Nov 24

Formula One teams Brazil Grand Prix preview

Brazil Grand Prix Formula One preview

Interlagos logoToday’s report from Formula One teams & drivers at Interlagos.


Red Bull Racing

source: redbullracing.com

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix preview

Lewis Hamilton

“Winning in Abu Dhabi last week was a fantastic feeling, and it’s made me even more determined to finish the 2011 season with a victory. It would be great to go into the winter off the back of another win, so that’ll be my aim next weekend.

“It’s rare for there to be a straightforward race at Interlagos – particularly if the weather plays a role. I hear it’s been raining heavily in Sao Paulo at the moment – if it rains on Sunday, anything could happen. I remember having one of my best races in Formula 1 there in 2009 when I qualified 17th in seriously wet conditions, but raced up to third by the chequered flag. I spent the whole race overtaking people – it was brilliant.

“Of course, for Jenson and myself, Interlagos is the circuit where we won the world championship, so it will always hold some happy memories for us. In fact, I’ve only been here once [in 2009] when I wasn’t in contention for the championship. This year, with both titles already wrapped up, I want to enjoy myself: and I think we have the car to once again make a difference – we’ll pick up where we left off in Abu Dhabi, I hope.

“I think we’re all set for a great end to the 2011 championship: Interlagos is a fantastic circuit, one of the best on the calendar, and I think the combination of KERS Hybrid and DRS, plus the possibility of wet weather, mean we’re all set for a fascinating race.”

Jenson Button

“You’re struck by the sense of history whenever you go to Interlagos. There’s the bust of Carlos Pace on the way in to the circuit, and so many great drivers have come from here – including two McLaren world champions, Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna. It’s such a unique place: it’s always an exciting experience to be racing around in the bowl with the packed grandstands looking down on you.

“There are a lot of physical challenges to overcome at Interlagos. It’s a busy lap with a lot of corners and gradients. I can only imagine what it must have been like to race here in the 1970s when it was twice as long but still packed into the same amount of space. Although it’s not the only anti-clockwise circuit on the calendar, the combination of bumps, gradients and corner speeds put a lot of stress on neck muscles that are more used to turning right than turning left.

“KERS Hybrid will play an important role at this circuit because there is quite a short drag from the start line to the first corner. Towards the end of the lap you’ve got a long uphill section out of the final corner and the power will certainly help there, too. And, if you can’t get past into the first corner, then I definitely think you’ll be able to close up along the start/finish straight and then have a look at passing on the short straight ahead of Turn Four, using DRS.

“I think we proved in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes still wants to win races even though both championships are now settled. Certainly I’m determined to win my fourth grand prix of the year, even if it means fighting all the way to the last lap of the last race.”

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“While everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is extremely proud of Lewis’s dominant victory in Abu Dhabi, we’ve already switched focus to Brazil and are relishing the prospect of taking home back-to-back wins with which to end our 2011 season.

“Many of the recent races in Brazil have been complex, fascinating and gripping, particularly for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: in 2007, we came within a hair’s breadth of winning the title with either driver; the following year, Lewis so memorably snatched the title at the very final corner; in ’09, as Jenson blazed to the title, while Lewis drove with incredible commitment to finish on the podium. Last year, we held on to our championship aspirations with a double points finish.

“A victory here would be particularly satisfying. In fact, we’re keen to take our seventh win of the season here. Lewis and Jenson have now scored three wins apiece this year and each of them are equally motivated to take their fourth. From a team management perspective, that’s an excellent position for us to be in.”

source: mclaren.com

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

coming soon

source: shell.com

Mercedez GP Petronas

The final race of the 2011 Formula One season, the Brazilian Grand Prix, takes place at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo on Sunday 27 November. Located in Interlagos, the historic 4.309 km circuit is the highest of the year at 800m above sea level, and one of only five anti-clockwise tracks on this year’s calendar.

  • The Safety Car has been deployed in seven of the last ten races in Interlagos, on a total of 11 occasions.
  • Interlagos is the shortest permanent circuit on the calendar with the shortest lap time of any circuit.
  • DRS can be used over 59% of the lap in practice and qualifying: only Montreal, Spa and Monza have higher values.

Michael Schumacher

“The final race of the season is approaching fast and I am looking forward to the weekend in Brazil. There is always a really good atmosphere at the Interlagos track and it’s one of the traditional venues for Formula One to end the season. We have enjoyed some good results finishing in the top six over the last few races, and I would love to continue this trend in Brazil and bring the season to a positive end. The team have worked very hard to improve our performance with the car that we have available to us and it would be a fitting reward for them.”

Nico Rosberg

“I’m really looking forward to going to Brazil next week. The Interlagos track is amazing to drive, and in the last weeks we have made some steps forward without having any big updates on the car, so it should be a good weekend. I would love to give the season a nice ending; our engineers, the boys in the garage and everybody at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth deserve a good result at our last race. The stronger qualifying and race pace in Abu Dhabi makes me confident that we can push and try to catch one of the cars from the top three teams at Interlagos. Our Mercedes engine power and the top speed in the car will be good for getting up the hill on the long start-finish straight.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal

“The Brazilian Grand Prix weekend is always a lively and vibrant event, and Interlagos is a fitting venue for the final race of this year’s Formula One season. Although our focus at the factory has been on 2012 for some time now, at the race track we are continuing to work hard with this year’s car and make improvements. We are determined to end the season on a high and continue the run of top six results that we have enjoyed recently, which is the upper limit of the potential of the current car. Interlagos is a very unique track which presents some unusual challenges; the high altitude location, the bumpy surface and the challenging layout all test both the drivers and engineers.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“Brazil is a great venue for a Formula One season finale: our sport has a proud history in the country, and the atmosphere and dedicated spectators at Interlagos are fantastic. The circuit layout usually delivers exciting and unpredictable races. Interlagos is the second shortest circuit of the year and, coupled with a relatively high average speed, this normally makes for an intense race. The 71 laps around an anti-clockwise layout are challenging for the drivers, and the circuit requires good aerodynamic and mechanical performance in the second sector, and efficient aerodynamics and good engine performance in the first and third sectors. Seven of the last ten Brazilian Grands Prix have featured Safety Car deployments, so we must factor this probability into our strategies – and even more so with the increase in wheel-to-wheel action this year, thanks to DRS and the Pirelli tyres. In Abu Dhabi, we saw for the first time ever six Mercedes-Benz powered cars finish in the top ten – including in first and third places. Good results for MERCEDES GP PETRONAS and our partner teams are our target at the final round of the season.”

