Samba party as Formula One arrives in Brazil
Formula One moves south from Austin to Sao Paulo and the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend. The penultimate round of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship visits one of its more notable and historic venues in Interlagos with the eighteenth race of the year at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. Pace won the Brazilian race for Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team but was killed in a flying accident and the circuit named after him. He is one of a number of Brazilian racers who cut their teeth on the famous track including Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Ayrton Senna.
Sunday’s race will see a continuation of the duel between Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Hamilton can win the championship by finishing second to Rosberg at this and the final race in Abu Dhabi. However, the Englishman, who has won 10 of the season’s races, has made it clear that he wants to win and dominate the remaining events. Double points at the final Yas Marina race will be on both their minds and it is difficult to see anyone else challenging for race wins outside the Mercedes garage.
The sport continues to be the subject of media speculation on the future of teams and drivers. Marussia and Caterham both remain under the control of administrators back in the UK and will not attend the race this weekend, while on the driver front the focus is on Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Button seems likely to leave McLaren at the end of the year and these could be the last two races for the likeable 2009 World Champion.
Day One - Rosberg fastest in Brazil on day one
Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in both of Friday’s practice sessions ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo. The German was comfortably quicker than championship rival Lewis Hamilton, knowing that he has to win in Brazil to ensure that he maximises his chances of turning around a 24 point deficit in the last two events. There are 75 points available to the winner of the next two races with the final race in Abu Dhabi counting double.
Hamilton will be looking to turn his on-track performance around during today’s qualifying session ahead of tomorrow’s race. Wet weather often plays a key role in the Brazilian Grand Prix and it will be crucial to be at the head of the pack. Hamilton is no stranger to dramatic races around the Interlagos track and secured his Drivers’ World Championship in a memorable race at the circuit back in 2008.
Third quickest on Friday was Kimi Raikkonen while his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso suffered an engine fire as the announcement came through that one of the two struggling teams – Marussia – had ceased trading after failing to secure funding prior to the deadline set by British administrators.
Day Two -Rosberg on top in dramatic qualifying – now for the race.
Nico Rosberg continued his dominance of the Brazilian Grand Prix by taking pole position ahead of his Mercedes team-mate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton in an enthralling qualifying session at Interlagos. Hamilton looked like he had poached the front spot in the he dying seconds, but Rosberg again pulled a superior lap out of the bag to complete the session .033 seconds ahead of the Englishman.
The German has been quickest throughout the weekend so far and knows that a win tomorrow is vitally important to ensure that he maximises his chances of turning around a 24 point deficit in the last two events. There are 75 points available to the winner of the next two races with the final race in Abu Dhabi counting double.
The forecast rain has not materialised so far, but there is a chance it could be wet for Sunday’s race. Historically, wet weather can play a key role in the Brazilian Grand Prix and often produces a dramatic race. Hamilton is no stranger to dramatic races around the Interlagos track and secured his Drivers’ World Championship in a memorable race at the circuit back in 2008.
Home favourite Felipe Massa sent the crowd into raptures posting third quickest in the Williams with his team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth. Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion and the centre of much speculation that this could be the last couple of races in his F1 career, was fifth. Reigning Champion Sebastian Vettel sixth, Kevin Magnussen seventh, Alonso eighth, Ricciardo ninth and Kimi Raikkonen tenth.
Now watch the drama unfold! Brazil has a habit of producing interesting results – remember Felipe Massa thinking he had won the championship in ’08 only to be pipped a few seconds later by Hamilton on the final lap; Vettel ending up facing the wrong way but still coming through; Senna winning with only one working gear on his McLaren and suffering from shoulder cramps and many, many more. Tomorrow’s race could be a cliff hanger and set us up for a nail-biting finish to the season in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month.
Yallabahrain will bring you the drama from the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace as it unfolds tomorrow along with images from the team at Sutton Images.