Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

For the penultimate race in the 2015 season, Formula One returns to Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

After a glorious return to Mexico, Formula One moves on to one of the permanent fixtures on the calendar, the Brazilian Grand Prix. The race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo has been on the F1 calendar since 1973 and will this year host its 44th Grand Prix, where Hamilton will look to break his Brazilian duck.

If Lewis is to take his first win in Brazil this weekend he will join a list of just five drivers currently on the grid to have taken victory around the 4.309KM circuit. Two of those victors in São Paulo include his current teammate, Nico Rosberg, who took the win last time Formula One was in Brazil and his former teammate, Jenson Button, who won the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix for McLaren – who are yet to take a victory since.

This week however has not started well for the 2015 Champion, as Lewis had to postpone his arrival in South America after becoming unwell. His ailment even turned out to not be the only reason the Brit was forced to miss a sponsor appearance, after he revealed on social media he crashed into a parked car in Monaco on Monday.

In a post on Instagram, Lewis wrote: “Dear TeamLH, just wanted to let you know why things have been quiet on social media the past few days.
“I’ve not been well with a fever but I also had a road accident in Monaco on Monday night.
“Nobody was hurt, which is the most important thing.
“But the car was obviously damaged and I made very light contact with a stationary vehicle.
“Talking with the team and my doctor, we decided together that it was best for me to rest at home and leave a day later.
“But i am feeling better and am currently boarding the plane to Brazil.”

Lewis Hamilton USGP 2015 - copyright Mike Boudreaux

Lewis’ inaugural success at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace will be an emotional occasion for him when the day comes, as he will match another success held by Ayrton Senna. If he is to do so in the season he matched Senna’s three F1 titles and career wins, the year will go up another level.

Senna is not the only Brazilian to have tasted victory at home with Emerson Fittipaldi winning the first two Formula One races held at the circuit, followed by Carlos Pace whom the circuit is named after.

Most recently, Felipe Massa has taken the home win in Brazil with victories in 2006 and 2008, the latter of course being the day he could have become a Formula One champion had it not been for Hamilton overtaking Glock at the death to clinch his first title in dramatic fashion.

Lewis Hamilton 2008 Singapore GP - Copyright Jimmy Liew

Going into the weekend, Rosberg holds good form having won the Mexican Grand Prix a fortnight ago. Nico is also chasing his career best run of five pole positions in a row, which would put him level on personal best pole runs with Alonso and Vettel, with only Hamilton (7) boasting a better run.

Pole in Interlagos however does not necessarily help to secure a win, with just a 34% of the races held at the circuit being won from pole. That’s just 11 of 32 races and one of the lowest rates on the current calendar. But for the last two races here, pole has taken the win as Rosberg found out in 2014.

Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazilian GP Track Diagram - Copyright Formula1.com

The current layout of the Autódromo Carlos Pace consists of 15 corners, predominantly left-handers, with the track sitting on a plot of land originally purchased by two local property developers. Luckily for Formula One however, the plot of land was not suitable for properties and instead the owners decided to build a racetrack.

A few modifications have been made to the track over the years but the current layout has failed to remove the circuit from the heart of many drivers and fans. The elevation changes, types of corners and straights have also seen the track create drama & action, and decide more titles than just in 2008.

In fact, the Formula One title was decided in Brazil between 2005 and 2009 when Alonso (x2), Raikkonen, Hamilton and Button all claimed their` titles. Vettel also secured one of his four titles in Brazil in 2012, after rescuing his championship after falling to 22nd on the first lap following contact with Bruno Senna, Ayrton’s nephew.

Sebastian Vettel 2012 British GP - Copyright Paul Williams

The circuit’s current design still encompasses most of the original challenging corners, but without the long straights that made up the old first sector.

To link up the track, the current circuit instead begins with the Senna S. A downhill double corner that flows into the high speed turn three before the first DRS straight, Reta Oposta. The start of the Senna S also provides one of the best overtaking areas of the track as drivers break hard at the end of the DRS aided pit straight.

The middle section of the track begins to tighten up through a high and low elevation period, which can allow drivers to gain time under braking or try a lunge into the apex. A clean exit from this sector is vital however as the third sector begins with the uphill approach for the pit straight.

Alex Rossi - USGP - Photo copyright Joe McGowan

The 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix could be Alexander Rossi’s final race in Formula One as his current deal with Manor expires in order for him to compete in the GP2 Abu Dhabi round. Rossi is in talks with the team for a drive in 2016, but with nothing signed yet at the only unconfirmed team, a good finale could always do him a favour.

For the Brazilian Grand Prix, coverage on TV in the UK will come from both Sky Sports and the BBC.

Thursday November 12
13:00 – Drivers’ Press Conference – Live (Sky Sports F1)
20:45 – Paddock Uncut (Sky Sports F1)
21:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Friday November 13
11:45 – Brazilian GP Practice One – Live (Sky Sports F1)
11:55 – Brazilian GP Practice One – Live (BBC Two)
15:45 – Brazilian GP Practice Two – Live (Sky Sports F1)
15:45 – Brazilian GP Practice Two – Live (BBC Two)
18:00 – Team Principals’ Press Conference – Live (Sky Sports F1)
18:45 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)
20:00 – The F1 Show – Live (Sky Sports F1)

Saturday November 14
12:45 – Brazilian GP Practice Three – Live (Sky Sports F1)
12:55 – Brazilian GP Practice Three – Live (BBC Two)
15:00 – Brazilian GP Qualifying – Live (Sky Sports F1)
15:10 – Brazilian GP Qualifying – Live (BBC One)
16:00 – Brazilian GP Qualifying – Live (BBC Radio 5 Live)
19:15 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)
21:25 – Ted’s Qualifying Notebook (Sky Sports F1)

Sunday November 15
14:30 – The 2015 Brazilian GP – Track Parade – Live (Sky Sports F1)
15:00 – The 2015 Brazilian GP – Pit lane – Live (Sky Sports F1)
15:20 – The 2015 Brazilian GP – Race – Live (BBC One)
15:30 – The 2015 Brazilian GP – Race – Live (Sky Sports F1)
16:00 – The 2015 Brazilian GP – Race – Live (BBC Radio 5 Live)
18:00 – The 2015 Brazilian GP – Forum (BBC Red Button)
18:30 – The 2015 Brazilian GP – Paddock Live (Sky Sports F1)
22:00 – Ted’s Race Notebook (Sky Sports F1)