Nov 08

Formula One teams Brazilian Grand Prix preview

Brazilian Grand Prix Formula One preview

150x80-flagworldf1Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers at Interlagos.

01 - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix – Preview

Battle continues with Round 19 of the 2017 season from the Autódromo José Carlos Pace

  • Toto Talks Brazil
  • Featured this Week: Getting a Head Start on 2018
  • Stat Attack: Brazil and Beyond

Toto Talks Brazil

It might be tempting to think that, with both championships now secure, the pressure is off for the two remaining races of 2017. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Inside the team, we are looking at the next two race weekends as the first two Grands Prix of 2018. We have two races that we are determined to win in order to take that positive momentum into the winter. There will be no backing off just because the championship business is now done.

In fact, these next two races speak to every principle that makes us what we are. We aspire to excellence in everything we do, from the first lap of the winter shakedown in Silverstone to the final lap of the post-season test in Abu Dhabi. And every time we race, we race to win. That is the mind set we take to Sao Paulo.

Lewis is operating at the peak of his powers right now, and will be determined to add another victory to last year’s success; Valtteri made a promising step forward in Mexico and will aim to build from this at Interlagos.

As recent rounds have shown, winning Grands Prix is never easy. Red Bull have taken two victories in the past four races and, although we have claimed the other two, Ferrari remain formidable opponents. With the championship now settled, the battle for 2018 has already begun.

Featured this Week: Getting a Head Start on 2018

Two races to go, two World Championship titles in the bag… but are the Silver Arrows slowing down? No chance!

Teams up and down the pit lane will already have turned their attention to next season. While in a normal year, each team will have more than half of its factory resource dedicated to the new car by the summer break, the 2017-2018 winter sees stable chassis regulations – meaning many teams were running new parts on their car as late as the US Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows fly to Brazil and Abu Dhabi aiming to win these final two races. But, with both titles sealed, the balance of risk for the team has changed compared to a normal race weekend. The final two Grands Prix thus present the first two test opportunities ahead of the new season, trialling new and interesting concepts that the competitive landscape on track simply didn’t allow for earlier in the year. And it comes with the added risk of costing track time in Free Practice – or, even worse, retirement on race day – if everything doesn’t go to plan.

With both titles now destined for Brackley, the team can become a little bolder. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will be running a series of experiments over the final two Fridays – with the option for race day, too, if the team feels that the risk connected with any idea is manageable and there is valuable learning for 2018 and beyond.

These two final weekends are not only an opportunity to test new parts, but also allow experiments for those tasks that the team simply doesn’t have the opportunity to complete during a normal race weekend.

Remember though, this isn’t a luxury only available to a single team. It’s true for the entire grid – and may well have been an opportunity exploited a handful of races ago for those making the early call to focus on 2018 with a comfortable Championship position in the bag.

The team will have an intense programme on the next two Fridays in Brazil and Abu Dhabi to make the absolute most of the opportunities that have been afforded by early title success. The team will be running a range of aerodynamic instrumentation devices – for example the aero rakes often seen in testing – with an eye on next year. These devices offer a small weight penalty and the process of running them eats up time on a Friday, so teams would not want to carry these under usual conditions, but are more willing to do so at the end of the season.

There are various bits of pit-stop equipment that need to be tested in a live pit lane, too. These have already been run through a series of tests in a non-live setting – but Brazil and Abu Dhabi present a chance to use these in anger for the first time under race weekend conditions. Better to try these new techniques and equipment now than in Melbourne for the first time next year…

And it’s not just the final two races that take on an increased importance ahead of 2018. The final two-day test of the year that follows the season-finale will be crucial for understanding the new Pirelli tyre compound and construction ranges set to be introduced for 2018.

It’s not an event that draws much attention from the fans. But, the Abu Dhabi test will be the only time the teams get to see how the 2018-spec Pirelli rubber behaves before they make their tyre allocations for the start of next season. Those early tyre allocations have already been signed off by the time the teams go to pre-season testing in Barcelona at the end of February, so the Abu Dhabi test will form the basis for those early selections. With so much at stake, expect to see most teams and their race drivers on track, aiming to glean every bit of information possible from the two days of running.

It might be almost time to close the curtain on an epic Formula One season – but the fun never really stops. There’s life in 2017 yet – and the team will be making the most of these final two Grands Prix to ensure the W09 emerges blinking into the world early next year in the best possible shape.

Stat Attack: Brazil and Beyond

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix Timetable

Session Local Time (BRST) Brackley (GMT) Stuttgart (CET)
Practice 1 (Friday) 10:00 – 11:30 12:00 – 13:30 13:00 – 14:30
Practice 2 (Friday) 14:00 – 15:30 16:00 – 17:30 17:00 – 18:30
Practice 3 (Saturday) 11:00 – 12:00 13:00 – 14:00 14:00 – 15:00
Qualifying (Saturday) 14:00 – 15:00 16:00 – 17:00 17:00 – 18:00
Race (Sunday) 14:00 – 16:00 16:00 – 18:00 17:00 – 19:00

Circuit Records – Silver Arrows at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace

  Starts Wins Podium Places Poles Front Row Fastest Laps DNF
Silver Arrows 7 3 6 3 7 2 0
L. Hamilton 10 1 4 2 5 4 1
V. Bottas 4 0 0 0 0 0 1
MB Power 23 8 20 8 20 7 10

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Test 1 to Present)

  Laps Completed Distance Covered (km) Corners Taken Gear Changes PETRONAS Fuel Injections
Silver Arrows 7,038 35,211 114,497 345,109 281,520,000
L. Hamilton 3,219 16,229 52,793 158,848 128,760,000
V. Bottas 3,610 18,066 58,778 177,065 144,400,000
MB Power 19,938 100,078 324,136 979,102 797,520,000

All-Time Records – Silver Arrows in Formula One

  Starts Wins Podium Places Poles Front Row Fastest Laps 1-2 Wins Front Row Lockouts
Silver Arrows 166 75 151 86 153 55 39 49
Lewis Hamilton 206 62 116 72 117 38 N/A N/A
Valtteri Bottas 95 2 20 2 6 2 N/A N/A
MB Power 436 161 418 169 333 150 64 85

source: mercedesamgf1.com2017 photo album

01 - Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing

Ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo

“I really like South America in general so I’m always excited about the Brazilian GP. Last year in the wet was fun and I wouldn’t mind some more rain this year as I know I could do better. I’m positive I can get a good result there but as of yet I haven’t really had a stand out race in Brazil, hopefully that will change this year.

“The circuit itself isn’t what I typically look for in a track. It doesn’t have any notable high speed corners which I usually really enjoy, it is quite slow and short which isn’t that exciting, that doesn’t mean I will try any less for a strong result though.
“The fans in Brazil are some of the loudest, lots of air horns and trumpets and a general carnival vibe. The area of town where the track is located is quite authentic so you get lots of local fans coming out to watch the race, it’s a good one with real soul and passion. As well as experiencing the Brazilian support I am also looking forward to a good helping of Churrasco food at Fogo de Chäo.”

Max Verstappen

“We are looking for another strong performance at Interlagos following a really fun race in the wet last year. I really enjoyed 2016, there were some great battles and overtakes which resulted in a hard earned podium. I also had a big moment near pit lane entry which was a close call, I managed to save it and carry on to achieve a good result. As you would expect I’m hoping for another damp race weekend as I don’t think we can be as competitive there in the dry, especially with the elevation changes on the straight, it is not our strongest point.

“Being such a narrow starting grid you often end up really close to the grandstand which is a pretty unique and
exciting experience. The Brazilian fans are so passionate and vocal so it is always special to feel the atmosphere from the crowd before the start. I think the history of F1 in Brazil means it has a massive following and this is clear to see across the race weekend.

“The food in Brazil is very good, the Churrascaria restaurants serve unbelievable grilled meat. Although it is nearly the end of the season I still have to be careful what I eat in order to stay the correct weight, this is a shame as I would like to get involved in the local cuisine.”

source: redbullracing.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Brazilian Grand Prix – Tackling the legendary corners

Interlagos, so much history and so quirky

It’s the biggest city in the Americas and almost certainly not the most beautiful. But, for Brazilians and for the world, Sao Paulo is also “the city” of Formula One. Of the 44 editions of the Brazilian Grand Prix held to date (plus the opening non-championship race in 1972) only ten have been taken place at Rio’s Jacarepagua track, with all the others run at Interlagos, a suburb to the south of the city. Half of all Brazilian drivers who have raced in Formula 1 come from the Paulista state: Fittipaldi, Pace (after whom the circuit is named,) Senna, Barrichello and Massa, to mention the best known. The original layout was almost eight kilometres in length, running on past the current Esses, dedicated to Ayrton Senna. The drivers always complained about the condition of the track surface, which also moved around, as it is built on swamp land. Today, it’s a case of the extreme opposite, as the track is just over 4 kilometres and its main straight is just 650 metres long, although the cars are accelerating all the way through its final part.

The Scuderia Ferrari roll of honour in Brazil features the names of Lauda, Reutemann, Mansell, Prost, Schumacher, Massa and of course, Kimi Raikkonen, who, with an adventurous drive in 2007 also took the Drivers’ title: there are some who would assert they spotted a tear when he removed his helmet and balaclava to thank everyone in the pits. A few years ago, the look of the Paulista paddock also changed, with the narrow corridor between the garages and hospitality areas replaced with something more modern and spacious. What remains unchanged are the famous corner names: Bico de Pato (duck bill, because of its narrow flattened appearance,) Mergulho (the dive,) so called due to its sharp drop and Laranjinha (literally, small orange) because, for Brazilians, the “oranges” are inexperienced drivers and this tricky turn is not made for them…

source: formula1.ferrari.com2017 photo album

Sahara Force India pink logo.jpg

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix: Preview

Sahara Force India gets ready for this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Vijay Mallya: “To have confirmed fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship for the second consecutive year is a wonderful achievement. I’m incredibly proud of the entire team and delighted we have done so with two races in hand. It’s already been our strongest season yet in terms of points scored and we are just 25 shy of the 200 points mark. It shows how consistent we have been all year.

“With fourth place secure, we have the freedom to take a new approach into the remaining races – perhaps by trying some different things or different Friday drivers in the car to see what we can learn for next year. We can also be more aggressive with strategies and take more risks. We’re still hungry for strong results and want to end the season on a high note. The race in Brazil this week is an opportunity to continue our run of strong performances at the very least.”

Sergio: “I like Interlagos and it’s always one of the special races of the year. The track is tight and challenging, and it almost feels like a karting track. There is a good mix of corners and it’s a track that often creates good racing and some surprises.

“Rain showers are never too far away at this time of the year. I remember the wet race last year when I nearly finished on the podium. I only missed out with a few laps to go and it was one of those really difficult races because the track was so wet. I would like some more rain this year because it creates more of an opportunity for a big result.

“I enjoy visiting Brazil because it reminds me of Mexico and I’m always very relaxed there. I feel great support from the fans and the atmosphere in the grandstands gives me lots of energy.”

Esteban: “Interlagos is definitely one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. I drove there for the first time last year and had a very strong race in the rain. It’s an old-school track with little margin for error. As a driver, you always get more of a buzz from these types of circuit.

“As we saw last year, the weather conditions can be very unpredictable. I enjoyed driving in the wet last year and would be happy if it rains again. Whether it’s wet or dry, we will be strong because the car is performing really well and it’s a good chance to score some more points.

“Away from the track, I’ve always thought Sao Paulo is a cool place. Everybody talks about the food and there are some amazing restaurants. It’s always a good place to eat meat.”

Sahara Force India’s Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough, looks ahead to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“The circuit in Interlagos is a proper old-school track that all drivers enjoy. At 4.309km, it’s one of the shortest laps of the season: with fewer corners than in Mexico and the second quickest lap time of the year, the grid tends to be pretty tight and every mistake costs you positions. It’s one of the few anti-clockwise tracks and there are plenty of elevation changes around the lap, including some which make the downhill braking zones particularly challenging. The infield section rewards maximum downforce, but to overtake you need to be quick in a straight line into turns one and four, so finding the right set-up requires a compromise. Though much lower than Mexico, we are still about 800m above sea level, which means the reduced air density results in less downforce and cooling capacity. Add in the rain, which is always a possibility around here, and there are all the elements for a very interesting race.”

source: forceindiaf1.com2017 photo album

Williams Martini Racing logo.jpg

Williams Martini Racing

Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

  • 12-14 NOVEMBER 2017
  • ROUND 19 OF 20

Up next on the race calendar is the Brazilian Grand Prix, a special date in the calendar for Felipe Massa, as he returns to his home turf. The track also holds many enjoyable memories for the team as a whole, with a successful history at the circuit including six race victories. São Paulo sits at a high altitude meaning the power units must work harder to provide the same level of performance! This level of performance however is constantly topped-up by enthusiasm from the crowd. After a disappointing retirement for Felipe last year and an emotional farewell at the time, the team hopes for further success in 2017 with the FW40, spurred by support from the Brazilian fans.

For Brazil, Pirelli has made available the medium, soft and supersoft tyres.

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: It will be very special going to Brazil with Felipe for his final Formula One race on home soil.  It is a track that has generated huge drama and emotion over the years, not least with Felipe’s win in 2008 where he narrowly lost the World Championship. The Autódromo José Carlos Pace, formerly Interlagos, is a tremendous circuit with significant elevation and most of the circuit being visible from many of the spectator areas. There are some challenging corners and a long uphill straight to the finish line which benefits good car handling and engine power. Our focus for the weekend will be on getting a good result for the team and importantly, for Felipe to give him another good memory to take with him from his four years at Williams, ahead of his final Formula One race in Abu Dhabi.  The Brazilian fans are reliably enthusiastic and so we hope to put on a good show for them

Felipe Massa: Brazil, my home race! It is always very special, and I will never forget what happened last year. Last year’s result was terrible, but the love, people and reception I witnessed was amazing. It’s fantastic to race at home, in the place where I started my career, and I’m looking forward to having a good race. I’ve had many good races in Brazil. Unfortunately, the last two years I didn’t but I really hope we can this year and I can enjoy being in my town, with my people. I really hope we have a good result, that is the most important thing.

Lance Stroll: Obviously, Brazil will be special for the whole team as it is Felipe’s home race. I have been able to soak up some knowledge and history of Brazil over the past couple of years, so I can’t wait to get there for the first time to experience it. It is also another great race for food and I am looking forward to a good churrascaria. The circuit itself is legendary, and I know there have been some great podiums there with lots of tears shed. I know you can see over the city of Sao Paulo from the track so I can’t wait to get there to see it for myself and experience the atmosphere.

source: williamsf1.com2017 photo album

05 - McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix – preview


Our official race previews are your guide for every lap of every race in 2017.
Hear from the team, drivers and management as we prepare for round 19 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at Autódromo José Carlos Pace.

Follow McLaren TEAMStream for all the build-up to the Brazlian Grand Prix.