Race Preview Feature 19: 2011 Season Overtaking Analysis

Overtaking – how much, not enough, or too much of the ‘wrong’ sort – has been a frequent topic throughout the 2011 season, since the advent of DRS (the Drag Reduction System) and Pirelli tyres. What is beyond all doubt is that the overall levels of overtaking have climbed to record levels – there have been nearly 1500 passes so far in 18 races. However, no standard definition of an overtaking manoeuvre exists. The figures used below are calculated for strategic purposes, which are reflected in the categorisation, and compiled from a combination of video, timing data and GPS technology. Overtakes are classed as follows:

Normal/DRS/Slow Cars (referring to HRT, Lotus, Virgin, as the strategic value of these overtakes is different)/Team-Mates (one driver can choose to let another pass)/Damage/Lap One.

How many overtaking manoeuvres have been made in 18 races this season?

So far, there have been 1436 overtaking manoeuvres in all categories.

Excluding overtakes categorised as ‘Lap One’ or because of damage, there have been 1180 manoeuvres. The combined total of ‘Normal’ and ‘DRS-assisted’ moves – the indicator of what most observers consider to be ‘clean’ overtaking – is 804 overtakes. This gives an average of 45 normal and DRS overtakes per race.

What is the breakdown of overtaking manoeuvres within these totals?

There have been 441 normal overtakes this season and 363 DRS overtakes; from the total of 804 clean overtakes, 55% were normal and 45% were DRS.

300 overtakes were on the three slowest teams by faster cars, with passes between team-mates accounting for 76 overtakes.

Which races have seen the most overtakes and which the least?

The highest number of clean overtakes were recorded in Turkey (85), Canada (79) and China (67). The races with the fewest were Monaco (16), Australia (17) and India (18). Nine races featured fewer than 50 clean overtakes; eight races featured more than 50. There have been an average of 45 clean overtakes per race – broken down to 25 normal overtakes and 20 with DRS.

What has been the ratio of DRS to normal passes through the season?

The highest ratio of DRS overtakes to normal, i.e. where the influence of DRS was greatest, were: Abu Dhabi (89%), Europe (81%), India (78%), Turkey (59%) and Spain (57%). The lowest ratio of DRS overtakes to normal were: Monaco (13%), Hungary (20%), Canada (22%), Japan (26%) and Great Britain (27%) – it should be noted that three of these five races featured wet or mixed conditions, and use of DRS was restricted for portions of the race in Canada and Great Britain. DRS overtakes have outnumbered normal moves in eight of 18 races.

Has the ratio of DRS passes changed during the season?

In the first nine races of the season, there were on average 21 DRS overtakes per race – on average, 45% of clean overtakes. The influence of DRS has remained stable in the second nine races of the year: there were on average 20 DRS overtakes per race, representing on average 46% of clean overtakes.

Which driver has been the top overtaker in 2011?

The following figures are corrected for retirements of cars ahead, but only positions gained are considered. Buemi has made a total of 112 overtakes in 2011 – closely followed by Michael (111), Kobayashi (95), Alguersuari (90) and Perez (89). This total can be broken down into gains between the start and the end of sector one (top starter), gains on the first lap and gains in the race not including lap one.

Who has been the top starter in 2011?

The top starter is Michael, who has gained a total of 34 positions; next up come Buemi (29), Kovalainen (28), Liuzzi (20) and Kobayashi (19). In contrast, the driver who has gained the fewest positions in sector one is Vettel, with just one place gained all season, reflecting the fact that he has only once failed to qualify on the front row in 18 races, including 14 pole positions.

Who has gained most positions on the first lap in 2011?

In total terms, Michael, Buemi and Kovalainen also lead this table, having gained 40, 30 and 26 positions respectively on lap one.

Discounting gains made in sector one, the top-ranked driver is D’Ambrosio, who has gained eight places between the end of sector one and lap one.

Finally, who has done the most overtaking in the races after lap one?

This classification is headed by Perez and Buemi, both with 82 overtakes. They are followed by Button (77), Webber (76), Alguersuari (74) and Michael (71).

source: mercedes-gp.com

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

Lotus Renault GP prepares for round nineteen of the season in Brazil.

To view our preview magazine, packed full of exciting content, including interviews with all key players at LRGP, simply click on the button “Brazilian GP Preview” or here.

Bruno Senna – “I’m very excited about racing in my homeland”

A home race is an exciting time for any driver, but particularly if your name is Senna and you come from Brazil.

How have you recovered from the disappointing weekend in Abu Dhabi?

Well, you just have to put it behind you and concede that it really was a very poor weekend. In one sense we knew we would be up against it; the Yas Marina Circuit was always going to be a circuit that the R31 would struggle to with. In the race, we struggled with a KERS failure, drive through penalty and generally a car that was not on the money. Strategically we took a gamble that didn’t pay off. I certainly think that overall in Abu Dhabi my pace was as good as it could have been. For Brazil we will need to have an improved baseline to ensure a better race weekend.

It’s all eyes to Brazil now – not only the last race of the season but your home race…

I am very excited about racing in my homeland. I did, in fact, travel straight to Brazil from Abu Dhabi to prepare for everything. It’s going to be another difficult race because of the type of circuit we are facing. It’s a classic track, and it’s my home race which will make it extra special but there are also some long, slow corners in the mid-section of the track. We will have to prepare fully to give ourselves the best chance of success there. One thing is for sure – people will remember the last race of the season and how we perform in that. That will be the lingering thought for many as we enter 2012, so we want to end the season on a positive note.

You say you went straight to Brazil – how much extra is there to contend with at your home race?

I headed straight to Brazil from the Middle East. There will be a lot going on during race week. I have a number of PR and sponsor commitments leading into the race weekend; these are additional things to my normal race weekend, but I’m doing most of this ahead of the Thursday so I can begin my race preparations as I would do at any other track. Certainly, there will be the fan presence too. I’m well aware that I’m going to have a great level of support and that will undoubtedly help me as I look to secure a good result for the team.

Talk a bit more about the fans – you have a very special relationship with F1 fans in general, not to mention Brazilian F1 fans…

Yes, I know the fans will be great there. I learnt last year that they gave me a lot of care, a lot of passion and I would love to reciprocate that by putting in a result to be proud of in the black and gold livery. The flags will be waving for us Brazilian drivers on the grid, and that will be an extremely nice feeling.

Looking at your season as a whole – it must have been a good step forward for you…

It has. I’ve been learning, I’ve been improving and working with the engineers to get the most out of the car. We have been working on some different strategies, and some haven’t paid off. Other teams have taken strides forward that we have not, and we have paid for that in terms of results. This is all part of the learning curve I’ve been on, and I’m sure we can use what we have learnt to take ourselves forward.

Vitaly Petrov – “Brazil will be a very special race”

Vitaly reflects on a season of mixed fortunes, and looks forward to the season finale at Interlagos.

What conclusions can you draw from Abu Dhabi?

