7:32 – Formula 1 moves on to Interlagos and the Autódromo José Carlos Pace for the penultimate round of the 2017 campaign. GPUpdate.net previews this weekend’s event and provides the key statistics.
Interlagos broke ground in 1938 and opened in 1940, but did not appear on the Formula 1 calendar (as a full championship event) until the 1973 campaign, kicking off an initial five-year stay.
In following seasons, the event moved between Jacarepaguá and Interlagos, but the latter – renamed after Carlos Pace, who died in a plane crash in 1977 – has been its home since 1990.
Although the highest circuit on the calendar is Mexico City, and by some distance, Interlagos still poses an altitude challenge, coming in at around 1,000 metres above sea level.
“Interlagos is one of the great ‘classic’ tracks on the calendar, with an incredible history and a long list of famous names that have lifted the trophy,” says McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
“It’s also one of the most dramatic Grands Prix of the year – there are always incidents and action and the weather plays a big part in the outcome.
“Starting position is very important in a race where a lot can happen.
“It’s a really fun track – a short lap with a good flow, and the new cars this year will make it feel even faster.
“During the race, if you can get a good rhythm through the final corner it really helps down the start-finish straight and into Turn 1, and then you can attack the first corner going into the next lap.
“It’s part of what makes this circuit so exciting.”
Formula 1 arrives in Brazil with both titles settled, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes pulling clear after the summer break to get the better of Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari.
Hamilton has won five of the seven races since the break, coinciding with a change of diet, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckons the Briton is in the form of his life.
“I’ve been working with him for five years now, and I’ve never seen him operate at such a high level – the raw pace is spectacular,” Wolff said of Hamilton’s performances..
“He understands the tyres and the ability of the car which, at times, hasn’t been easy to drive. I haven’t seen such a sustained performance on that level before.”
Although the titles are confirmed, other battles rumble on.
Hamilton’s team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, has closed to within 15 points of Vettel, as he continues his recovery from a difficult phase of races and pushes for the runner-up spot.
In the Constructors’ standings, just six points cover Toro Rosso, Haas and Renault, as they fight for sixth position, and the extra prize money that goes with it.
Meanwhile, there is intra-team pride at stake at several teams, with the Force India, Williams and McLaren pairings all closely matched.
And at Toro Rosso, there is a race between Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley to score maiden points.
Current grid at the Brazilian GP:
Vettel (2010, 2013) and Felipe Massa (2006, 2007), the latter recently announcing his (second) retirement, are both two-time winners of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Kimi Räikkönen won the event in 2007, enabling him to snatch the title, while Hamilton triumphed last year, supremely mastering extreme wet conditions.
Repeat Brazilian GP winners:
6 Alain Prost (1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990)
4 Michael Schumacher (1994, 1995, 2000, 2002)
3 Carlos Reutemann (1977, 1978, 1981)
2 Emerson Fittipaldi (1973, 1974)
Nelson Piquet (1983, 1986)
Nigel Mansell (1989, 1992)
Ayrton Senna (1991, 1993)
Mika Häkkinen (1998, 1999)
Juan Pablo Montoya (2004, 2005)
Felipe Massa (2006, 2008)
Mark Webber (2009, 2011)
Sebastian Vettel (2010, 2013)
Nico Rosberg (2014, 2015)
Venue: Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Race date: November 12, 2017
Circuit opened: 1940
First Grand Prix: 1973
Lap record: 1:11.473 (Juan Pablo Montoya, 2004)
Circuit length: 4.309 km (2.677 mi)
Race distance: 305.909 km (190.083 mi)
2017 timetable (GMT -2):
Friday 10 November
Practice 1 10:00-11:30 local time
Practice 2 14:00-15:30 local time
Saturday 11 November
Practice 3 11:00-12:00 local time
Qualifying 14:00 local time
Sunday 12 November
Race 14:00 local time
Additional on-track events:
Zone 1 – Between Turns 3 & 4
Zone 2 – Start/finish straight
Super Soft / Soft / Medium
Pitlane speed limits:
80 km/h (49.7 mph) for the entire event
Fuel usage: 1.48kg per lap
Top speed: 331km/h (205.6 mph)
Full throttle: 60 per cent of lap
Gear changes: 46 per lap
Friday – Thundery, high 26°C / low 19°C
Saturday – Heavy rain, high 20°C / low 14°C
Sunday – Sunny, high 24°C / low 13°C
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix