Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos, home of the Formula One Brazilian Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
Who could have asked for a better season of Formula One than the one we got this year. It started in Melbourne, Australia in mid-March and this Sunday, the longest season in the history of the sport will reach its climax at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos, home of the Brazilian Grand Prix
It will be a true climax, as we could see a new world champion crowned. That’s right, the 2012 Drivers’ Championship title is still up for grabs, with reigning champ Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso the only drivers still in contention.
The Brazilian Grand Prix itself is a highlight of the F1 season, and the track at Interlagos is one of the best. The 2.6-mile track is one of the oldest in F1, having hosted its first world championship grand prix in 1973.
It’s been altered and made safer since that first race, but it retains much of its original character. It’s bumpy, undulating and narrow, and it’s one of five anti-clockwise circuits on the 2012 calendar. A total of 71 laps will be taken.
At more than 2,800 feet above sea level, the track is also the highest on the F1 calendar. The altitude affects the performance of the cars by reducing the power from the engines by about seven percent. Sole tire supplier Pirelli has brought its P Zero Silver hard and P Zero White medium compounds.
Going into tomorrow’s qualifying session and Sunday’s eventual race, Vettel has a nice edge over Alonso thanks to his 273 points versus the Spaniard’s 260. Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen is a distant third with 206 points.
Red Bull Racing was awarded the title for the 2012 Constructors’ Championship at last week’s United States Grand Prix
after amassing an unbeatable 440 points. The race for second is still alive, with Ferrari’s 367 points putting it just ahead of McLaren, which has 353 points.
Note, the Brazilian Grand Prix will also mark Michael Schumacher’s 308th and final F1 race. The seven-time world champion is set to retire for the second time, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton set to replace him
at Mercedes-AMG next season.