Circuit name Autódromo José Carlos Pace

First race 1973

Previous winners

2016 Lewis Hamilton, 71 laps, 3:01:01.335s

2015 Nico Rosberg

2014 Nico Rosberg

History lesson Interlagos is one of the oldest and most historic venues on the Formula 1 calendar. The circuit staged its first world championship race in 1973, on a breathtakingly fast 7.960km/4.946-mile layout that McLaren world champion Emerson Fittipaldi described as “a rollercoaster”. The track was shortened and modified in the late ’80s for safety reasons and the new layout has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix every year since 1990


City Sao Paulo

Time zone GMT-2/CET-3

Population 15 million

How far? Sao Paulo is 9,500km (5,903 miles) from the McLaren Technology Centre

Getting there As with all of the flyaway races, the pre-set-up crew headed to Sao Paulo 10 days before the race. The mechanics followed on Sunday night, arriving on the Monday morning of race week, with the engineers following 48 hours later

Surprising fact Sao Paulo has the third-largest concentration of skyscrapers in the world, behind New York and Hong Kong

Local speciality Brazil has many cultural influences, all of which combine to make the country a culinary delight. Meat is a staple in many dishes, a highlight of which is Feijoada, the national stew. The ingredients are salty meat, rice, beans and farofa, a toasted manioc flour mix

Weather The weather is notoriously unreliable in Sao Paulo. Temperatures are currently around 22 degrees and sunshine is expected over the race weekend. But you can never discount the possibility of rain – it’s Sao Paulo!


Track length 4.309km/2.677 miles (third-shortest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)

2016 pole position Lewis Hamilton, 1m10.736s

2016 fastest lap Max Verstappen, 1m25.305s (lap 67)

Lap record 1:11.473s (Juan Pablo Montoya, 2004)

Tyre choice Red Supersoft, yellow Soft and White medium – the ninth time this combination has been used in 2017

Distance to Turn One 190m/0.118 miles (longest of season: Mexico 800m/0.497 miles)

Longest straight 650m/0.404 miles, on the approach to Turn One (longest of the season: Baku, 2.1km/1.305 miles)

Top speed 320km/h/199mph, on the approach to Turn One (fastest of season: Monza, 360km/h/224mph)

Full throttle 62 per cent (highest of the season: Monza, 75 per cent)

Brakewear Low. There are only six braking zones around the lap, of which only two are heavy. Just 15 per cent of the lap is spent braking

Fuel consumption 1.49kg per lap, which is low

ERS demands High. There is a relatively high amount of ERS deployment around the lap, but not many places in which to recover the energy through braking

Gear changes 42 per lap/2,982 per race


Laps 71 laps

Start time 14:00hrs local/16:00hrs GMT/17:00 CET

Grid advantage The outside of the track, where pole position is located, holds a definite advantage because it’s on the racing line. It’s one of the shortest dashes of the year to Turn One, so the cars are still very congested when they turn in and there’s often contact

DRS There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns One and Four

Don’t put the kettle on… Last year’s race was atypical, due to the wet conditions. Lewis Hamilton won the race with three stints on the Wet tyre; Max Verstappen, in third, split his race into six stints, alternating between the Wet and Intermediate tyres. If this year’s race is dry, the expectation is for one pitstop because Pirelli is taking relatively conservative tyre choices

Pitlane length/Pitstops 380m/0.236 miles (longest of the season: Silverstone, 457m/0.283 miles). It takes 20s to make a stop; drivers need to be careful not to cross the white line on pit entry

Safety Car likelihood 70 per cent. This race is traditionally incident-filled, with a Safety Car period or a Virtual Safety Car period occurring most years

Watch out for… The weather. Sao Paulo’s nickname is Terra da Garoa, “the land of drizzle”, and with good reason. Conditions can change quickly, which often leads to exciting races



#FA14  MCL32-05

“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. 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.

“This circuit should suit our car better than the last couple of tracks, so we hope we can give ourselves the best chance in qualifying as 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 One, and then you can attack the first corner going into the next lap. It’s part of what makes this circuit so exciting.

“After the USA and Mexico, we’re looking ahead to Brazil and Abu Dhabi with a bit more expectation as we knew those tracks would be really difficult for us. However, Mexico was definitely a surprise and we performed better than we anticipated. This will surely be a tricky race and there are always risks to take with the weather and strategy, but if we can start the race from where we should be in qualifying, it could give us a good chance to score some points.”


#SV2  MCL32-04

“I’m looking forward to tackling another new circuit next weekend in Brazil, especially one that is considered so legendary among the fans and the other drivers. Interlagos is the place where championships have been won and lost, and classic grands prix have taken place with great names like Senna and Prost winning some of F1’s most famous races.

“Like every circuit we race on, I put in a lot of preparation with my engineers in the simulator, so by the time we head out onto the track on Friday morning I feel completely ready to tackle it and already comfortable with the layout and set-up the circuit requires. This means that, like Fernando, I can spend FP1 dialling-in the car to the track and conditions and give valuable feedback to the team so they can gather as much as information as possible.

“Qualifying at Interlagos is always important because you never know what can happen in the race. In Mexico I had a great start, so if we can start further up the grid in Brazil – providing we can avoid more penalties – it’ll open up good opportunities in the race. It’s important to stay out of trouble and have a clean race and then we can see what we can do from there. There’s everything to play for and I’m excited to experience the famous atmosphere at Interlagos thanks to the enthusiastic Brazilian fans.”


“As we enter the penultimate race weekend of the season, Interlagos is always a fantastic venue to visit and the scene of a number of dramatic and poignant grands prix for McLaren. The undulating nature of the circuit is one of the most famous configurations on the calendar, and provides a real test for not only the car and driver but also the whole team.

“It’s one of a few races of the season where anything can happen – and often does – and can mean a challenging weekend for our mechanics, engineers and strategists alike, because of the drama the weather conditions often create on this unforgiving circuit. The difference between a solid points-scoring result and not is often the number of gambles the teams of strategists up and down the pitlane have to take depending on the given weather situation, which makes it one of the most exciting race weekends on the calendar.

“For McLaren, we’re heading into the weekend with cautious optimism as we know that statistically this circuit should suit the strengths of our package better than the past couple of venues we’ve visited. Both of our drivers are well prepared for the weekend ahead and the whole team is looking forward to the legendary welcome we always receive from the incredible Brazilian crowds. I hope we can contribute to the great show the enthusiastic fans have come to expect there each year and end the weekend with a positive result.”


“After ending busy back-to-back races in the USA and Mexico, we’re now heading to Brazil and the penultimate race of the season.

“Last time out in Mexico ended with a positive atmosphere in the team after Fernando snatched an all-important championship point. We’re now looking to maintain that momentum as we head to Interlagos.

“The legendary Autódromo José Carlos Pace is a relatively short, albeit challenging, track. It is highly technical with a variety of swooping corners and elevation changes, and overtaking is notoriously tricky. PU set-up will be key to ensuring good driveability throughout the lap.

“Brazil will always be a special place for Honda due to our great history with Ayrton Senna. We receive a warm welcome from the fans every time we go there, and hopefully we can show them a good race.”

source: mclaren.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso


Our drivers on Brazil…


“I’m very happy to be heading to Brazil with Toro Rosso. With the help of the team I made big progress in Mexico and I’m confident that, with a little bit more luck than last time out, we can fight for points. I’m starting to feel at home in the F1 paddock and Sao Paulo is a track I enjoyed and know quite well from when I raced there back in 2014 for the final round of the FIA WEC Championship. So, all in all, I definitely look forward to my third race weekend in Formula 1 and what will be my fifth race weekend in a row!”


