be wondering at a strategy Christian Horner described as a “no brainer” for the team after Korea. What is certain is that Hamilton, who won his 2008 title in Brazil, is likely to go on a charge at Interlagos, so we can expect fireworks from the first corner.

Another driver likely to tear up the track is Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, who announced his arrival in F1 with a bravura performance as stand-in for Timo Glock at Toyota last year. He is one of several drivers who will appreciate the overtaking opportunities afforded by the challenging circuit, particularly for late-brakers going into the first corner.

Time is running out for the teams at the back to pick up points, so Lotus, Virgin and HRT will be desperate for a good showing in Brazil. The omens are good, though, as Interlagos often provides chaotic races thanks to the weather and challenging turns which add to the thrills and spills. Fans better buckle up for Brazil, it’s bound to be a bumpy ride!

3 Responses to “Brazilian Grand Prix – Interlagos”
  1. Oscar Joseph says:

    This is no doubt one of the most exciting finishes to an F1 season I can remember. The excitement, nerves and tension is almost palpable. God only knows how the drivers are feeling! I bet some psycologists are earning some ‘serious dough’ this weekend in the attempt to keep ’em focused.

    For me this race is gonna be centred around one man. One man whose not in the top five and has no chance of bagging the title but every chance of causing a huge upset. One man who only recently was fighting for his life after what can only be described as an unfortunate ‘freak’ accident. For me Felipe could potentially destroy Fernando’s title hopes. There is simply no way on earth this little fighter of a man is gonna roll over in front of his home fans and do his team ‘mate’ a favour. It’ll be in his mind more than ever to turn Fernando over and give him and his team the finger. And for the way he’s been treated this season I hope he does.

    I think we’ll see two prancing horses on the podium this Sunday accompanied by a future Championship winner in the form of Vettel.

  2. Hackney Red says:

    Good points Oscar. Felipe is certain to want to show the people of Brazil that he’s his own man. But has he the guts to race for himself? Fernando would go mental. My prediction? Vettel wins followed by Alonso and Hamilton. Alonso is unstoppable, I think.

    • Oscar Joseph says:

      Cheers Hackney Red. Will Felipe have the guts? I think he’ll have the guts. It’ll just be the permission he’ll be lacking!

      I’m not sure what his contract terms are but I’ll bet my bile duct he’ll go out guns blazing to win on home soil. The crowd could be Felipe’s very own personal ‘F’ duct!

      Whatever the outcome I for one can’t wait……………..

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