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Old 10 Nov 2017, 09:52 (Ref:3779749)   #1
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Brazilian Grand Prix 2017: Grand Prix Weekend Thread

Interlagos – this is one of the great circuits and almost always stages drama and emotion. It has hosted opening and closing races to many seasons and now it brings us the penultimate Grand Prix of 2017. The raucous and ebullient fans cheer from the grandstands that sit so close to the circuit that they make an amphitheatre of it. The track plunges downhill into Turn 1, setting the drivers off on a rollercoaster ride of a lap, with some interesting gradient changes affecting the corners. It is a bit like Suzuka in that regard, but less polished a place, and although like many a circuit, any bumps have been smoothed out, it remains nonetheless a traditional track with a rough-round-the-edges quality.

The only track with facilities that eschew the contemporary slickness of 21st Century Formula 1 (even when Bernie Ecclestone was busy panning Silverstone, Interlagos curiously escaped his ire), São Paulo continues to bring us nailbiting tension, spectacular overtakes and big upsets year on year. Before we go back to the new world of the Middle East, let us enjoy a final fling at raw racing in an oldschool setting at a place with evocative corner names instead of mere numbered turns.

There is so much for us to look forward to. Newly-crowned quadruple World Champion Lewis Hamilton arrives in Interlagos having taken his first win a year ago. In 2008, he took his first championship by the skin of his teeth, in the famous race where Felipe Massa was supposedly “world champion for 30 seconds”. This notion is actually a complete misconception as Ferrari and Felipe celebrated too early. It had been raining and Hamilton and race leader Massa both pitted for intermediates, but in their haste to celebrate, the Scuderia had not allowed for Hamilton finding a way past Timo Glock who was slithering about on his dry-weather tyres. That he did so at the final corner of the season to take the points he needed capped one of the most dramatic endings to a sporting event in recorded history. The Constructors’ Championship seemed little comfort for Ferrari, as a mechanic headbutted a glass wall in the pits and Fiat president Luca di Montezemolo reportedly broke a TV. This year, Felipe arrives facing his swansong Brazilian Grand Prix and he is sure to get a great reception from everyone, not only his native people.

2008 was one of two home victories for Massa. The other was in 2006 when he led from pole to the finish. It was Michael Schumacher who made all the headlines, though, in what was expected to be his final race, after having hit problems in qualifying, which restricted him to 10th on the grid. He was relegated to 19th place on Lap 9 after a collision and made it back to fourth, overtaking Kimi Räikkönen near the end.

It was the Finn who won his only world championship to date the next year, when he also took his sole win in Interlagos so far, vanquishing McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso who finished the season tied on points, but with Lewis coming out ahead in the title race on countback. Lewis had been heading into the race with a decent chance of an astonishing and unique championship in a debut year. However, he ran wide at the end of the Reta Oposta and then hit car trouble.

It nearly wasn't the only win for Kimi. In 2003, Renault’s Fernando Alonso shunted on the start-finish straight, bringing out the red flags in a wet race in which he speared into the inside wall. Räikkönen was declared the victor on countback, despite Giancarlo Fisichella taking the chequered flag having overtaken the McLaren driver. The Jordan winner entered the pits on fire in a strange ending to the race. The decision to award the win to Räikkönen was overturned in the F.I.A. Court of Appeal in Paris a few days later when it was confirmed that Fisi was in fact the winner, because he had crossed the line in the lead twice before Alonso’s crash (the race result was taken from the running order two laps before the race stoppage). Fisichella claimed his winner’s trophy back from Kimi in a bizarre start-finish ceremony at the next Grand Prix, taking Jordan’s final win in Formula 1.

In 2012, Vettel took his third consecutive championship, despite spinning on the first lap and narrowly avoiding being hit. Another memorable year was 2001, when Juan-Pablo Montoya announced his presence on the Formula 1 scene with an audacious move on Michael Schumacher to take the lead, before being taken out by current F1 star Max Verstappen’s father Jos.

Back in 1997, eventual world champion of that year Jacques Villeneuve won the race after having got in a tangle at the first corner. Unlike these days, if there was a red flag back then, you could jump into the spare car.

All these examples are fairly modern, but Brazilian Grands Prix had started being run at the Gavea circuit in Rio de Janeiro in 1936. Interlagos was first developed when in the late 1930s, two property developers bought the land, only to discover it was unsuitable for housing. It was finished in 1940. Just like the previous race in Mexico City, the first Grand Prix held at the circuit wasn’t a world championship event, joining the Formula 1 World Championship the following year. Argentina's Carlos Reutemann won the first Braziian Grand Prix in his Brabham, while São Paulo native Emerson Fittipaldi took the spoils in the inaugural Formula 1 race for Lotus.