“I’m so excited to be racing in Brazil this week! It will be my first time driving in Sao Paulo, it’s such a mythical track! It has so much history and it’s one of my favourites, even though I wasn’t born, one of my favourite races was when Ayrton Senna won in ’91​. With Senna being one of my all-time idols, I really can’t wait to get there and discover this amazing track! The weather can be sometimes tricky and I remember many race weekends happening under rain, in terms of performance it will be better for us. I really like wet conditions as well, so let’s see how it will be​, I think the rain would be good for us to spice things up! If it rains, anything can happen!”

source: scuderiatororosso.com2017 photo album

11 - Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team


Racing’s ‘Beautiful Game’ on Display in Brazil

Haas F1 Team Intent on More Points at Interlagos


Soccer, or fútbol as it is referred to in Latin America, is often called the “beautiful game”. It is a sport infused with art, and massively popular in Brazil. The country has five World Cup titles – the most of any nation – and an icon in Pelé, known across the globe as one of the game’s greats.

Brazil also has the penultimate round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, and a passionate and massive motorsports fan base cemented by the exploits of three-time champion Ayrton Senna, who was born in São Paulo, home of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace and the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Formula One is motorsports’ beautiful game. Purpose-built racecars housing a turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engine that spins at 15,000 rpm underneath the sinewy shape of a Coke-bottle designed exterior are available to an elite group of 20 drivers who travel to racetracks around the world wringing every ounce of speed from their machines in their quest for points and the ultimate goal of victory.

Haas F1 Team comes into São Paulo fresh off a self-described victory in the preceding Mexican Grand Prix, where driver Kevin Magnussen held off four-time champion Lewis Hamilton and two-time champion Fernando Alonso to finish eighth.

While eighth is a long way from a win, eighth seemed to be unreachable after Haas F1 team struggled mightily in the lead up to the Mexican Grand Prix. Magnussen and teammate Romain Grosjean qualified last among the drivers who posted times, with the 18th and 19th quickest times, respectively.

But come raceday, resiliency and tenacity allowed Magnussen to collect four valuable points in a beautiful drive that placed Haas F1 Team eighth in the constructors standings, one point behind the factory Renault team and only six points arrears sixth-place Toro Rosso.

Just as Pelé’s footwork on the pitch propelled Brazil to three of its five World Cups, Magnussen’s work on the track and that of his teammate Grosjean has resulted in 47 points for Haas F1 Team this year. It’s a tally that with still two races remaining is 18 points better than last year, which was the team’s inaugural Formula One season and the first for an American Formula One entity in 30 years.

Haas F1 Team finished eighth in the constructors standings last year, so the goal this year is to finish one spot better. Hitting the nice, round number of 50 points earned is also in sight.

Getting there, however, means successfully navigating the 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn Interlagos circuit. It is one of the shortest laps on the Formula One calendar, but arguably the most intense.

The undulating course in Brazil’s largest city is a challenge for drivers and teams. It is run anticlockwise and consists of a twisty infield portion between turns six and 12, with three long straights between turns three and four, turns five and six, and off turn 14 down the frontstretch before the beginning of the Senna “S” in turn one.

Maximum downforce would be preferred through the tight and twisting section, but in order to maximize the straights, cars need to be trimmed out with as little drag as possible. Some downforce is already lost before a wheel is even turned, as São Paulo sits 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level.

All of this puts grip at a premium on the relatively bumpy track. Pirelli has brought its P Zero White medium, Yellow soft and Red supersoft tires to Brazil, with the softs and especially the supersofts expected to get the lion’s share of the work.

That work on the track, like a fútbol players’ work on the pitch, becomes art in Formula One. And for this coming weekend in Brazil, the beautiful game gets four wheels and a tightly packaged engine.

Haas F1 Team is intent on points at Interlagos, with the goal being betterment from last year. Brazil serves as a set piece for the American squad, with Magnussen and Grosjean ready to pen a points-paying finish in the penultimate round of the 2017 Formula One season.

Romain Grosjean, driver #8

You endured a difficult weekend in the last grand prix in Mexico City. What were you struggling with and was it specific to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez or do you expect to face similar challenges in Brazil?

“Well, we struggled in qualifying with both cars. We didn’t really have any pace. In the race, the pace was better but, unfortunately, my car was badly damaged following the contact with Fernando Alonso. So, we really struggled during the race with the damage. I lost a lot of downforce from the floor. It was a difficult one. I’m hoping that Brazil will be a little less challenging. Hopefully, we’ll get better performance, which was the case last year. Mexico is a very special one, with the altitude and the cooling, and so on. We didn’t have much downforce on the car. Obviously in the race, when we could’ve made some ground, the damage didn’t allow us to do so.”


When you have a tough weekend, do you dwell on it or do you try to put it out of your mind as quickly as possible and focus on the next race?

“I think having a family is really good in this aspect. I go back home and I play with the kids. They make you forget you’ve had a tough weekend. You can always learn from it, and you need to learn from a tough one, but it doesn’t put you down as it would if you maybe didn’t have a family. They just boost me again, and I just use the experience to move forward.”


With only two races remaining, the midfield is as tight as ever, specifically among Haas F1 Team, Renault and Toro Rosso. How would you characterize this battle, and do you find yourself looking at the time sheets to see where you stack up to the drivers on those teams?

“I think out of those teams, Renault is the faster one. They’ve got a really good car through to the end of the season. They’ve had a bit more of a difficult time in the races, which has allowed us to close the gap and keep them in sight. Toro Rosso is the one we can try to go for. They’re not performing better than we are, and they’ve got less experience amongst their drivers, so that should help us. We’re going to do everything we can to get those positions because it’s very important for the team.”   


Whenever Formula One travels to Brazil, Ayrton Senna’s legacy is prominent. Of all his races, is there one that stands out for you?

“Brazil is always special because of Ayrton Senna. He was one of the biggest names in Formula One. Interlagos is a special place. There’s so much history there. On raceday you’ve got so much support from the fans. I remember Ayrton winning there in 1991 when he couldn’t hold the trophy in the air because he was so tired and had the pain in his arms from driving.”


Interlagos was resurfaced prior to the 2014 race. How much has the track changed since then and what do you expect this year with another year of weathering to the track surface?

“It was good because it was very bumpy. Unfortunately, some of the curbs were changed and the nature of the track changed a little bit, which is a bit of a shame. Generally, it’s a track I really like. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s evolved with the heavy rain we know you can get in Brazil. We’ll just go out there and see what we can do.”


Interlagos appears to be a very physical track, and heat often plays a role in the performance of the car and the driver. Considering these variables, how do you attack the track?

“It’s a pretty tough track with not much opportunity for a rest. Even in the straight lines you can’t rest as much as you would like. You’re at altitude as well, at 800 meters (2,625 feet), so coming from Mexico that’s nothing, but you’re still not at sea level. The weather can be challenging. It can be very warm and humid. It’s a pretty intense challenge but, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re looking for.”


Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix was run in the wet, but in 2015 when the race was run in the dry, the top-three finishers used a three-stop strategy. What needs to happen to make a three-stop strategy work over a typical, two-stop strategy?

“I think it’s the tire degradation and the tire delta time between the different compounds. Let’s say you’ve got a soft tire, which is much faster than the medium, but degrades quite quickly, then you’re better with three stops. If you run the medium, and the pace that it brings compared to the soft is favorable, and the degradation is low, then you should go for two stops. That’s how it’s calculated.”


What is your favorite part of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace?

“I like the Senna ‘S’, and the first few corners are pretty amazing.”


Describe a lap around the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.

“You go onto the pit straight and then big braking to go to the Senna ‘S’. Very tricky turn in on the left-hand side. You really want to be well placed for the right turn two, which sets you up for turn three and the second straight. Big braking to turn four, left-hand side, 90 degrees, a pretty good corner. Then you get to the middle part – turn five is a high-speed corner going up the crest. It’s tricky. Then it’s turn six and the hairpin on the right-hand side. We can’t use the curb as much as we used to. Turn seven is a left-hand side corner, no braking, just a lift off. It’s a bit of a strange one. The second hairpin is then on the right-hand side, a second high-speed corner going down the hill, prior to the last turn. It’s a left-hand corner where you really want to go early on the throttle because you’re facing a wall to go up to the finish line.”