I did like the track but the trend of slower tracks not clicking with the R31 has repeated itself. To qualify P12 was almost the maximum we could have done and we were satisfied with that result. We also tried out a number of things in preparation for next year, so this should be taken into consideration as well. The race was quite difficult for us because from the beginning my DRS failed; it was quite a frustrating race because the pace was just not good enough to be able to overtake other cars and to score points. We knew that the Yas Marina circuit may not favour our car but still, that was not what we were looking for.

You seemed very upset after the race in Abu Dhabi

Let’s just say that I acted a bit stupidly. I was very disappointed, very tired, I had to answer a lot of questions and somehow I didn’t handle it correctly. But I had a chat with the team later on and everything is now OK.

This is the last race of your second season with LRGP – what are your assessments of the year?

It started very positively for me. Finishing third in Australia was a big boost for both me and the team. After that I was fighting high up the grid in pretty much every race and we scored a lot of points – not nearly enough though. Next year I want to achieve a lot more, and we are already working hard to take another step forward. We have all been disappointed with our performance this year but we understood the tyres and tactics, and I believe we will be much more confident going into the next campaign.

What are your thoughts for Brazil?

It is not easy to set up the car for Interlagos. When you think you are on the limit you try to push a little further, especially at turns six and seven which are very, very special. The challenge here is to set up the car well and to have the car fully prepared for Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes it rains, like it did last year when the visibility and aquaplaning were incredible, but the track is still safe enough to drive well on. People just love coming here. Interlagos is a very lively track due to the nature of the straight with the tiny bends which givee you a chance to find the slipstream. Brazil will be a very special race.

What are your plans for 2012?

I am here to achieve and to reach my targets. Generally, I feel good. Throughout my first two years, I have always felt I’ve been improving but maybe less so than at the very beginning. I am still learning how to work with the team and how to get the car to work for me. I am still not yet at 100 percent, but it is difficult to ever be. First things first, I must give Brazil my best shot. Then, I will look at next year.

Eric Boullier – “I would love nothing more than a strong performance at Interlagos to round things off”

Race number 19 for Eric’s troops, and where has the time gone. The LRGP Team Principal & MD gives his assessment on 2011.

Firstly, Abu Dhabi – what went wrong for the team in the desert?

The result was not what we were looking for. We knew that the weekend would not be our finest of the season; the trend of slower tracks not suiting the R31 well repeated itself over the three days. For the race, we adopted differing strategies but neither one paid off. Our reliability problems did not help, either. The boys put in a big effort to try and give us something to smile about at the fantastic Yas Marina Circuit but unfortunately it was not to be. All eyes now to Brazil and what we hope will be a decent end to the season.

Vitaly had some strong words after the race in Abu Dhabi…

Well, the interview you mention was made minutes after Vitaly jumped out of the car last Sunday. The race was tough, he was upset not to have scored points, he was exhausted. Drivers are not robots, they’re human beings. Also, like every driver, Vitaly is a competitor. Had he been on the podium in Abu Dhabi, he would have complained about not winning the race. We take this incident as exactly this – an incident. Vitaly has apologised to the team and sent an email to all the staff at Enstone. As far as we are concerned, the matter is closed.

From one fantastic venue, Yas Marina, to another in Interlagos – what are your hopes and expectations?

Well, my hopes are for a fine end to the season. The boys in the team have worked hard and relentlessly to get the best from this season, and it would be nice to be rewarded with a good result. Expectations, well we did not perform at the Yas Marina Circuit. Interlagos is going to be another tricky venue, but it’s a classic place to race and I’m looking forward to taking the team there and giving it our best shot.

It’s the nineteenth and final race of the season – how much does a season take out of a team?

Yes, it’s a long and draining season. When you score points and achieve positive results, it helps a team’s motivation and keeps people upbeat. Contrarily, when a team is suffering from lack of form and other adversity it becomes challenging to keep the spirits of the troops high. During a long, hard season that challenge becomes more prevalent, and hopefully we have managed to keep morale at a reasonable level during the hard times we have faced in recent weeks. India and Abu Dhabi were poor races from our perspective, but it’s important that we maintain our focus and enjoy the last race of the season.

How would you summarise the season? What were the highlights?

It has certainly been a season of contrasting fortunes. The highlights, naturally, remain the podiums that Vitaly and Nick secured us in Australia and Malaysia. That was an amazing way to start the season and it was always going to be difficult to preserve that level of performance as the other teams found their feet. As it happened, we did continue to score a healthy number of points at some of the other races in the first half of the season – Canada was a particularly good race for Vitaly – but that petered out as our level of development failed to advance at the same rate as that of our competitors. Bruno did well to get his name on the points board for the first time when we raced in Monza but, as of late, there has not been the consistency required to do well. Of course, the positives of the season were lessened by Robert’s pre-season incident, which was a big setback for the team. As for the here and now, I would love nothing more than a strong performance at Interlagos to round things off.

James Allison – “We look forward to moving on in 2012”

Ahead of the final race of the year, James looks back at the R31’s exploits throughout the year and plots brighter times ahead in 2012

What are your musings on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

A tough weekend for us, but given the nature of the track, we had expected these difficulties. A host of second gear corners and traction issues exposed the worst aspects of the R31.

Interlagos is quite a rollercoaster of a circuit – what are its biggest technical challenges?

The run up the hill to turn 1 is quite long, and there is an opportunity for overtaking here, so it is important not to set the straight-line speed of the car too low. However, the corners in the middle section of the track are all quite long and slow, demanding higher downforce. It is important to set the correct compromise between the two. The track is also pretty bumpy which makes the correct compromise of mechanical setup very important. It often rains at Interlagos, and the rain can fall without warning from clouds that don’t appear to be threatening; this always keeps the race team on their toes.

What has been the impact of Pirelli’s tyres, DRS and the return of KERS in 2011?

That’s quite a big question! Overall, the mix of these three elements has led to some very interesting racing in 2011. Dealing with them in turn:

The Pirelli tyres have been very interesting to deal with. At several races the degradation has been such that the race has been a frantic affair, with small differences in tyre consumption between teams giving rise to huge on-track performance differentials. As the year has progressed, the tyres have been better dialled into the surfaces, but they have still provided an interesting strategic challenge owing to the normally quite large performance differences between the prime and the option rubber.

In my view, DRS has had a positive effect on the spectacle this year. The FIA have been generally canny in their selection of DRS sectors with the result that DRS has made overtaking possible but far from a formality at tracks where it was previously impossible. Early on in the year, much of the overtaking was as a result of huge tyre degradation, but as the season has progressed, DRS has become more and more important in preventing processional racing.