In 1974, the start was delayed when officials had to sweep the track to clear away broken glass that the excitable crowd had put on it. When the flag dropped to signal the start of the race, it caught several drivers out and Reutemann went into the lead. After his tyres went off, leader Ronnie Peterson battled with Emerson Fittipaldi, but Peterson developed a puncture (possibly from some of the glass). The race was stopped on Lap 32 of 40, due to heavy rain, and home hero Fittipaldi took his second Brazilian win on the bounce, this time for McLaren-Ford.

In 1975, São Paulo native Carlos Pace won his only Formula 1 race in Brazil. He was to be killed in a plane accident two years later and the circuit is now named after him, being the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. The following year, Tom Pryce scored his only podium, for Shadow, in third behind winner Niki Lauda and second-placed Patrick Depailler in his Tyrrell-Ford. Ferrari's Reutemann won from Hunt and Lauda in 1977, while in 1978 Reutemann won again in the Ferrari (the first ever win for a Michelin-shod car), with Emerson Fittipaldi securing an excellent second place in his own team's car. The next year, it was a Ligier 1-2, Laffite leading home Depailler. It was another French 1-2 in 1980, this time with Jabouille’s Renault winning in front of Pironi’s Ligier.

The race switched to the Jacarepaguá circuit in Rio in 1981. Reutemann led home Alan Jones and ignored an instruction from Williams to let Jones past. Jones refused to show up to the podium celebrations.

In 1982, Nelson Piquet came home first in his Brabham and eventual world champion Keke Rosberg was second in his Williams, but both cars were disqualified, due to their ballast water tank, which cooled the brakes, emptied during the race and filled up at the end. These disqualifications led to the FOCA teams boycotting San Marino a fortnight later. Alain Prost was therefore declared the winner for Renault.

Nigel Mansell won on his debut for Ferrari in 1989, the first person since Mario Andretti to do so in 1971 and the last until Kimi Räikkönen in 2007. A spectator ran across the track just as he crossed the line.

The race switched back to a reconfigured Interlagos in 1991.

In 1994, there was a four-car collision between Eddie Irvine, Martin Brundle, Jos Verstappen and Éric Bernard, which led to Irvine being banned for three races. It can make you wince to watch how Brundle’s neck shook about in the cockpit. Ayrton Senna spun out in his Williams while chasing down and closing down the gap to eventual race winner Michael Schumacher.

Interlagos is full of tricky camber changes, ascents and descents. The drivers dive into Turn 1, a downhill left-hander nowadays known as the Senna ‘S’, which then goes 90 right and which is followed by a long left-hander, the Curva do Sol. This takes them onto the Reta Oposta, an opportunity for overtaking present here particularly on the opening lap depending on the exit from the previous corner. From my understanding of Portuguese, ‘Reta Oposto’ should mean ‘back straight’. The explanation for why this would therefore be the back straight lies in a comparison with the old layout used before the 80s. The track used to go left at Curva 1 and go out wider than the Senna ‘S’ takes them nowadays. So, the Curva do Sol was a corner which was on the infield of the old circuit and was followed by the Reta Oposto. A look at an old track map shows the wider layout of the former configuration.

Back to 2017 and the drivers enter the Descida do Lago, which is a really quick left-hander for which they brake extremely late (around 50 metres before the turn). They have to maintain speed and not run wide, which it is easy to do. There are two apexes here. This takes them back onto another brief straight before they begin to ascend again. The tremendous Ferradura (which means ‘Horse Shoe’) and Laranjinha (named after oranges) is effectively a long double-apex right-hander and getting themselves on the apex is essential to winding the car up the hill effectively. Once they plateau, drivers enter some of the tricky, technical corners, the cambers presenting them with an added challenge. Right-hander Turn 8 doesn’t seem to have a name and goes into the Pinheirinho (Little Pine Tree) left-hander. ‘Bico do Pato’ (Duck Bill) follows and is a lot like Turn 8, but it’s particularly easy to lock up here on the way in.

Mergulho is a quick left-hander where drivers keep their foot planted but have to be careful to balance the car on the correct line before they dare to brake as late as possible for Junçao, carrying a lot of speed in, but maintaining traction up the hill before taking the Subida dos Boxes and Arquibancadas curves, two left-handers which are basically a case of maintaining speed and possibly lining themselves up for a pass. What a magnificent circuit Interlagos is.

If the track wasn't exciting enough, the weather also loves to throw a spanner in the works, as we have so often seen.