Kevin Magnussen, driver #20

You overcame a difficult Friday and Saturday last weekend in Mexico City with a sensational drive on Sunday, holding off Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to finish eighth and earn four valuable points. Talk about all that you endured last weekend and how satisfying your drive on Sunday was for you and the team.

“After a difficult Saturday, where we were all pretty down after qualifying so badly, it was awesome to get a good result and come back strong on Sunday.”


After the Mexican Grand Prix, you said your result felt like a victory. For those unfamiliar with Formula One, how does an eighth-place finish feel like a win?

“It’s really tough in Formula One and car performance plays a massive part in what result you’re going to get. After the poor qualifying we had, it showed we weren’t quite on top of the performance, and we didn’t think we were going to get points. On Sunday we delivered – almost over-delivered – to finish eighth and get those four points.”


The Mexican Grand Prix showcased the resiliency of you and Haas F1 Team. Despite the odds stacked against you before the green flag waved, you earned one of your best finishes of the year. How important is it to remain positive and go into a race with an open mind, regardless of your starting position?

“The result on Sunday showed that you should never give up, no matter what has happened leading up to the race. You can always over-perform and get something out of it, even if it looks bad. It shows what the team is made of.”


With only two races remaining, the midfield is as tight as ever, specifically among Haas F1 Team, Renault and Toro Rosso. How would you characterize this battle, and do you find yourself looking at the time sheets to see where you stack up to the drivers on those teams?

“It’s only one point now to Renault for seventh in the constructors championship, and it’s only six points to Toro Rosso. It’s extremely close and anything can happen in these last two races. We just need to be on top of everything and get everything out of it that we can. It’s not going to be easy. Those teams are doing well and they’re tough competitors.”


What is your favorite part of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace?

The Senna ‘S’ bend. It’s a nice flowing part of the track and it’s going to be challenging to see how fast it is this year with the new cars.”


Describe a lap around the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.

“Legendary and challenging.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal

You overcame a difficult Friday and Saturday last weekend in Mexico City to earn a points-paying result on Sunday. Talk about all that you endured last weekend and how satisfying Magnussen’s eighth-place finish was for the team.

“If somebody had told us on Friday or Saturday that we would finish up in the points, even with one point, we’d have signed on for it. It just shows that you’ve always got to keep on believing in yourself and pushing. With a little bit of luck, and a fantastic drive from Kevin, we ended up eighth. Obviously, the Friday and Saturday were disappointing. Everything which shouldn’t have happened to us did, and we were just slow. We learned a lot, also in view for next year, how not to do things – which is always good. We’re very thankful for the points we got. We’ll try to get more.”


Magnussen had to hold off two world champions to earn his eighth-place finish in Mexico City. Talk about that drive and what you saw from him in the closing laps of the Mexican Grand Prix.

“I think it was pretty cool. He was just doing a fantastic job. The McLaren was on ultrasoft tires and we were on soft. So, to hold off a McLaren on ultrasofts with a world champion (Fernando Alonso) behind the wheel is not easy. He did very well, and with style. To hold off Lewis (Hamilton) in a Mercedes for two laps is quite astonishing. Maybe Lewis didn’t have to push hard because he was world champion if he finished ninth, but nevertheless, Lewis doesn’t want to finish ninth if he can finish eighth, so for sure he tried but he couldn’t get him. I think it was Kevin’s best drive of the year for Haas.” 


After the Mexican Grand Prix, Magnussen said his result felt like a victory. For those unfamiliar with Formula One, how does an eighth-place finish feel like a win?

“I think if you use the pecking order of where the cars are now, we are toward the end, especially in Mexico. Our free practice runs and our qualifying runs weren’t good. In qualifying, we were last. We were the slowest ones. For sure, coming back in the race and finishing eighth, and fighting for eighth and being competitive, it was like a win for us. We know that the first six cars we can’t beat anyway and, normally, we’ve got two more teams in front of us. For sure, for him, it must have felt like a win and he kept two world champions behind him.”


The Mexican Grand Prix showcased the resiliency of Haas F1 Team. Despite the odds stacked against the organization before the green flag waved, the team earned one of its best finishes of the year. How important is it to remain positive and go into a race with an open mind, regardless of your starting position?

“I think every day, and every session, you need to be open about being able to do better. You must always believe in what you can do. The moment you don’t believe in yourself, or in the team anymore, if you give up on it, you won’t achieve anything. You take it by the lap, the hour and the day. Whatever it is, you’re always convinced you can do better, otherwise where do you take your motivation from to do this?”


With only two races remaining, the midfield is as tight as ever, specifically among Haas F1 Team, Renault and Toro Rosso. How would you characterize this battle?

“For sure, we try to grab at least one position. It’s very difficult because we’re fighting with teams which are as good, if not better than us. Renault is a works team. They’ve got a lot of people working for them. They’ve made good progress over this year. They’ve had a few reliability issues lately, which played into our hands, and we took them. You cannot predict what is happening. Who would’ve predicted that we would come away with points in Mexico? If you’d told that to someone on Saturday, people would’ve laughed about it. Nothing is impossible to happen, everything is possible to happen. I don’t know where it ends up, but I’m sure we’ll put a fight up for it.” 


What do you want to achieve before Haas F1 Team’s sophomore season is over?

“A goal would be to finish better than last year, which would be seventh, at least. Can we achieve it? We’re sure going to try.” 


Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix was run in the wet, but in 2015 when the race was run in the dry, the top-three finishers used a three-stop strategy. What needs to happen to make a three-stop strategy work over a typical, two-stop strategy?

“With the tires we’ve got this year, there will be no three-stop strategies, no chance. We need to get the data on Friday to see if it’ll be a one-stop or a two-stop, but a three-stop will never work.”


Formula One and the FIA jointly announced a direction for power unit regulations in 2021, including a higher-revving engine (3,000 rpm higher), removal of the MGU-H, a more powerful MGU-K with manual driver deployment and a single turbo with dimensional constraints and weight limits. Granted, you’re not an engine manufacturer as you receive your engines from Ferrari, but what is your take on this direction?

“They’ve tried to achieve the things they set out with more noise, more equality and lower costs. That is the aim of it. I think they’ve thrown out a good concept to start off with. Now the details can be worked out by the technical people. The concept is out there and I don’t think the concept will be changed. But now they need to work on the detail of the concept to achieve the goals they’ve set themselves with more noise, more equality and lower costs for the customer teams. Hopefully, they can achieve it.”


Is there an element of this direction you’d like to see expanded, such as a spec gearbox that can mate with any engine?

“I think the aim is, with the new spec of engine, that you can bolt it onto any car, and any part to it. They will define more of the attachment points.”


Much has been made about the sound of Formula One cars, specifically that they need to be louder, like they used to be. What are your thoughts?

“The noise – if you don’t have it, you think it’s not important because it’s just noise. If you hear a V10 or a V12 going by, when you see these historic cars, it sounds beautiful. I think a lot of people like the noise. I don’t think we’ll get to that noise of a V10 or a V12, because you have a turbo on it. You can improve, and the aim is with making the rev limit 3,000 rpm higher than the current engine, it can be achieved to be noisier. I think it will never be like it was. A little bit noisier is good because I think it’s great for the fans to hear a car coming from far away.”


Of all the elements mentioned in the direction of the 2021 power unit regulations, is the most important and unspoken element cost?

“I wouldn’t say it’s the most important. It’s as important as the other ones because even if it’s cheap, if people don’t like the engine, why would we do it? There needs to be a compromise between what the fans like, which is noise, and new manufacturers coming in, which is what people want. The cost element is also important for new people, for current people, and for the teams which don’t make their own engines, like us. It’s part of what we need to do to change Formula One to be better.”