KERS is more evident by its occasional absence than anything else. There is no relative benefit when a KERS-equipped car fights another KERS-equipped car. However, once the unit fails then the difference is quickly evident. A failed KERS unit quickly causes significant lost lap time and makes a car very vulnerable to attack from a car whose KERS is functional. This was most evident early on in the season when Red Bull had some teething troubles with KERS that left them vulnerable on occasion.

Looking over the year, how would you evaluate the R31?

I regard it as a bold, but ultimately failed experiment. We were the only team to adopt a forward exhaust layout, and we did so with high hopes, buoyed by very strong wind tunnel numbers. We came out of the blocks adequately well, although it was clear from the first test that the delivered downforce was not as high as we had expected. The season which followed has been difficult for everyone at Enstone. The layout which had promised so much (and which, had it delivered, would have been almost impossible to copy) proved very tricky to develop and had a fundamental weakness in slow corners that has been an albatross around our neck all year. We look forward to moving on in 2012 with all-new exhaust rules and a chance to wipe the slate clean.

What’s the schedule for the team in the build-up to the 2012 season?

This time of year is frantic. It is very busy right now, but the intensity of the new car will build steadily to insane levels as January approaches. There is always way more to do than time to do it, and yet somehow each year it all gets done in time to put the new car on the track for winter testing. A change for this year, which requires all teams to have passed their FIA crash tests before they are allowed to take part in pre-season testing, adds even more tension to an already difficult period.

source: lotusrenaultgp.com

AT&T Williams Brazilian GP Preview

  • When: Friday 25 to Sunday 27 November, 2011
  • Where: Autodromo Carlos Pace, Interlagos
  • Round: 19 of 19

There has been no Brazilian world champion since Ayrton Senna in 1991, but the passion of the Brazilian fans continues regardless. The atmosphere is always electric at Interlagos and AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello can expect a big following when he races in front of his home crowd.

Interlagos is physically tough for the drivers. The anti-clockwise direction pulls on the neck muscles and its notorious bumps jolt every muscle in their backs. But the drivers still love it.

“It’s not a particularly long circuit,” says Barrichello, “but it’s an interesting one. Some of the track is very twisty, but you have a very long straight, so you need straight-line speed if you don’t want to go backwards in the race.”

At 800 metres above sea level, the track is the highest in F1 and that poses a few problems for the engines. The reduced atmospheric pressure causes a 10 percent reduction in power, which equates to 80bhp.

Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: As a team we need to have a quick turnaround between the Abu Dhabi test and Brazil. We are expecting mid-20˚C ambient and mid-30˚C track temperatures. There is also a chance of rain, which if it comes, tends to be heavy. The Interlagos track is a classical ‘two circuits in one’ layout, with set-up always being a compromise between the long uphill run from T12 to the start-finish line and the medium-low speed corners within Sector 2. Both fuel effect and consumption are low for this 71 lap race so the fuel mass is low at the start of the race relative to the majority of tracks during the season. We will have the medium and soft Pirelli tyres this weekend, as last used at the Abu Dhabi race. We will also have two sets of development dry tyres for Friday’s running.

Rubens Barrichello: Brazil: it’s the best week and race of the year for me. It always goes by so fast but I try to enjoy every little second of it. I love the racing track, especially the Laranjinha corner with it is double apexes. Interlagos has always been very good for overtaking and I expect nothing different this year. For a quick lap you need a combination of good brakes, good traction and good engine power. I am looking for a positive end to the season with a points finish.

Pastor Maldonado: It will be my first time racing in Brazil, although I have visited the country once before and loved it. It will be an interesting race for me because it is the closest one to my home country, so I hope to have lots of Venezuelan fans and support for me there. I really like the look of the Interlagos track and, having spent time driving it in the simulator, I think it is very fast and I am going to really enjoy it.

From Cosworth’s perspective: The Interlagos circuit is all about altitude; at around 930mbar it is almost 10% lower than conditions experienced in Korea. The resultant drop in the density of air going into the engine equates to a similar drop in power output. The biggest test for the engine comes at the exit of turn 12 and the very steep climb which continues through turns 13 and 14, which are all flat in dry conditions. The power reduction makes this climb seem all the longer for the drivers. Drag is also reduced at altitude, which can help the engine and help combat the power loss. One relatively positive side-effect of the altitude is that the internal components of the engine that are loaded due to combustion will have an easier time in Brazil due the reduced cylinder pressures that accompany the low ambient pressures. Cosworth has positive memories from last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix thanks to the Cosworth-powered pole position with AT&T Williams and hopes for a positive points-scoring end to this season.

From Pirelli’s perspective: Brazil is a very important event for us because it’s an historic venue and also a key market for Pirelli. During practice on Friday we’ll be trying out a new experimental hard tyre, and then for the race our P Zero Yellow soft tyre will also be a new compound, which was tried out during the recent young driver test. The other nominated tyre is the P Zero White medium, as used in the last Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi. The focus now is on next year so we will be very interested in hearing the feedback from the AT&T Williams drivers about our new tyres.

Coming up this week on attwilliams.com: our latest podcasts, the Interlagos track guide video, driver Q&As, iWitness and iGNITION Brazil, available online in English and Spanish and also in the team’s motorhome from Thursday.

source: attwilliams.com

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

Vijay’s Vision

Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr. Vijay Mallya, toasts the team’s strong showing in Abu Dhabi and looks ahead to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Dr. Mallya, you said after Abu Dhabi that sixth place is almost in the bag – have you started celebrating yet?

Absolutely not! I still remember what happened last year when we missed out on sixth place by just one point. We certainly head to Brazil in a very strong position, but I’ve learned that you should never take anything for granted.

You must have been extremely proud of the way the team performed in Abu Dhabi…

We needed to get two cars in the points and beat our direct competitors to get some breathing space in the championship, and that’s exactly what we did. There were some performance upgrades for the car, which worked well, and the drivers did the rest. In the race we split the strategies to cover all the options and we came away with our third double points finish of the season.

What expectations do you have for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix?

Over the years Interlagos has delivered some spectacular racing action and I have no doubt we will see more of the same this year. It’s a classic race on a calendar that presents plenty of challenges and I’m confident that we can maintain the form we showed in Abu Dhabi. After a long season I would love to sign off the year in style with both my cars in the points.

How would you sum up the season as a whole for Sahara Force India?

I think 2011 has been our most complete season yet. We’ve developed a car that has been strong in all areas and we’ve given some of the bigger teams a run for their money. I’m proud of what we have achieved, which is a testament to the dedication and commitment of all the team members. If we can secure sixth in the championship this weekend, it will be a key milestone in the history of this team because the competitiveness of the Formula One grid is as intense as I can remember.

Adrian on Interlagos

Adrian Sutil sets his sights on more points in the season finale at Interlagos.

