Unpredictable climate, a superb monitor and the return of the Dash – Sao Paulo is ready to ship on all fronts

As you hit the ultimate kilometre of the journey into Brazil’s iconic Interlagos circuit, you’ll discover numerous eye-catching artworks on the edges of flats, eating places and bars characterising drivers and key personnel from System 1’s wealthy historical past.

Brazil has lengthy had a love affair with System 1 so whereas each championships could have already been determined, that hasn’t dampened the passion of the nation’s followers because the sequence rolls into city for the penultimate spherical of the marketing campaign.

The Autodromo Jose Carlos Tempo is one among F1’s nice circuits and has delivered some unimaginable on-track moments over time. Former Ferrari driver and residential hero Felipe Massa has been a part of lots of these, essentially the most dramatic coming in 2008.

WATCH: From Montoya vs Schumacher to Senna’s residence win – 5 of essentially the most dramatic moments from Brazil’s F1 historical past

The Brazilian crossed the road to win his residence race for the second time – and in doing so, thought he had clinched the world title. However moments later, Lewis Hamilton handed Timo Glock and that was sufficient to grab the title away from Massa.


Massa got here closest to profitable the title again in 2008 – however was pipped by Hamilton

I headed out on a pushbike with Massa for a monitor information, which you’ll see in Sunday’s pre-race present on F1TV, and the 11-time race winner admitted that he nonetheless thinks about that second – the place he had one hand on the crown – typically.

However whereas the ache will at all times be there, as that was the closest he ever got here to reaching his racing dream, his overwhelming reminiscences of Interlagos might be completely happy ones – the Brazilian embraced by a nation which made him really feel like a hero each time he turned a wheel.

They will not have a Brazilian driver to cheer come Sunday, however they’ve the tantalising prospect of the third Dash weekend of the yr. And if it is something like final yr, when Lewis Hamilton delivered arguably his best ever efficiency, preventing from the again to fifth within the Dash after which climbing from tenth on race day to grab victory – it could possibly be a cracker.

THROUGH THE VISOR: ‘One of many races I’m most happy with’ – Hamilton recollects his unimaginable comeback win in Brazil

Repeating the trick this yr might be a tough feat for Hamilton – who this week was made an honorary citizen of Brazil, so cherished is he by the South American nation – as a result of whereas Mercedes have closed the hole to the entrance in current races, it’s the Purple Bull which is able to possible be essentially the most formidable automotive this weekend.


Hamilton’s well-known win right here final yr ranks as one among his best possible comebacks

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen has been in scintillating kind this yr, the Dutchman profitable a report 14 races already. Ought to the situations stay steady, it is tough to see how anybody can cease him including to that tally on Sunday.

Ferrari predict to be higher in Brazil. Although the monitor is at altitude, round 800m above sea degree, it is 1,500m decrease than it was in Mexico – the place they struggled within the thinner air and ran the engine at decrease energy ranges as a precaution. Charles Leclerc reckons they need to be in competition for pole on a structure that does encourage nice racing.

READ MORE: Leclerc and Sainz keep Mexico was a ‘one-off’ as they goal to bounce again in Brazil

It’s a circuit of two extremes, the primary and third sectors demanding a low-drag set-up to take advantage of the lengthy straights – however the center sector is twisty and requires a heap of downforce to get essentially the most lap time.

Flip 1 affords one of the best shot at an overtake, the left-hander banked closely which unloads the front-left tyre and causes lock ups. However to also have a shot right here, you want an excellent exit out of Flip 12, because it’s full throttle from there for 1.2km to the primary nook braking zone.


Ferrari had been off the tempo in Mexico – however are hoping to be within the combine right here

You’ve obtained a shot at Flip 4, too, this nook the scene of many a notable incident, most lately final yr when title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen obtained very up shut and private.

There’s loads of elevation change – one thing which is difficult to see on tv. There is a drop of round 40 metres from the start-finish straight to Flip 4. Then an elevation change of 33 metres from Flip 12 to the primary nook.

And at last there’s the climate to think about. It is cooler and rainier this time of yr in Sao Paulo, with the forecast suggesting there could possibly be moist stuff on all three days of motion. That ought to spice issues up on a weekend when the Dash format means there’s much less observe – and thus much less information – to work with.

GOOD LAP vs GREAT LAP: Easy methods to maximise a lap on the Autodromo Jose Carlos Tempo

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