Formula 1 – Brazilian GP – Race Preview

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The last race of 2007 season, 35th Brazilian GP is here. For 25th time the race will be held at Interlagos, near Sao Paulo.
Interlagos Track
The first F1 race (non-championship) on this track was held in 1972 (won by Reutemann ahead of Peterson and Wilson Fittipaldi). From the following season it became a proper part of the Formula 1 Championship. In 1981 the Brazilian GP moved to Jacarepagua near Rio de Janeiro. It returned back to revised and shortened Interlagos track in 1990.

The track is one of only few anticlockwise circuits on the F1 calendar putting some extra strain on the neck muscles of the drivers. The track has 13 turns (9 left and 4 right) and combines 2 long straights with corners of different nature. The other famous feature of this track is the bumpy surface. However the track was resurfaced recently with same compound as used at Spa and allegedly the bumps mostly disappeared. This means the driver can expect slippery track and the set up requirements may be different than in previous years.

Here comes the video preview from

F1 Brazil Preview
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The final race of the season will decide the fate of the Drivers Championship. Three drivers are still in the hunt and all 3 have a realistic chance, however only Hamilton can win the title without having to rely on others. Under normal circumstances with Ferraris and McLarens occupying top 4 places, the only combination that works against him is 4th place for him and Alonso winning the race. However it has been a while since we had a “normal” race. The reports of possible rain or storms during the race weekend are not the reports Hamilton wants to hear… (The rain forecast comes from some F1 websites, quoting Williams’ drivers and team personnel, all the weather forecast sites that I checked today predict sunny Sunday however and about 20% chance of rain on Friday and Saturday).

This may be Massa’s home race, but his task this time is to help Raikkonen – to keep himself between Raikkonen and 2 McLarens. Both Ferraris will be racing with new engines that only have to last this one last race of the season, so expect the team to tune up to the limits (within the current engine freeze restrictions of course). Raikkonen should come ahead of Massa unless some problem puts him out of the title fight. I doubt Ferrari will take a risk and ask Massa to perform some “more aggressive stunts” to clear the way to the title for Kimi…

McLaren will be under the supervision of the “Fair Play Tsar” to make sure both Alonso and Hamilton receive equal treatment. Crazy, but whatever Max wants to do, he will … Hamilton has 4 points lead so he does not have to go for the win, unlike Alonso. Alonso on the other hand has nothing to loose… The same however was the case in Shanghai and we know what happened there.

BMW did not have the best of races in Shanghai. Mechanical problems plagued both cars during practice sessions and during the race. I looks like they decided to use the last few races to collect data for the development of their 2008 car with some reliability issues as a result.

This may be the last Renault race for Giancarlo Fisichella, and who knows, maybe even his last F1 race. Whatever he says publicly, he must be aware that there is not much room for him in Renault next year. Kovalainen is on course to finish every single race of his rookie season – that is if makes it to the finish line in Brazil.

Williams’ goal is to defend their 4th place in Constructors table ahead of Red Bull. Kazuki Nakajima will make his race debut. His performance might play some role in the driver line up decisions both Williams and Toyota will have to do… As usual we can expect Nico Rosberg to be near the points.

Red Bull’s task is to grab the 4th place from Williams. That would require some serious point tally from the last race and finishing ahead of Nico Rosberg. Not impossible, but very difficult.

Ralf Schumacher will say bye-bye to Toyota this weekend, but he is not ready to say goodbyes to his life in Formula 1… Toyota would probably like to end the season back in points again. Trulli would be the bet to score some for them, but with their recent form it does not look very likely unless few of the guys above them do not finish.

Honda, Spyker and Toro Rosso will all be hoping for some rain. All these 3 teams scored some points in past 2 races and especially Toro Rosso drivers were impressive in China. Without rain however all they can probably hope for is Q2 and decent midfield finish. This may be the last time we see Honda racing their Earth livery and Honda fans will not shed too many tears to see this car disappearing in the history. This may also be the last time we see Spyker racing as Spyker, the name change is likely to come following the recent takeover of the team.

Super Aguri had the best race of the season in Brazil last year, with Sato finishing way above his league at 10th. This year the team’s performances in the second half of the season were clearly affected by lack of development following the problems with payments from their former sponsor. The desire of Honda works team to finish ahead of Super Aguri also did not help much. And so Super Aguri slowly slipped to the back of the grid and that is where we can expect to see them in Brazil too. Unless Sato pulls again some magic from his hat (or helmet). Watch Anthony Davidson, I have a strange feeling he will not be back at Super Aguri next year…

This is the second time in the row the Brazilian GP decides the Drivers Championship. Last year it was between Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. Schumacher needed a win and Alonso’s DNF. That did not happen, instead Schumacher suffered series of misfortunes and dropped way back down the field. What followed was one of his finest performances overtaking basically everybody who stood in his way. He finished the race at 4th. Felipe Massa stormed to his famous home victory ahead of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Here is a video from the 2006 Brazilian GP with Schumacher’s drive through the field.

Click here for flashback to 2003 and one of the craziest races in recent F1 history.

Only 3 current drivers have won Brazilian GP in the past – Massa, Fisichella and Coulthard. It is very likely this year will produce new winner.

The results from past 10 years.

1. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:31:53.751
2. Fernando Alonso – Renault +18.6 sec
3. Jenson Button – Honda +19.3 sec
4. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +24.0 sec
5. Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +28.5 sec
6. Giancarlo Fisichella – Renault +30.2 sec
7. Rubens Barrichello – Honda +40.2 sec
8. Pedro de la Rosa – McLaren-Mercedes +52.0 sec
9. Robert Kubica – Sauber-BMW +67.6 sec
10. Takuma Sato – Super Aguri-Honda +1 Lap

1. Juan Pablo Montoya – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:29:20.574
2. Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +2.5 sec
3. Fernando Alonso – Renault +24.8 sec
4. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +35.6 sec
5. Giancarlo Fisichella – Renault +40.2 sec
6. Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari +69.1 sec
7. Jenson Button – BAR-Honda +1 Lap
8. Ralf Schumacher – Toyota +1 Lap
9. Christian Klien – RBR-Cosworth +1 Lap
10. Takuma Sato – BAR-Honda +1 Lap

1. Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams-BMW – 1:28:01.451
2. Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +1.0 sec
3. Rubens Barrichello – Ferrari +24.0 sec
4. Fernando Alonso – Renault +48.9 sec
5. Ralf Schumacher – Williams-BMW +49.7 sec
6. Takuma Sato – BAR-Honda +50.2 sec
7. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +50.6 sec
8. Felipe Massa – Sauber-Petronas +62.3 sec
9. Giancarlo Fisichella – Sauber-Petronas +63.8 sec
10. Jacques Villeneuve – Renault +1 Lap

2003 (third race of season)
1. Giancarlo Fisichella – Jordan-Ford – 1:31:17.748
2. Kimi Räikkönen – McLaren-Mercedes +0.945
3. Fernando Alonso – Renault +6.348
4. David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes +8.096
5. Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Sauber-Petronas +8.642
6. Jacques Villeneuve – BAR-Honda +16.054
7. Ralf Schumacher – Williams-BMW +38.526
8. Jarno Trulli – Renault +45.927
Ret Mark Webber – Jaguar-Cosworth – Accident
10. Cristiano da Matta – Toyota +1 Lap

1. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari – 1:31’43.663
2. Ralf Schumacher – Williams-BMW +0.588s
3. David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes +59.110s
4. Jenson Button – Renault +1’06.883s
5. Juan Pablo Montoya – Williams-BMW +1’07.563s
6. Mika Salo – Toyota +1 Lap
7. Eddie Irvine – Jaguar-Cosworth +1 Lap
8. Pedro de la Rosa – Jaguar-Cosworth +1 Lap
9. Takuma Sato – Jordan-Honda +2 Laps
10. Jacques Villeneuve – BAR-Honda – Engine

1. David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:39’00.834
2. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +16.164
3. Nick Heidfeld – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap
4. Olivier Panis – BAR-Honda +1 Lap
5. Jarno Trulli – Jordan-Honda +1 Lap
6. Giancarlo Fisichella – Benetton-Renault +1 Lap
7. Jacques Villeneuve – BAR-Honda +1 Lap
8. Jean Alesi – Prost-Acer +1 Lap
9. Tarso Marques – Minardi-European +3 Laps
10. Jenson Button – Benetton-Renault +7 Laps

1. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari – 1:31’35.271
2. Giancarlo Fisichella – Benetton-Playlife +39.898
3. Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Jordan-Mugen-Honda +42.268
4. Jarno Trulli – Jordan-Mugen-Honda +1’12.780
5. Ralf Schumacher – Williams-BMW +1 Lap
6. Jenson Button – Williams-BMW +1 Lap
7. Jos Verstappen – Arrows-Supertec +1 Lap
8. Pedro de la Rosa – Arrows-Supertec +1 Lap
9. Ricardo Zonta – BAR-Honda +2 Laps
10. Gaston Mazzacane – Minardi-Fondmetal +2 Laps

1. Mika Hakkinen – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:36’03.785
2. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +4.925
3. Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Jordan-Mugen-Honda +1 Lap
4. Ralf Schumacher – Williams-Supertec +1 Lap
5. Eddie Irvine Ferrari +1 Lap
6. Olivier Panis – Prost-Peugeot +1 Lap
7. Alexander Wurz – Benetton-Playlife +2 Laps
8. Toranosuke Takagi – Arrows +3 Laps
9. Marc Gene – Minardi-Ford +3 Laps
Ret Pedro de la Rosa – Arrows – Hydraulics

1. Mika Hakkinen – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:37’11.747
2. David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes +1.102
3. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +1’00.550
4. Alexander Wurz – Benetton-Playlife +1’07.453
5. Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Williams-Mecachrome +1 Lap
6. Giancarlo Fisichella – Benetton-Playlife +1 Lap
7. Jacques Villeneuve – Williams-Mecachrome +1 Lap
8. Eddie Irvine – Ferrari +1 Lap
9. Jean Alesi – Sauber-Petronas +1 Lap
10. Jan Magnussen – Stewart-Ford +2 Laps

1. Jacques Villeneuve – Williams-Renault – 1:36’06.990
2. Gerhard Berger – Benetton-Renault +4.190
3. Olivier Panis – Prost-Mugen-Honda +15.870
4. Mika Hakkinen – McLaren-Mercedes +33.033
5. Michael Schumacher – Ferrari +33.731
6. Jean Alesi – Benetton-Renault +34.020
7. Johnny Herbert – Sauber-Petronas +50.912
8. Giancarlo Fisichella – Jordan-Peugeot +1’00.639
9. Heinz-Harald Frentzen – Williams-Renault +1’15.402
10. David Coulthard – McLaren-Mercedes +1 Lap

2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Fernando ALONSO
Adrian SUTIL
Force India
Sergio PEREZ
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi


2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise
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