Adrian, a strong weekend in Abu Dhabi must have felt very satisfying…

I think P8 and P9 was a great result for us. We did all we could and came away with a result that we were all happy with. I was very close to Michael [Schumacher] for the whole race but our pace was so similar that I could not get in his DRS zone towards the end of the race. It’s good to be in a position to fight with Mercedes and we definitely looked much stronger than in India, which is a good sign for Brazil.

So do you feel you can deliver a similar performance in Brazil?

I think we should be strong in Interlagos, too. In Abu Dhabi we achieved the maximum because the cars ahead of us were too quick, so we have to aim for the same this weekend. Personally I would love to finish ninth in the drivers’ championship and to do that I need to score at least four points.

What memories do you have of racing in Brazil?

It’s always a really special race. The crowd is very loud and they create an amazing atmosphere. Even when you are driving the car you can hear the crowd cheering. As for my results there, I have both good and bad memories. 2009 was great when I qualified third on the grid, but in the race things did not go to plan. In fact, I’ve never had much luck racing in Brazil and I’ve yet to score a point at Interlagos. I really want to change that this year!

Paul on Interlagos

Paul Di Resta gets set for the final race of the year and his first experience of Interlagos.

Paul, we head to Brazil for the season finale – what do you know about the circuit?

To be honest I don’t know a massive amount. I’ve never driven there, although I was there last year as reserve driver. So I’ve seen the place and walked the track, but nothing more. It looks like quite a tricky circuit because it’s undulating and there are some unusual corners. It’s anti-clockwise, too, so that always makes it more physically demanding.

It’s the final race of the year – how will you approach it?

It won’t be any different to any other race. Yes, we have a comfortable gap over Sauber and Toro Rosso in the championship, but we still need to be aggressive and keep pushing. Renault are not too far ahead of us, although catching them will require quite an unusual race and a bit of luck, too. We need to pick up where we left off in Abu Dhabi so that we can hopefully have another double points finish – that would be an excellent way to end the season.

As you look back on your first year of Formula One, what memories will you take from this season?

The year has been incredible and I’ve enjoyed every moment. It’s flown by really quickly and I can’t believe we’re at the last race of the season already. The standout moments for me were my first race in Melbourne and qualifying sixth for my first British Grand Prix. The atmosphere at Silverstone was so special – unlike anything I’ve ever experienced – and that’s something I will always remember.

source: forceindiaf1.com

Preview – Brazilian Grand Prix

19th and final Round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 25-27 November 2011

The final countdown for the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship has begun: On the weekend of the 25th to the 27th of November the Sauber F1 Team will be doing everything to ultimately gain a position in the Constructors’ Championship. The Autodromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos is as famous as it is notorious for thrilling and unexpected racing. While Kamui Kobayashi finished in the top ten in both his starts there – in his debut race in 2009 as well as last year – Sergio Pérez is a first timer at the challenging Brazilian Grand Prix.

Kamui Kobayashi (car number 16):

“Sao Paulo is one of my favorite tracks with a nice combination of high speed and low speed corners. Overall, the track layout with its long uphill straight is very nice. The most thrilling aspect of the Brazilian Grand Prix is the fans who are very excited and emotional, and who create a fantastic racing atmosphere. For me Sao Paulo is a special place because it was here where I drove my first Formula One race in 2009. I finished ninth and had some good fights on the track. But there’s another reason why I like to go to Brazil: it’s the Churrascarias with the fantastic meat! Sao Paulo will be the last race of 2011. For our team it has been an exciting season, and I will give my utmost so the team can finish the season with a positive result.”

Sergio Pérez (car number 17):

“I have never been to Brazil and I’m very much looking forward to my first visit. Before I fly to Sao Paulo I will spend a few days in Mexico, and I must admit I’m also looking forward to going home. The last time I went back home was during the summer break in August. I have heard a lot about Sao Paulo and Interlagos. Apparently it is a great race track and the crowd can get very emotional. I expect them to be a bit like my Mexican fellow countrymen, and am looking forward to the atmosphere passion creates. Of course I have also had some warnings that the city can be a dangerous place. It will be the final Grand Prix of my rookie season in Formula One. To me this year feels like three years because so much has happened, including my accident in Monaco. However, I think it was a good season. I learnt a lot and was getting better and better with every race. Considering the fact that I had to miss two races in which the car and the team performed very well, I really think I can be happy with what I have achieved so far. Without doubt I am determined to finish this season, which I will personally never forget, on a high.”

James Key, Technical Director:

“We have already reached the end of the season. It’s gone very quickly, but equally it’s been a lot of hard work for everyone. Obviously we want to extract the most out of the race in view of our championship position, and, of course, we want to score points there. Sao Paulo is one of these circuits that doesn’t have an obvious optimum wing level. There are two strategies, one which is a higher downforce setting where the middle of the lap is better optimised, and the other one is a lower downforce setting which is better for the long straight up the hill through to turn one and then the second straight down to turn four. That will cause a little bit of work on the wing level, both from a strategic and also the lap time point of view. Pirelli will provide the medium and soft compound tyres, the same ones we had in Abu Dhabi. We think the nature of the track will allow us to get a little bit more out of the tyres over a single lap. In Abu Dhabi we were unable to get the new tyres to work in qualifying, but the nature of the track in Brazil should allow us to use the new tyres better. One thing we have seen over recent years is the weather is quite unpredictable. This may or may not be a factor over the weekend and could be a game changer. With regards to the car, we’ve gathered some good data from the past two events to help us try to improve our qualifying performance a bit more. In addition, we had some test items that we ran in Abu Dhabi, and we will be focusing again on making the most out of those. Otherwise the plan is to maximise our opportunities and try and make sure we can realise the full potential of the car in the race.”


Autodromo José Carlos Pace / 4.309 km
Race distance
71 laps / 305.909 km
Qualifying and race 14:00 hrs local time (16:00 hrs GMT)
Kamui Kobayashi
Sergio Pérez
13.09.1986 Amagasaki (JP)
26.01.1990 Guadalajara (MX)
Marital status
Height / Weight
1.68 m / 58 kg
1.73 m / 63 kg
First GP
Brazil 2009 (9th)
Australia 2011 (7th/disqualified)
GP started
Best race result
5th (Monaco 2011)
7th (Silverstone 2011)
Best qualifying
8th (Silverstone 2011)
9th (Spa 2011)
Fastest race laps
Points in total
63 (3 in 2009, 32 in 2010)
Points in 2011
28 (12th overall)
14 (16th overall)
With 42 points the Sauber F1 Team is currently 7th in the Constructors‘ Championship