How long will it take to get everyone on the same page to enact this new direction for power unit regulations?

“I think it will take a year to finalize the regulations. I think that’s the aim, to have the final version of the technical regulations by the end of 2018. Then it’s a two-year development process. I think already the manufacturers will start now to develop, because you cannot be behind.” 

The circuit

Autódromo José Carlos Pace

  • Total number of race laps: 71
  • Complete race distance: 305.909 kilometers (190.083 miles)
  • Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)
  • The Autódromo José Carlos Pace has hosted Formula One since 1973, first on a 7.960 kilometer (4.946-mile) layout and later on a 7.873-kilometer (4.892-mile) course from 1979 through 1999 before a massive reconfiguration in advance of the 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix shortened the track to its current 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn layout. Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix served as the venue’s 34th grand prix.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya holds the race lap record at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (1:11.473), set in 2004 with Williams.
  • Rubens Barrichello holds the qualifying lap record at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace (1:09.822), set in 2004 with Scuderia Ferrari in Q1.
  • The Autódromo José Carlos Pace is the setting for one of the shortest laps of the year, but also one of the most intense. The undulating course is a challenge for drivers and teams. It’s run anticlockwise and consists of a twisty infield portion between turns six and12, with three long straights between turns three and four, between turns five and six, and off turn 14 down the frontstretch before the beginning of the Senna “S” in turn one. Maximum downforce would be preferred through the tight and twisting section, but in order to maximize the straights, cars need to be trimmed out with as little drag as possible. Some downforce is already lost before a wheel is even turned, as the track sits 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level. All of this puts grip at a premium on the relatively bumpy surface.
  • DYK? The traditional name of the circuit, Interlagos, comes from the track being built in a region between two large artificial lakes, the Guarapiranga and Billings, which were designed in the early 20th century to supply São Paulo with drinking water and energy power. In 1985, the speedway was renamed the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in honor of Pace, a Brazilian racecar driver who died in a plane crash in 1977. Pace’s first and only Formula One victory came at Interlagos.
  • During the course of the Brazilian Grand Prix, lows will range from 14-16 degrees Celsius (58-61 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 22-25 degrees Celsius (71-77 degrees Fahrenheit). Relative humidity ranges from 55 percent (mildly humid) to 98 percent (very humid), with a dew point varying from 14 degrees Celsius/58 degrees Fahrenheit (comfortable) to 19 degrees Celsius/67 degrees Fahrenheit (muggy). The dew point is rarely below 11 degrees Celsius/51 degrees Fahrenheit (very comfortable) or above 22 degrees Celsius/72 degrees Fahrenheit (very muggy). Typical wind speeds vary from 3-21 kph/2-13 mph (light air to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 29 kph/18 mph (fresh breeze).

Where the rubber meets the road

  • Pirelli is bringing three tire compounds to Brazil:
    • P Zero White medium – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)
      • This is Pirelli’s most balanced tire, with an ideal compromise between performance and durability. It is extremely versatile, but it often comes into its own on circuits that tend toward high speeds, high temperatures and high-energy loadings. It is a low working-range compound.
    • P Zero Yellow soft – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)
      • This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is still geared toward speed rather than long distances, but it remains capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage at the beginning of the race when cars are carrying a full fuel load, and at the end of the race where the fuel load is much lighter and the race effectively becomes a sprint. It is a high working-range compound.
    • P Zero Red supersoft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)
      • This is the second softest tire in Pirelli’s range, and it is ideal for tight and twisting circuits, especially in cold weather when maximum grip is needed. The supersofts warm up rapidly, which has made it a stalwart choice for qualifying. But with increased grip comes increased degradation. It is a low working-range compound.
  • The Brazilian Grand Prix marks the ninth time these three compounds have been packaged together. Teams most recently used this tire compilation in the Japanese Grand Prix Oct. 6-8 at Suzuka Circuit. For last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the Orange hard, White medium and Yellow soft compounds were used.
  • The Yellow soft tire has been used in every grand prix this season. The Red supersoft tire has been used everywhere except the Spanish Grand Prix. The White medium tire has been used in the Chinese Grand Prix, the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Spanish Grand Prix, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the British Grand Prix, the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Italian Grand Prix, the Malaysian Grand Prix and, most recently, the Japanese Grand Prix.
  • Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)
  • Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected. The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of White mediums and one set of Yellow softs) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of Red supersofts). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:
    • Grosjean: one set of White mediums, four sets of Yellow softs and eight sets of Red supersofts

Magnussen: one set of White mediums, four sets of Yellow softs and eight sets of Red supersofts

source: haasf1team.com2017 photo album

Renault Sport Formula One Team logo

Renault Sport Formula One Team

2017 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix Preview


Foreword from Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul

In the wake of challenging back-to-back races for the team, the Brazilian Grand Prix is already looming. Interlagos is a legendary circuit that often makes for an unpredictable race in front of many excited fans. The weather often plays an important role, but come rain or shine, we are confident in the positive qualities of both our drivers and the R.S.17. The enthusiasm of the fans is always enjoyable to see and hear; in so many regards it is a very fine Grand Prix.

For its part, the Mexican Grand Prix was particularly difficult with a number of unacceptable mechanical problems and we have the clear intention to take fast and strong measures. The particularities of Mexico accentuated our weaknesses, but clearly we have not been successful in balancing performance and reliability.

The performance of our engine has progressed a lot this year as the results in the race attest; we now have to find reliability, for both us and our customers, even if Max won magnificently in Mexico.

The team remains confident and united, which is essential to maintain progress to the end of the season, and also for our preparations for 2018. We have the means; our organisation is stable, robust and competent.

This season we set ourselves the goal of fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. Whilst achieving this is still mathematically possible, it is now a tall order after a race where we didn’t score points.

Mexico highlighted our performance potential. Both cars sadly retired, however the two cars reached Q3 and lined up seventh and eighth on the grid and were in fourth and fifth at the end of the first lap. Points were clearly within our reach.

There are now two Grands Prix remaining. We will do everything we can to be sixth at the end of the weekend.

Finally, as in Mexico, we will display our concept of the Future of F1 with the R.S.2027 Vision, which was revealed earlier this year at the Shanghai Motor Show. It will be presented to the Brazilian media with, I am sure, the same success.

Against the clock

After a Mexican Grand Prix which fell short of expectations, the team have a point to prove at Interlagos, one of Formula 1’s most popular circuits, explains Technical Director Nick Chester

What are the main challenges of Interlagos?

It’s a track with three interesting and contrasting sectors. The first sector is fairly quick with medium to high speed corners and a short straight which enables DRS overtaking opportunities. The middle sector is very twisty, which should play to the strengths of the R.S.17 pretty well. The lap is capped-off with a big drag up the hill and the long straight. It’s an interesting layout sat at a relatively high altitude. Both drivers should perform well there in the R.S.17.

Interlagos was once the highest on the calendar, is it still a challenge after the giddy heights of Mexico?

Despite the reasonably high altitude of São Paulo, Mexico City trounces it. Instead of being 25% down on air density as we are in Mexico, we’ll be down only by around 10% which is much, much easier to manage. We’re not expecting too many dramas to control temperatures and there will be a range of set-ups for us to try out. It’s not a full downforce track like Monaco or Hungary but there are a range of aero set-ups for us to try.

Dare we mention the weather?

The weather can be quite exciting there and is always a bit of an uncertainty. Notably, there have been four wet races in the past nine years at Interlagos. We haven’t had many wet races this year, so certainly there’s some scope for interest. We’ll be well prepared for any eventuality.