Constructors’ championship standings: https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2017/team.html

Drivers’ championship standings: https://www.formula1.com/en/results....7/drivers.html

Brazilian Grand Prix tyre selections: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/h...elections.html

Circuit length: 4.309km
Number of laps: 71
Race distance: 305.909km
Dry weather tyre compounds: Soft, Medium and Hard
DRS Detection Zone 1: Senna ‘S’ (between Turns 1 and 2)
DRS Activation Zone 1: Reta Oposta (straight between Turns 3 and 4)
DRS Detection Zone 2: between Junçao and Subida Dos Boxes (Turns 13 and 14)
DRS Activation Zone 2: on start-finish straight
Speed trap: before Senna ‘S’ (Turn 1)

Lap Record: 1:11.473 (2004 – Juan-Pablo Montoya – Williams-BMW)
First Grand Prix: 1972
First World Championship Grand Prix: 1973
First World Championship Grand Prix on current layout: 1991

Join in the fun in the Fantasy F1 competition: http://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=149774
Try your hand at the predictions contest: http://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=149762

Current layout:



And the old circuit:

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Old 10 Nov 2017, 10:06 (Ref:3779751)   #2
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steve_r should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridsteve_r should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridsteve_r should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Sounds like they have been working on improving the drainage in a few areas for this years race. The rivers running across the track have been an issue here many times.

I love this track. Hoping for a strong weekend from Massa, and hopefully a good three team battle for the win.
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 10:58 (Ref:3779756)   #3
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S griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Nice to see the old intro by BR back there, always good to see. Glad they are trying to improve drainage, hopefully if it is wet we won't see too many SCs or red flags like last time
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 13:58 (Ref:3779776)   #4
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RWill2073 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridRWill2073 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridRWill2073 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridRWill2073 should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
After winning by half a lap last race, what happens if it rains this year? Could verstappen start on the first couple rows, pass them to first on lap one, and lap the field??? Wouldn't that he simply lovely...
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 14:04 (Ref:3779777)   #5
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Excellent intro as ever. You gave me the idea to do them on the IndyCar section.

One of my favourite tracks but a bit of a shame both the WDC and WCC have been decided. However, can Mercedes make a clean sweep of it, with Bottas as runner up, with only this and Abu Dhabi to go?
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 14:15 (Ref:3779780)   #6
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That's a good idea, bjohnsonsmith. Indycar has so much history you can document in it.

I would imagine Hamilton won't be gifting places to Bottas in his quest for second, so Valtteri's going to have to work for it.
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 14:30 (Ref:3779782)   #7
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That's a good idea, bjohnsonsmith. Indycar has so much history you can document in it.

I would imagine Hamilton won't be gifting places to Bottas in his quest for second, so Valtteri's going to have to work for it.
I've been doing them for the last couple of years, but this is where I got the idea from. Indeed, so much history and it sets the scene for the up coming race weekend.

I doubt Hamilton will gift Bottas places but I'm sure Mercedes would like to see a clean sweep. Vettel as runner up would sour an excellent season.
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 14:49 (Ref:3779786)   #8
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Let's make this a Hamilton thread! (please God no...)

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Old 10 Nov 2017, 15:03 (Ref:3779789)   #9
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Let's make this a Hamilton thread! (please God no...)

Richard
Isn't that up to the rest of the grid to make it about them?

In fact, it would be really good for the race thread to stay far away from Hamilton, because that means other drivers will have done things to talk about.
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 15:31 (Ref:3779793)   #10
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S griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Once again Ricciardo and STR are likely to be hampered by those ridiculous grid penalties
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 15:50 (Ref:3779801)   #11
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great intro BR!

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Back in 1997, eventual world champion of that year Jacques Villeneuve won the race after having got in a tangle at the first corner. Unlike these days, if there was a red flag back then, you could jump into the spare car.
loved the T-Car option and the potential for a race within a race!

i think it was Barri running back to the pits which meant he got back faster then his team mate and got to the spare car first.

not sure thats how it worked but thats the way i remember it!



Ferrari's best poster of the year!
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 16:01 (Ref:3779803)   #12
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S griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridS griffin should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
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great intro BR!







loved the T-Car option and the potential for a race within a race!



i think it was Barri running back to the pits which meant he got back faster then his team mate and got to the spare car first.



not sure thats how it worked but thats the way i remember it!







Ferrari's best poster of the year!


Yes, there are a lot things from that season that have been forgotten, but it was a great season. I only recently found out that Schumi and JV never actually shared a podium all season
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 16:06 (Ref:3779805)   #13
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I only recently found out that Schumi and JV never actually shared a podium all season
right?

this is a crazier fact then three drivers setting the same time in qualifying (Jerez 97)!
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 17:24 (Ref:3779815)   #14
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Cracking intro

Looking forward to this one. Hopefully I'll get to watch it in real time!
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Old 10 Nov 2017, 21:57 (Ref:3779840)   #15
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I've been doing them for the last couple of years, but this is where I got the idea from. Indeed, so much history and it sets the scene for the up coming race weekend.

I doubt Hamilton will gift Bottas places but I'm sure Mercedes would like to see a clean sweep. Vettel as runner up would sour an excellent season.
But would lend credence to "how competitive" the championship is, and prosecute the case for keeping the power units.

Great to see another epic intro B.R. !
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