source: sauber-motorsport.com

Scuderia Toro Rosso

2011-11-22 - Scuderia Toro Rosso - Brazilian Grand Prixview

source: tororosso.com

Brazilian Grand Prix View

2010 Timing 2010
Qualify Result
P1 HUL 1.14.470 Q3 2010
Race Result
P1 VET 1.14.283 L70
P2 VET 1.15.519 Q3 P2 WEB 1.14.047 L69
P3 HAM 1.15.637 Q3 P3 ALO 1.13.855 L69
TL best P20 KOV 1.22.250 Q1 (wet) TL best P18 KOV 1.17.161 L69
Quick description    Fuel consumption and fuel effect are low compared to other tracks
Kerbs are not a problem and the track is no longer particularly bumpy
Hard race for the drivers with many compressions and greater lateral loads than most
Low atmospheric pressure due to highest altitude of the season: ~700 m above sea level
Top speed can be reached before T1 or T4 depending on wind condition
balance issue
  Traction is usually the main issue
Gears ratio (1st gear/others) 1st gear not used on the track
Circuit particularity Sensitivities
Bumpiness  Medium Engine severity  Medium
Overtaking chance  Low GBX severity  Low
Kerbs  Smooth Lat/Long grip  Lateral
RH setting particularity  None Aero eff ratio   High
Track and base setup Team Lotus Partners
Track grip evo during WE  High Pirelli tyre compounds
in Brazil
Aero settings  Medium / High
Brake wear severity  Medium
Brake cooling necessity  Medium

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “This has been a long, hard season and it will be good to bring it to an end in Brazil, but for me this has been one of the best seasons I have had in motor racing. As the team keeps growing and keeps developing I’ve just had to make sure I am driving as hard as I can, and every time I get out of the car I’ve been satisfied that I couldn’t get any more out of it, so I can’t really do any more than that. There is a great spirit in this team – we are definitely going in the right direction, so we will all look back on this year as another step forward, and then make sure we keep that momentum up as soon as we hit the track in 2012.

“For Brazil there’s no reason why we can’t have another very strong weekend. We have a new rear wing that should give us a bit more quali and race pace, and we have the same medium and soft tyre compounds we used in Abu Dhabi, so we should be able to put in the same kind of performances we showed there and in several races before.”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “Brazil is a track I always look forward to but one I’ve never been too lucky at. It’s one of the old style tracks, not the stop / start long straight / tight turn we see at a lot of the modern circuits – it’s the sort of place you can build up a good rhythm as it’s a mix of high speed turns merging into slower corners and from inside the cockpit that feels good. I want to try and finish the season as well as I can – the car has felt good in the races and with the update we have to the rear wing I think we can finish the season with a step forward in qualifying, so let’s see what happens.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “We head to Brazil in good spirits after a long year but we have enjoyed a strong latter part of the season. We have been pushing ahead since Singapore, and there will not be one person in the team taking their foot off the gas until we see both cars cross the line on Sunday ahead of the teams behind us.

“Our progress on track has been clear to see and another sign of our ongoing development this year is the fact we are bringing a new rear wing to Brazil. Our race pace has been good all season, but we have not been able to match that in qualifying, and the update to the rear wing is designed to help us do that by improving the efficiency of our DRS system. In simple terms, because DRS can be used anywhere on track in qualifying our performances in Q1 have not matched our race performances where DRS usage is limited, and bringing a new wing that gives us more downforce and improves the efficiency of the system should see us being able to close the gap in qualifying to the cars ahead compared to the previous races. Last year we had stopped development on the T127 halfway through the season and this year we have new parts right up to the final race and that is how we will be operating next year and for many seasons to come.”

Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “The Brazilian Grand Prix is a very important race for us for a number of reasons. On track we still have a fight ahead of us to secure our primary goal of the season, and we will also be saying goodbye to Team Lotus.

“Our stewardship of Team Lotus will come to an end in mid-December. In our short time as custodians of the brand we have had highs and lows but the fundamental point is that we brought Lotus back into Formula One and we did it in the right style. We have built up our Formula One team and all our associated businesses from a starting point of an empty factory in Norfolk in just two years, and now we have secured our future and are in control of our own destiny, and therefore we have achieved our first goal. After this race we will say goodbye to Team Lotus with very fond memories and then we will look forward to next year when the Caterham F1 Team will signal the start of the next chapter of our very exciting story.”

source: teamlotus.co.uk

Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

  • 25th-27th November
  • Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, 71 laps, 4.309km

The 2011 Formula 1 World Championship draws to a close in Brazil as the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace stages the 19th and final Grand Prix of the season. HRT F1 Team and its drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo, will be looking to end the season on a positive note to head into the 2012 Championship in high spirits.

The 4.309 km track, situated in Interlagos, is quick and one of a few to run anti-clockwise on the calendar. The bumpy surface and the constant ups and downs mean that the cars and the drivers are put through their paces. The potential unstable weather conditions may also add to the excitement surrounding one of the most popular races on the calendar and last event of the 2011 season.

Pirelli has nominated its PZero medium (prime) and soft (options) for this race.

Vitantonio Liuzzi: “Interlagos is another historical circuit that I love; it’s a real pleasure driving there. Hopefully we won’t face any issues and we can have a good race. If everything goes like Friday and Saturday morning in Abu Dhabi then we can be competitive and fight with our rivals in this last race. We can be positive about the year we’ve had and it would be perfect to cap it off with a good performance in Brazil. Interlagos is a fast circuit with a wonderful atmosphere, it’s a great place to race and I’m looking forward to getting there and enjoying it”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “Brazil will be the last race of the season so my aim is to end things on a high. Interlagos is quite a unique circuit as it is a short and fast lap. Because it is a shot lap you can’t afford to make any mistakes, particularly in qualifying, because it makes a bigger difference. The key for this race is to get a bit of momentum on the first few laps. I’m really looking forward to ending on a good note and I’m going to give it everything I have to make sure that I do. I was at the Brazilian Grand Prix last year and, although I didn’t race, I really enjoyed it; the atmosphere was amazing with people playing drums and blowing horns. It’s like being in a soccer stadium and I’m looking forward to being a part of that”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “We are all looking forward to one of the best races in the calendar and the last one of the season. We have been on a more competitive path for the last Grand Prixs and, despite Abu Dhabi wasn’t as positive as we originally expected, I am confident that in Brazil we can have a good race with our competitors. It would be a nice reward for the team to conclude this very long and tough season, which saw everyone give their all, with a reasonable result and go into the winter break with a good feeling”.

source: hispaniaf1team.com



Brazilian Grand Prix

Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Brazil, 25-27 November 2011

“It’s a unique track: the anti-clockwise layout, the bumpy surface and the famous Senna S make it a true test of driver skill and a real challenge for the drivers.”

says John Booth, Marussia Virgin Racing’s Team Principal and Director of Racing.

