2017 Brazilian Grand Prix Preview
Momentum? With Max Verstappen’s decisive win in Mexico City, Red Bull Racing still has custody of Big Mo. For the moment, at least.
Needs A Good Run? All the good seats for 2018 have been claimed. This race weekend has much more to do with next year than this one.
Sentimental Favorite? Felipe Massa will be making his last driving appearance before his countrymen at Interlagos for the second year in a row.
“We are looking for another strong performance at Interlagos following a really fun race in the wet last year. I really enjoyed 2016, there were some great battles and overtakes which resulted in a hard earned podium. I also had a big moment near pit lane entry which was a close call, I managed to save it and carry on to achieve a good result. As you would expect I’m hoping for another damp race weekend as I don’t think we can be as competitive there in the dry, especially with the elevation changes on the straight, it is not our strongest point. Being such a narrow starting grid you often end up really close to the grandstand which is a pretty unique and exciting experience. The Brazilian fans are so passionate and vocal so it is always special to feel the atmosphere from the crowd before the start. I think the history of F1 in Brazil means it has a massive following and this is clear to see across the race weekend. The food in Brazil is very good, the Churrascaria restaurants serve unbelievable grilled meat. Although it is nearly the end of the season I still have to be careful what I eat in order to stay the correct weight, this is a shame as I would like to get involved in the local cuisine.” Max Verstappen, Red Bull driver
“Interlagos is one of the great ‘classic’ tracks on the calendar, with an incredible history and a long list of famous names that have lifted the trophy. It’s also one of the most dramatic Grands Prix of the year – there are always incidents and action and the weather plays a big part in the outcome. This circuit should suit our car better than the last couple of tracks, so we hope we can give ourselves the best chance in qualifying as starting position is very important in a race where a lot can happen. It’s a really fun track – a short lap with a good flow, and the new cars this year will make it feel even faster. During the race, if you can get a good rhythm through the final corner it really helps down the start-finish straight and into Turn 1, and then you can attack the first corner going into the next lap. It’s part of what makes this circuit so exciting. After the USA and Mexico, we’re looking ahead to Brazil and Abu Dhabi with a bit more expectation as we knew those tracks would be really difficult for us. However, Mexico was definitely a surprise and we performed better than we anticipated. This will surely be a tricky race and there are always risks to take with the weather and strategy, but if we can start the race from where we should be in qualifying, it could give us a good chance to score some points.” Fernando Alonzo, McLaren driver
“It’s a pretty tough track with not much opportunity for a rest. Even in the straight lines you can’t rest as much as you would like. You’re at altitude as well, at 800 metres (2,625 feet), so coming from Mexico that’s nothing, but you’re still not at sea level. The weather can be challenging. It can be very warm and humid. It’s a pretty intense challenge but, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re looking for. Generally, it’s a track I really like. I like the Senna ‘S’, and the first few corners are pretty amazing. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s evolved with the heavy rain we know you can get in Brazil. We’ll just go out there and see what we can do. Brazil is always special because of Ayrton Senna. He was one of the biggest names in Formula 1. Interlagos is a special place. There’s so much history there. On race day you’ve got so much support from the fans. I remember Ayrton winning there in 1991 when he couldn’t hold the trophy in the air because he was so tired and had the pain in his arms from driving.” Romain Grosjean, Haas driver
“Brazil, my home race! It is always very special, and I will never forget what happened last year. Last year’s result was terrible, but the love, people and reception I witnessed was amazing. It’s fantastic to race at home, in the place where I started my career, and I’m looking forward to having a good race. I’ve had many good races in Brazil. Unfortunately, the last two years I didn’t but I really hope we can this year and I can enjoy being in my town, with my people. I really hope we have a good result, that is the most important thing.” Felipe Massa, Williams driver
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