- Author James Roberts
- Published November 22, 2013
Brazilian Grand Prix: pub knowledge
Formula 1′s fat lady is getting ready to sing… It can only mean one thing: Brazil Grand Prix and party time. Here’s all you need to know from F1 Racing‘s James Roberts…
From the heart
The final round of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship takes place at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, one of the oldest and most atmospheric venues on the calendar. The 4.3km circuit is located in the district of Interlagos in the heart of São Paulo, Brazil.
Grind and bump
There have been several iterations of the circuit (named after former Brabham driver Carlos Pace) and the current anti-clockwise layout dates back to 1990. Despite being regularly resurfaced the track is notoriously bumpy which puts huge demands on the drivers.
Located 800 metres above sea-level, the altitude has a detrimental effect on engine performance. Engineers estimate a power loss of 13 per cent at the Interlagos venue.
World champion Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to take eight consecutive Formula 1 wins (in a single season) with victory last weekend in the United States Grand Prix. The record for most wins in a year is 13 – scored by his compatriot Michael Schumacher in 2004. If Vettel wins in Brazil, he will equal that record.
Fernando Alonso has secured the runners-up spot in this year’s drivers’ world championship, but he has now gone 13 races without a win – the longest victory drought since he joined Ferrari in 2010.
McLaren’s Jenson Button will make his 247th grand prix start on Sunday – a record for a British driver, overtaking David Coulthard who ended his driving career in F1 at this circuit in 2008. Button started his Formula 1 career in 2000 at the age of 20.
Nearly man, nearly done
This is Mark Webber’s final grand prix. After Brazil the Australian is leaving Formula 1 to drive sportscars for Porsche. He made his debut in 2002 and has 214 grand prix starts, nine victories, 32 other podium finishes, 13 pole positions and 18 fastest laps. What chance a final victory for Red Bull at his final race?
The despair in joy
Another driver aiming for victory is local hero Felipe Massa, who is driving his last race for Ferrari, having joined the team in 2006. The Brazilian won his home race in 2008, thinking he’d done enough to win the world championship. Only for Lewis Hamilton to pass Timo Glock at the very last corner on the last lap of the race (to take fifth place) and pip Massa to the title by one point. Williams have confirmed that Felipe will drive for them in 2014.
This weekend F1 bids farewell to Cosworth. The engine privateer has powered a total of 176 F1 victories (with Ford), second in the all-time list behind Ferrari. After eight years it’s also the last race for 2.4-litre V8 engines, as new 1.6-litre V6 powerplants usher in a new engine formula for 2014.
End of the road
Renault aims to end this season on a high note having become the most successful engine manufacturer of the V8 era, with five constructors’ and drivers’ titles. In total, Renault’s V8 engines have taken 59 wins, 65 pole positions and 55 fastest laps. In the past eight years the French manufacturer has built 1,271 engines, 683 for track use, 588 for dyno use, completing a total of two million kilometres. That’s 21,800 pistons and 22,000 spark plugs…
James Roberts is associate editor of F1 Racing magazine and is writing regular blogs around the Formula 1 season
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