“I always look forward to the Brazilian Grand Prix. It has provided some excellent racing in both wet and dry conditions in the last few years. It’s a unique track: the anti-clockwise layout, the bumpy surface and the famous Senna S make it a true test of driver skill and a real challenge for the drivers.

“This is of course the final race in what has been a tough but eventful year for the team. We’ve put an awful lot in place for the future however and whilst it’s always sad to end one season, I’m already looking forward to the next.

“Reliability has been the watchword of our 2011 campaign but, disappointingly, we have experienced a couple of problems in the last two races which have prevented us achieving the two car finish that we have been consistently racking up through the year. I hope we can reverse that situation and end 2011 on a high by getting both cars to the finish next weekend.”

“It’s a really fun track to drive and I would say it’s one of the best circuits of the year in terms of the atmosphere. The Brazilian spectators are passionate about racing and it really is amazing to drive here.”

says Timo Glock, Race Driver #24.

“I really enjoy racing at the Interlagos circuit in São Paulo. Even though it’s not a very long lap, it is one of the most demanding challenges on the F1 calendar, with some great corners – for example turn 6, an uphill double right hander, which is fast and blind. The car has to be stable through the twisty middle section as well as being quick on the straights, so a good balance will be key.

“It’s a really fun track to drive and I would say it’s one of the best circuits of the year in terms of the atmosphere. The Brazilian spectators are passionate about racing and it really is amazing to drive here. I can’t believe it’s already the last race of the season – the year has raced by and I hope to end the season with a positive result.”

“You never know what to expect here at the Brazilian Grand Prix, which makes it an even more exciting weekend.”

says Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25.

“The last race of the season takes place at the fantastic track Interlagos. The last section, the stadium, is really impressive and great to drive, as well as the Senna S and turns 6 and 7. As with Abu Dhabi, it’s another anti-clockwise track, making it a total of five in the season.

“The Brazilian Grand Prix is also known for its unpredictable weather – I always remember the Qualifying session in 2009 where it looked like it was never going to stop raining! So you never know what to expect here, which makes it an even more exciting weekend.”

source: virginracing.com

Cosworth Media Information – Brazilian Grand Prix

The 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship reaches its conclusion this weekend as Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace hosts the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Last year’s event saw a Cosworth-powered car on pole position after a stellar performance by the AT&T Williams team and Nico Hülkenberg in Saturday qualifying.

Cosworth’s Circuit Tracker for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix is now available for download by clicking the PDF link/icon below. The ‘Cosworth Circuit Tracker’ takes a look at the Interlagos track from an engine’s eye view.

Cosworth also details specific metrics that are intended to give an ‘at-a-glance’ look at the demands placed on the engine.

An Engine’s Eye View

The Interlagos circuit is not overly rewarding of outright engine performance, offering a similar return to the Nürburgring in terms of lap time reduction per horsepower. However, it does provide a thorough test of the overall engine package.

The long climb from the exit of Turn 12, through Turns 13, 14 and 15, places a strong emphasis on outright power. On the other hand, the slow and medium speed corners of sector 2, and in particular Turns 8, 9 and 10, demand a driveable engine to allow the driver to modulate the torque delivery and wheel spin, which is even more crucial in the wet.

Without doubt the most obvious feature of Interlagos from an engine’s perspective is the low barometric pressure, as a result of the circuit being located 800m above sea level.

With pressure typically around 930mbar, the engine’s raw power output will be approximately 8% less than typical, the lowest of the season. The only circuit that comes close to this level is the Nürburgring, which is located 600m above sea level.

Downforce and drag also fall with the reduction in air density, so ultimately drivers will have less grip than usual available to them. However, the lower drag levels help to compensate for the straight-line performance deficit brought about by the reduction in power.

The loss of cooler efficiency at altitude also tends to be outweighed by the lower heat rejection from the engine, so there is no specific requirement for a dedicated Sao Paulo cooling package.

From the Race Track

With a total elevation change of 150ft over the course of a lap, the local ambient pressure varies accordingly by approximately 5 mbar. As a rough estimate, this means that the engine will require 0.5% less fuel at the peak of the circuit than when at the lowest point, with it being possible to view this effect in the data.

Another side-effect of the altitude is that the internal components of the engine that are loaded due to combustion will have an easier time in Brazil, due the reduced cylinder pressures that accompany the local ambient conditions.

From an engine mapping perspective, the changes required for Sao Paulo are very straightforward. 8% of fuel needs to be removed to maintain a constant air-to-fuel ratio, which is carried out in an automated process at every event; the quantity is just noticeably more than usual.

As is also typical of Sao Paulo, weather conditions are set to be changeable. Current predictions are indicating a general deterioration throughout the weekend, with a very real chance of a wet race on Sunday, and possibly a rain-affected qualifying on Saturday.

Information provided by David Lamb, Cosworth Senior Engineer

source: Cosworth F1 Media

Brazilian Grand Prix preview

Pirelli rounds off a remarkable debut season with two new tyres

What’s the story?

After 18 races and 5488 kilometres so far, Pirelli will round off a remarkable season – characterised by the most overtaking in the 61-year history of the Formula One World Championship – at the iconic Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo. It’s a venue that has produced plenty of dramatic races in the past, but now Pirelli is concentrating more on the future, with two new tyre compounds making their debut at the race.

During Friday’s two free practice sessions, drivers will have two extra sets of an experimental hard tyre, which has already been tested by Lucas di Grassi and Pirelli’s Toyota TF109 car in private tests at Jerez and Barcelona this year. This tyre is considerably softer than the current hard. The results will be fed back to Pirelli’s engineers as they prepare for the 2012 season, just as was the case during the free practice sessions in Abu Dhabi, where an experimental soft tyre was tried out.

For the race itself the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero White medium tyres have been nominated. However, the soft tyre that has been nominated is another new compound, which was tested by the teams during the young driver test at Abu Dhabi last week and during Friday free practice at the Nurburgring.

Interlagos is well known for its passionate fans, sweeping elevation changes and anti-clockwise layout. One of the key points of the circuit for both the drivers and the tyres is the final sequence of corners from turn 10 onwards, which effectively amounts to one very long left-hand bend – putting plenty of energy through the tyres and also the drivers’ necks.

At this time of the year in Brazil, rain showers are a frequent occurrence, which are capable of turning the race on its head. As usual Pirelli will bring the P Zero Orange rain tyre and P Zero blue intermediate. Drivers are allowed a total of five sets of intermediates (if it rains on Friday, otherwise four sets) and three sets of rain tyres over the weekend under the current regulations.