What are your thoughts on Carlos’s first two races with the team?

Carlos has been very good. He had a fantastic race in Austin, he works with the team brilliantly, qualifies well and I think he’s done a great job so far. Mexico was tricky with low grip, particularly in the wake of other cars, which led to the spin in the race.

How’s progress with next year’s car?

We’re making strong progress at Enstone and it’s where our focus lies. It’s a completely new car despite a relatively low number of regulation changes. We’ve learnt a lot on the aerodynamic package and the balance of a car built to 2017 regulations, so the car should represent a strong step forward. We’ll be doing some aero runs in practice in Brazil with a variety of aero instrumentation to help prepare the 2018 package.


Reset and refocus

After an early escape from the Mexican Grand Prix Nico Hülkenberg returns to the scene of his incredible rookie season pole position…

What do you make of the Brazilian Grand Prix?

It’s very special for me and one of my favourite places and races on the calendar. São Paulo is a crazy city and there’s something I really like about it. The food, the people, it’s all really engaging and a highly unique experience.

How do you rate the track?

The track itself has so much history especially when you cast your mind to all the stories and championships won there. You can feel the history and the emotions that belong to racing and I really like that. It’s a reason why I usually perform quite well there. The circuit is short and can be quite tricky to get right. It’s anti-clockwise, very bumpy and extremely tough on the neck! It’s all about confidence, especially the in-field middle sector.

Why do you think you go well in Brazil?

I have special memories around Interlagos! My only Formula 1 pole position to date came in my rookie season, which was awesome. I put a perfect lap together at the right time in changing conditions and poled it by over a second; that’s a real standout moment in my entire racing career. In 2012, I led for a large part of the race and was unlucky not to get a podium. I have a decent record there and I will be pushing to make sure I continue that.

How do you reflect on Mexico?

Mexico was a good weekend, sadly without a happy ending! We qualified well, and I got a good start in the race to be running in fourth position. Sadly, that wasn’t to last and it was an early bath for me. We missed out on some points, which is always disappointing, but we’ll start over again.

Samba Time

After a complicated Sunday in Mexico the Spaniard is ready to battle in Brazil in the season’s penultimate race.

What do you think of Brazil?

The track is obviously nice and you can still feel the vibe from Ayrton Senna all around. He’s still very much in people’s hearts, which makes it very special. In actual fact, it’s not a track layout I particularly enjoy, but it’s one of those historical places in Formula 1 where you race. There are a lot of stories in Brazil and lots of championships have been won there. The Brazilian culture is pretty eclectic, and, in terms of food, it’s probably my favourite destination on the calendar.

What are your personal Interlagos memories?

I had a good race there last year and it was one of my most complete Grands Prix. I was fifteenth in qualifying – two seconds off the top guys – and suddenly I was racing against them in the rain! We were back alive on race day, we got the strategy right and it paid off. We did a decent job and it was a very enjoyable Sunday capped off with eight points.

How’s Interlagos to drive?

The track is old school and challenging to get right, especially the twisty in-field which features some changes in elevation. The weather usually throws up some surprises; it can be nice and very warm and then it will switch to thunderstorms. The secret is adapting quickly to the weather and finding a well-balanced car which is suited to both wet and dry conditions.

What are your post-Grand Prix feelings from Mexico?

Mexico was difficult, I had a high-speed spin early on in the race which hampered my running. After the last few races, I think we have a car that can be in the top ten. We need to keep both cars on track and aim for points again in Brazil. We need to fightback.


RSA Round-Up

Fewtrell crowned 2017 Eurocup Rookie Champion

Renault Sport Academy Driver Max Fewtrell was crowned the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup Rookie Champion last weekend in Barcelona, keeping his head to take the title by 30 points in the season finale.

Max finished the Eurocup season in sixth spot overall with consistent top ten results, a lack of retirements and a maiden victory in Austria in July to thank for his 164 points.

The 2016 British F4 Champion simply needed to keep rivals Dan Ticktum and Yifei Ye behind in the final round and he did just that, finishing fourth and seventh in the final two races.

Jarno Opmeer also enjoyed a bright end to his rookie season in the Eurocup, continuing his run of points-scoring finishes which has seen him secure six top ten finishes in eight races.

The Dutchman capped off the year brightly with a season-best of fifth in race two after starting from sixth on the grid and a strong ninth in race three.

Sun Yue Yang endured a tough weekend in Catalunya finishing 24th and 25th in races one and three.

There wasn’t much Sunny could do in race two which saw him retire following a 12-car accident at turn one.

Championship winner Sacha Fenestraz sealed the title with a victory in the final race and has been offered a place with the Renault Sport Academy for 2018.

Max Fewtrell (Tech-1 Racing, #7)
6th, 1st Rookie (Champion) – 164 points – 23/23 races completed
“It’s been a really long year and I’m really happy to get the rookie title at the last round. It’s been hard work but we’ve got there in the end. In the second half of the season we have been battling for podiums consistently, the pace has looked really good and I’ve been happy with that. I’m excited for next year now where I will be pushing for the main title.”

Jarno Opmeer (MP Motorsport, #30)
15th, 7th Rookie – 27 points – 23/23 races completed
“I think we ended the season really positively with good pace throughout the weekend. I made some nice overtakes and managed to get some solid points. I made some mistakes at the beginning of the weekend but I learned from them and continued pushing, which was great fun.”

Sun Yue Yang (JD Motorsport, #21)
31st, 17th Rookie – 0 points – 23/23 races completed
“Last weekend was very difficult and quite confusing. I was a lot slower than before and I crashed in one of the races. I was better on my braking this weekend, but I wasn’t that fast as I wasn’t on my limit in some of the corners. Honestly, this was a difficult weekend.”

Lundgaard holds championship lead, mixed weekend for García

Renault Sport Academy Driver Christian Lundgaard will take a slender three-point advantage at the top of the Spanish F4 Championship to the final round in Estoril next month after an up and down weekend in Nogaro, France last weekend (27-29 October).

Christian entered round six with a 15-point lead at the summit of the series over Alexander Smolyar following 12 podiums across the season which has included five wins.

The Dane finished second and third in the opening two races in south-west France to maintain the advantage in the Drivers’ Championship, and looked set to hold that gap in the final race.

However, starting from pole position, Christian was involved in a collision on the opening lap which forced him down to tenth. And with Smolyar winning, the 16-year-old had to battle his way through to limit the damage. In the end, Christian fought back to fourth to ensure he holds the series lead going into the final round in Portugal (10-12 November).

Marta finished all three races in the points, including a strong seventh place in the final race of the weekend.

The Spanish teen keeps her spot in ninth place of the championship and heads to the final round in Portugal with podiums on her mind.

Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport, #5)

1st – 232 points – 17/20 races completed

“This was a difficult weekend which I didn’t make easy for myself. I put in a lot of effort to get the best out of the situation. I apologise to all the boys at MP Motorsport for letting them down from pole position in the final race where the win was ours. I will learn from it and make it better next time. I’m looking forward to the championship showdown in Estoril.”

Marta García (MP Motorsport, #19)

9th – 53 points – 17/20 races completed

“I had a challenging weekend in Nogaro. I didn’t have the pace to be in the top five, but I did my best in all the races starting from eleventh and eighth and I ended with a handful of points with tenth, eighth and seventh.”


Track Notes:

Interlagos is a legendary circuit on the Formula 1 calendar, famed for its unpredictable weather, tight and twisty infield and its ability to provide cutting-edge drama with championships on the line. Out of the 15 corners, the most famous come at turns one and two. Named after the late great Ayrton Senna, drivers turn anti-clockwise off the line, dipping downhill through the Esses and onto the DRS straight of Reta Oposta. Sector two is sharp and technical before it’s back up the hill and past the raucous grandstand to complete the lap.

