McLaren at the 2013 Formula One Brazilian Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
We’re now at the last race of the 2013 Formula One season, the Brazilian Grand Prix, which is once again being held at Interlagos’ Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, one of the oldest and most atmospheric venues on the calendar. At more than 2,800 feet above sea level, the track is also the highest. The altitude affects the performance of the cars by reducing the power from the engines by about seven percent.
The track gets its name from Jose Carlos Pace, who raced under the shorter name of Carlos Pace for Surtees and Brabham in the 1970s, winning his home grand prix in a Brabham in 1975. There have been several iterations of the track since it was built in 1940. The current 2.6-mile anti-clockwise layout dates back to 1990 and is one of the most physically demanding for the drivers because of its bumpy surface. A total of 71 laps will be taken this weekend.
The track has two high-speed sectors, a fast corner combination at the end of the long straight and the twisty infield section that requires a lot of grip, good ride quality and stability. The second sector is very technical and the other sectors are driven by speed. The compromise between downforce and drag is therefore key to getting a good lap time.
Pirelli has nominated its P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium tires for the weekend, which should be best suited to deal with the different demands of the track, where uncertain weather is always a key additional factor. The current weather forecast calls for rain across the weekend, but hopefully things clear up before Sunday’s race.
Sebastian Vettel’s win at the United States Grand Prix last weekend was the Red Bull Racing driver’s eighth straight win, a record for a single season. We very well could see the record fall again this weekend.
Going into the race, Sebastian Vettel’s points tally in the Drivers’ Championship is 372 points versus the 227 of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and 187 of Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull has 553, while Mercedes AMG retains its second place with 348 to Ferrari’s 333.