Pirelli’s motorsport director says:

Paul Hembery: “Preparations for the 2012 season are well underway, so it will be really interesting to hear the thoughts of the drivers about the new hard and soft tyres that we will be trying out in Brazil. We’ve already collected plenty of information on the new soft tyre from the young driver test, so it will be useful to compare that to real race data. It’s important not to get too distracted by the names of the tyres though: what we’re calling a ‘soft’ for now could end up as a medium for next year, as that’s what the testing process is all about. In general, the tyres are going to be less conservative next year as the second half of this season has shown how well the teams have understood our product, allowing us to make some reasonably aggressive choices such as supersoft and soft for Korea. We’re delighted to be ending the season in Brazil: not only is it a legendary circuit with an amazing atmosphere but it is also a key market for Pirelli.”

The men behind the steering wheel say:

Bruno Senna (Lotus Renault): “Interlagos is a very challenging track, as it’s one of the few circuits in the season that runs anti-clockwise, as well as being narrower and bumpier than most tracks we race on nowadays. The rear tyres will get a lot of use, mainly due to the many heavy traction zones, big elevation changes, high asphalt temperatures and fairly high surface roughness. We know it will be a difficult weekend for us, as most of the corners are slow in nature and on most circuits with such profile we haven’t been particularly successful, but I believe we can finish the season on a high note and, hopefully score points. There is also, of course, the risk of weather instability, due to the close proximity to a dam, which will make the race that much more exciting.”

Technical notes:

A lap of Interlagos is 4.309 kilometres long and the race is scheduled to last for 71 laps. The track surface is notably bumpy, which makes it hard for the tyres to find traction and increases the physical demands on the drivers.

Interlagos is another unfamiliar circuit for Pirelli, with several important factors that will only become apparent in race conditions. However, with a relative absence of high lateral loadings, apart from the final sector, Interlagos is not expected to be too demanding on the tyre structure.

The wide variety of high and low speed corners, along with the big elevation changes and high altitude above sea level, mean that it is quite difficult to find the correct aerodynamic set-up and, once more, a good compromise is needed. The last sector of the lap is one of the most important when it comes to the eventual lap time, so this tends to get prioritised in terms of set-up.

The tyre choices so far:
PZero Red
PZero Yellow
PZero White
PZero Silver
Super Soft
Super Soft
Great Britain
Abu Dhabi

Pirelli in Brazil:

Brazil is one of the key markets for Pirelli. The company has five factories there (more than any other country in the world, including Italy): one for car tyres, another for car and truck, another for truck and agricultural, another for motorbikes and truck, and a final factory for steel cord.

The rapidly-developing Latin American market is expected to account for a third of the Pirelli Group’s global profits by 2015. Pirelli is already the market leader in the region.

Pirelli, which has been present in Brazil for more than 80 years, invested more than $300 million US dollars in its Brazilian facilities from 2008-2011. The company currently employs nearly 10,000 people countrywide.

The Brazilian Grand Prix from a tyre point of view

Pirelli’s first season of Formula One after 20 years comes to an end at Interlagos: one of the shortest but most thrilling circuits on the calendar. Coming exactly eight months after the season started in Australia, this is the latest weekend of the year that the Formula One season has concluded since 1963.

The 71-lap race in Brazil has several unusual features to it, such as an anti-clockwise layout, an uphill start-finish straight (which increases the risk of the anti-stall mechanism kicking in at the start) and varying elevation, making it a popular venue for road cycling races as well. Here are some of the key points of the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (as it is officially known) from a tyre point of view:

The track:

The start-finish straight is the highest part of a circuit, leading quickly downhill into the Senna Esses: a complex of corners where the stability of the car is vital, providing a good overtaking opportunity.

Under full acceleration at 250kph the drivers tackle the Curva do Sol, which generates a sideways acceleration of 4G. This places a heavy demand on the tyre structure and compound throughout the corner.

On the Reto Opposta straight the top speed is 310kph, on a bumpy surface that tends to destabilise the cars. The structure of the tyre absorbs the bumps in the track and neutralises the vertical movement of the chassis, meaning that the car is perfectly planted to the ground for the braking area and the following corner.

After the straight there is a complex of slower corners, taken in second and third gear, where the drivers use the kerbs. Here there is little downforce and traction is crucial, meaning that the tyres have to generate the entire grip required to take the car through this complicated series of bends.

Afterwards the track climbs back uphill towards the start finish straight in a series of increasingly fast left-hand corners, putting plenty of energy through the tyres. The final corner is crucial to get the correct drive onto the start-finish straight, by getting on the power as early as possible. Again, it’s down to the tyres to translate the torque from the engine into effective grip as soon as possible. The track is less bumpy than it used to be since being resurfaced in 2005.

Pit stop strategy will be helped by the short time that it takes to make a stop: less than 20 seconds from start to finish.

Road car tyres and competition tyres:

Pirelli has entered Formula One to enhance recognition of the brand and sell more road tyres. But how much do a P Zero Formula One tyre and its road-going equivalent really have in common?

The P Zero racing tyre is wider than a normal road tyre with an extremely rigid internal structure and a high shoulder. The road tyre by contrast is characterised by a deep tread pattern and a hard compound in order to guarantee a long life.

A P Zero road tyre will last for many thousands of kilometres, whereas a competition tyre will do around a hundred – but in the most dramatic way possible. The contact patch of a P Zero Formula One tyre can increase by up to three times under full aerodynamic loading at high speed, whereas the footprint of a road car tyre will always stay largely the same.

The P Zero track tyre is instead designed for maximum performance, giving perfect grip at speeds that are enough to generate 4G of lateral acceleration through fast corners.

This is four times as much grip as a road tyre will provide, thanks to an operating temperature of more than 100 degrees centigrade that maximises the F1 tyre’s adhesion to the road surface. A road P Zero tyre operates at up to 40 degrees centigrade, thanks to its harder compound.

The superior grip of the P Zero F1 tyre is highlighted even more by braking performance. A road car generates 1G of deceleration under braking, but a Formula One car produces a figure of 5G, being able to slow from 330kph to 80kph in around three seconds.

The difference is just as pronounced when it comes to the rain tyres. On a wet surface, Pirelli’s rain tyres will disperse around 60 litres of water per second. A soft compound and aerodynamic loading provides excellent road holding even at high speeds, with a dry contact patch and total control for the driver.

A road car tyre will disperse around 13 litres of water per second; an amount that will ensure perfect safety for every type of car under normal driving conditions.

But Formula One is far from normal driving conditions. The astonishing grip from tyres that have been specifically developed for racing allows the cars to make the most of all their power and acceleration.

A road car will go from zero to 60kph in about two and a half seconds. In the same time a single-seater will have reached 100kph. Both cars will have doubled their speed in the next five seconds. The difference in performance, grip and lateral road holding is so pronounced, that only P Zero competition tyres are effective enough to cope with the demands that are placed on them.

source: pirelli.com