T1: A tricky downhill turn at the end of a long straight, the nature of the first corner makes it easy for drivers to out-brake themselves. Turn 1 is the hardest stop on the circuit as the cars arrive at over 330kph and drop to just 110kph on entry.

T2: It’s important to get a good exit from Turn 1; carrying the momentum on through Turn 2 into the high-speed Turn 3 and subsequently to the first DRS straight.

T4: The first DRS zone along the back straight presents a good overtaking opportunity heading into the medium speed Turn 4.

T5/6/7: These are high speed corners, with turns 6 and 7 particularly hard on the left-hand side tyres, before entering in to the lower speed Turn 8. From T2 to the entry for T6 the driver is at full throttle for 17 secs, with just a dab on the brakes through Turn 4.

The MGU-K recovers energy in the braking zones, and especially in the low speed middle sector of the lap.

T8: Flat kerbs through the low speed Turns 8 and 10 allow drivers a degree of freedom in their apex point.

T12: Turn 12 is crucial for a quick lap, with exit speed defining how fast you can charge up the hill and along the start / finish straight. The ICE will be straining on the edge of its power as the elevation change is just shy of 40m from the exit of Turn 12 to the braking point of Turn 1.

Start-finish: A second DRS zone – running for 500m along the start/finish straight – boosts what is already a good spot for overtaking.

Power Unit Notes:

  • Interlagos sits in the upper bracket for ICE difficulty. The circuit may be short, but the long, uphill start/finish straight takes up a considerable percentage of the lap. The driver will be at full pedal travel for around 15secs, around 25% distance, or 20% of the overall lap time.
  • Interlagos sits 800m above sea level. Until the Mexican GP it was the highest race of the year by a long way, but now seems low by comparison to the giddy heights of Mexico City. The turbo will be spinning at a higher speed to generate the same power as a sea level event, rotating at close to its maximum.
  • Due to the long periods of full throttle, the MGU-H has ample opportunity to recover lost exhaust energy. However, energy recovery is not necessarily critical as fuel consumption is relatively low due to the high altitude and lower air density.



Medium – Sloth – Not renowned as the quickest kid on the block, but dependable.

Soft – Kinkajou – Related to the raccoon, this mammal boasts excellent grip required to scale the Amazon’s most brutal branches.

Supersoft – Jaguar – The most majestic in the rainforest. This elusive beast is by far the most stunning and highly powerful.


In Numbers:

2 – There are only two countries in South America which Brazil does not border; Chile and Ecuador.

2,994 – Brazil’s highest mountain is the Pico da Neblina which stands at 2,994 metres. It was not discovered until the 1950s as it is often covered by clouds.

4,000 – Brazil has more than 4,000 airports.

source: renaultsport.com2017 photo album

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

Preview – Formula One Heineken Brazilian Grand Prix

19th Round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 10th to 12th November 2017

After the back-to-back races in Austin and Mexico City, the Sauber F1 Team is heading to São Paolo for the penultimate race of the 2017 Formula One season. After making some progress throughout the last two races, the Sauber F1 Team goes into the next round with a positive mindset.

The first free practice session at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos will be driven by Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc. It will be Leclerc’s fourth free practice session driving for the Sauber F1 Team. Regular driver Pascal Wehrlein will take over the cockpit of the Sauber C36-Ferrari from FP2 onwards.

Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
“The Brazilian Grand Prix weekend is always a special one. The fans are very passionate and the race itself has a lot of history. During the last race in Mexico I was able to fight my way into the midfield, which was a progress compared to the previous GP weekends. Therefore, I am optimistic that we will be building on that and making further improvements. It is definitely good to get back in the car in Interlagos.”

Pascal Wehrlein (car number 94):
“I look forward to returning to Brazil. We always get a warm welcome from the fans and the atmosphere at the track is great. The unpredictable weather in Interlagos adds some excitement to the weekend, as you never know what to expect. As a team, we have made some progress over the past two race weekends, so I am heading to São Paolo with a positive feeling. I look forward to being back in the car and to continuing to work in the right direction.”

Track facts:
The traditional circuit at Interlagos offers a relatively high number of challenges, considering the short lap distance. Balancing the demand for speed on the two long straights with the stability and grip requirements of the infield will be challenging for both the drivers and engineers. Moreover, the ever changeable weather often adds to that challenge at this time of the year.

Circuit Autodromo José Carlos Pace / 4.309 km
Race distance 71 laps / 305.909 km
Schedule Qualifying 14:00 hrs local time (17:00 CET), Race 14:00 hrs local time (17:00 hrs CET)

Tyre choices:

Driver Marcus Ericsson Pascal Wehrlein
Medium 1 1
Soft 3 3
Supersoft 9 9

Driver information:

Marcus Ericsson Pascal Wehrlein
Born 02.09.1990 / Kumla (SE) 18.10.1994 / Sigmaringen (DE)
Marital status Single Single
Height / Weight 1,80 m / 70 kg 1,75 m / 63 kg
First GP Australia 2014 Australia 2016
GP started 74 37
Best race result 8th Australia (2015) 8th Spain  (2017)
Best qualifying 10th Malaysia (2015),
10th China (2015),10th Italy (2015)
12th Austria (2016)
Points 2017 0 (20th) 5 (18th)
Points in total 9 5
The Sauber F1 Team has 5 points to its tally and currently holds 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

source:  sauberf1team.com2017 photo album

Pirelli logo


Interlagos, 10-12 November 2017

For the penultimate round of the Formula 1 season, Pirelli brings the P Zero White medium, P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres, marking the final appearance of the medium compound in 2017.

Interlagos is one of the shortest but most intense laps of the year, both in terms of physical demands and atmosphere. There’s a succession of high-speed corners, constant changes in elevation, and a local climate that is capable of both intense heat and heavy rain. Once again, the tyre nomination for Brazil is softer than it has been in the past, with the medium now the hardest compound available.

– The track was resurfaced relatively recently, which ironed out some of the famous Interlagos bumps.
– The second-shortest lap of the season (after Monaco) means cars are not only nearly always turning, but also going off- line to overtake.
– The track runs anti-clockwise, with the right-rear tyre doing the most work in Brazil.
– The rapid series of corners and high- energy loads put quite high demands on tyres.
– Tyres are also frequently subjected to combined lateral and longitudinal forces.
– Unusually, Lewis Hamilton won last year in rainy conditions without making a racing pit stop, although he did take a fresh set of wets under a red flag.
– In 2015, the top three stopped three times.

“As we saw at the last round in Mexico as well, for Brazil we are again bringing a softer tyre nomination than last year – when the hard was selected – so this is likely to lead to some of the fastest-ever laps of Interlagos this weekend. With a short lap, plus plenty of pit stops and overtaking, as well as a passionate Brazilian crowd and the potential for extremes of weather, this is normally a frenetic race where the strategic timing of stops is very important to try and minimise the effects of traffic. While we’ve gone a step softer this year, no driver has selected more than one set of the mediums, which means that the weekend will be centred around the soft and supersoft compounds.”

– The supersoft comes to Brazil for the first time since Pirelli entered Formula 1.
– Force India and Sauber completed a dedicated Pirelli tyre test for 2018 after the Mexican Grand Prix, with Alfonso Celis and Charles Leclerc driving respectively.
– Several top drivers have been announced for the Pirelli-equipped FIA GT World Cup in Macau next weekend, including former F1 driver (and Pirelli tester) Lucas di Grassi.
– Pirelli’s European Junior Rally Champion Chris Ingram dominated the two-wheel drive class on Wales Rally GB recently, using Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyres.

source: pirelli.com2017 photo album

Renault Sport logo

Renault Sport

coming soon

source: renaultsport.com