Friday, November 22, 2013

BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX 2013

The Brazilian Grand Prix (Portuguese: Grande Prêmio do Brasil) is a Formula One championship race which occurs at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos, a district in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

The Brazilian Grand Prix was first held in 1972 at the bumpy and demanding Interlagos circuit, located in São Paulo, although it was not part of the Formula One World Championship. The following year, however, the race was first included in the official calendar, and it was won by defending world champion and São Paulo local Emerson Fittipaldi. In 1978 the Brazilian Grand Prix moved to Jacarepaguá in Rio de Janeiro. Argentine Carlos Reutemann dominated in his Ferrari, which was equipped with superior Michelin tires. This proved to be the famed French rubber marque's first victory in Formula One. Reutemann was followed by home favorite Fittipaldi and defending champion Niki Lauda.

The race returned to Interlagos for the next two seasons. But in 1980, the neighborhood of Interlagos was becoming increasingly run-down and the growing slums surrounding the circuit did not look good for the glamorous image of Formula One; and the drivers were dissatisfied with the safety conditions of the very bumpy 5-mile Interlagos circuit, and Jody Scheckter attempted to stop the race from going ahead; but this did not work and the race ended up being won by Frenchman Rene Arnoux.

After the emergence in 1980 of Rio de Janeiro racer Nelson Piquet and the retirement of Fittipaldi, Brazilian fans lobbied to host the Brazilian GP in Piquet's home town. The flat Jacarepaguá circuit, like Interlagos before it, proved to be extremely demanding: most corners were long and fast, some were slightly banked and the track had a very abrasive surface, thus rewarding high performing pilots and punishing those who were not up to the challenge. Due to the FIA calendar, which invariably had the Brazilian GP at the beginning of the season thus in the Southern hemisphere summer, most races were held under very high temperatures. Due to all of those circumstances, Grands Prix at Rio were epic affairs and most drivers who won it were exhausted in the end.

Paulista Ayrton Senna's success thus far in Formula One had city officials working hard to revamp the Interlagos circuit in a $15 million investment to shorten and smooth over the circuit. In 1990 the Grand Prix returned to a shortened Interlagos, where it has stayed since.

The Interlagos circuit has created some of the most exciting and memorable races in recent Formula One history, and is regarded as one of the most challenging and exciting circuits on the F1 calendar. Along with Spa-Francorchamps, it is rare in that the circuit in its modern form is one of the few with a lengthy history in the sport not considered to have lost much of its mystique or challenge in its adaptation for the modern, much more safety-conscious era of 21st century Formula One.

The Brazilian Grand Prix is often looked on by engineers and strategists in F1 as the biggest uncertainty of the season – it’s a very difficult race to plan for.

The weather often plays a part; last year was a perfect example. It was the championship deciding race, held in tricky wet/dry conditions. When it rains it is very hard to predict how long it will last and how hard it will rain. Then when it stops, there can be dry parts of the circuit and rivers running across other areas. Last year’s race was won by not switching to wet tyres when it rained!

TRACK CHARACTERISTICS

Track length : 4.309 kilometres
Race distance : 71 laps (305.909 kilometres)
Corners : 15 corners in total
Average speed : 210km/hAerodynamic setup : Med/High downforce
Top speed : 323km/h (with DRS open) 311km/h without
Full throttle : 61% of the lap time (ave/high)
Total fuel needed for race distance : 134 kilos (ave/low)
Fuel consumption : 1.9 kg per lap (low)
Brake wear : light
Number of braking events : 6
Time spent braking : 16% of the lap
Total time needed for a pit stop : 18 seconds
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.31 seconds (ave)

WEATHER

The forecast for this weekend is for temperatures around 30-33 degrees with little chance of rain. Rain showers are a common occurrence in Sao Paolo at this time of year and many Brazilian Grands Prix have experienced sudden showers over the years and no-one will factor rain out of their planning.

TYRES

Pirelli tyre choice for Brazil: Medium (white markings) and Hard (Orange markings). This combination has been seen several times including Austin, Spa, Monza and Suzuka. Last year the key strategy call was to stay out when rain started to fall in the early stages with the dry tyres on which the race had been started, but few teams were able to do that, as they could not generate enough temperature in the tyres. Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg managed it and it set Button up for the win.

 SAFETY CAR

The chances of a Safety Car are high at 63%. The Safety Car has been used in seven of the last ten races. It is often called into action on the first lap, as it’s a short lap with 24 cars charging into tight corners. This makes the Safety Car an important element to factor into Race Strategy planning and having plenty of different plans is advisable.

DRS

Two DRS zones will be set up on the Interlagos circuit for this weekend’s race, the first time multiple zones have been used at the track. To the existing zone on the Reta Oposta straight an additional DRS activation point on the pit straight will be added. Drivers will be able to activate DRS 60 metres before the turn 15 kink which marks the end of the lap.


The previous DRS zone on the straight leading to Descida do Lago will be shortened by 153 metres. Drivers will not only be able to use DRS after they have exited turn three.

CONCLUSION

Last year’s race was won by McLaren’s Jenson Button, with McLaren taking a front row lock out in qualifying. Red Bull won the race for the previous three years, Mark Webber, who is making his final Grand Prix start, won in 2011 and in 2009, while Sebastian Vettel won in 2010. Felipe Massa won the race for Ferrari in 2006 and 2008, Kimi Raikkonen won the race in 2007.

Will I be watching? NO! Didn't watch the Austin race either, so predictable that Vettel will win again and set another record (yawn). Lewis Hamilton said it as much:
"If he doesn't finish, that's the best chance! Even if it rains he still has more downforce, the car works much better. It's going to be better in whatever weather, even if it snows! So there's not really a huge amount of hope in that sense."
So here we are at the end of another (boring) season. Next year will bring a lot of changes and hopefully Red Bull won't be so dominant again. I can't really bear to go through another season like this.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Lewis Hamilton fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.


1 comment:

Super Man said...

Brazilian Grand Prix is a Formula One championship race which is currently held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos neighborhood, Socorro district, São Paulo. It is one of most challenging f1 races in the world; it is a full time entertainment for formula 1 lovers. Watch F1 Brazil Grand Prix 2015 Live