Brazil plays host to the 19th and final round of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship as teams make their way to São Paulo and the suburb of Interlagos, home of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
The lap of Interlagos is one of the year’s shortest but it crams a lot into its 15 turns and 4.3 kilometres. It presents a classic demand for compromise between the high-downforce requirements of the looping medium-low speed middle section and the flat-out, low-drag search for ultimate top speed that characterises the long section uphill from the Junção corner to the start-finish line, which then drops down to the overtaking-friendly, heavy-braking Senna S.
As in 2012, Pirelli will bring its Hard and Medium compounds to Interlagos. The rain-affected 2012 race provides few clues to strategy but key to Jenson Button’s victory last year was his ability to run on slicks in marginal conditions, winning on a two-stop strategy while his pursuers made an extra stop for rain tyres. The forecasts suggest rain may play a part again.
Even if rain does fall, the 2013 edition is unlikely to deliver quite the level of drama seen in 2012’s title-decider. However, although the main issues of the season have been resolved, F1 goes to Interlagos with questions still to be answered. There are tight battles up and down the field in the Constructors’ Championship, not least of which is the competition for second place. In the USA, Mercedes increased their lead over Ferrari to 15 points, while Lotus remain a long-shot thanks to Romain Grosjean’s sterling efforts in Austin. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Marussia and Caterham are fighting to avoid finishing the season in last place. Marussia currently hold tenth, courtesy of Jules Bianchi’s 13th-place finish in Malaysia. In the normal course of events it would be difficult to imagine that being under threat – but Interlagos is perfectly capable of springing a surprise.
AUTÓDROMO JOSÉ CARLOS PACE (INTERLAGOS)
Length of lap: 4.309km Lap record:
1:11.473 (Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 2004) Start/finish line offset: 0.030km Total number of race laps: 71 Total race distance: 305.909km Pitlane speed limits:
80km/h throughout the weekend.
CHANGES TO THE CIRCUIT SINCE 2012
► New debris fences have been installed on both sides of the track between Turns Three and Four
► Race control has been renovated with new high definition camera feeds and other enhancements.
► There are two DRS zones at Interlagos. Zone One has a detection point at the apex of Turn Two with activation 20m after Turn Three. Zone Two has its detection point 30m after Turn 13 and activation 60m before Turn 15.
Brazilian GP Fast Facts
► Sebastian Vettel’s sixth place in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix made him a triple world champion. It was the sixth time the Drivers’ Championship has been decided at Interlagos since the race was moved to the back end of the calendar in 2004. Fernando Alonso (’05, ’06) Kimi Räikkönen (’07), Lewis Hamilton (’08) and Jenson Button (’09) also sealed their titles at this circuit. Only Räikkönen marked the occasion with a victory.
► McLaren have a record 12 victories in Brazil. Emerson Fittipaldi triumphed at home in 1974, as did Ayrton Senna in ’91 and ’93. Alain Prost won in ’84, ’85, ’87 and ’88, Mika Hakkinen in ’98 and ’99, David Coulthard in 2001, Juan Pablo Montoya in ’05 and Button last year.
► Button is scheduled to 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.
► Prost’s four McLaren victories are bracketed by wins for Renault (’82) and Ferrari (’90) making him the most successful driver in the history of the race. He and Carlos Reutemann are the only drivers to have won the race both in Rio and São Paulo.
► The current 4.3km layout of Interlagos has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix since 1990. Prior to this the race was held in Rio at the Jacarepaguá circuit (’78,’81-’89) and on the original 8km Interlagos layout (’73-’77, ’79-’80).
► Vettel’s victory in Austin was his eighth consecutive win of 2013, beating a record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004. This weekend Vettel can equal the nine consecutive victories recorded by Alberto Ascari. Ascari’s record was set over the season’s 1952-1953 and is only applicable if the Indianapolis 500 (in which Ascari and other ‘regular’ F1 drivers did not participate) is discounted.
► Interlagos historically has provided excellent overtaking opportunities. In the modern times Turns One & Two (Senna S) and Turns Four & Five (Descida do Lago) have provided the bulk of the overtaking action. Records show that from 30 races at this circuit, pole position has only led to victory on 10 occasions. The only driver to win from pole this century is Felipe Massa, who managed the feat in both ’06 and ’08.
► This is Mark Webber’s final grand prix. To date, the Australian has 214 grand prix starts, nine victories, 32 other podium finishes, 13 pole positions and 18 fastest laps. He has twice finished third in the Drivers’ Championship (’10, ’11). His first F1 race was the 2002 Australian Grand Prix, in which he finished fifth, driving for Minardi.
► This weekend F1 also says goodbye to Cosworth for the immediate future. The engine privateer has powered 176 F1 victories, second in the all-time list behind Ferrari. It’s most recent victory was at this circuit in 2003: Jordan’s Giancarlo Fisichella awarded the win after a red flag. Cosworth also recorded its most recent pole position here, Nico Hülkenberg taking P1 for Williams in 2010.
Brazilian GP Race Stewards
PRESIDENT OF THE FIA HILL CLIMB COMMISSION, BOARD MEMBER AND PRESIDENT OF AUTO SPORT SUISSE SARL
Paul Gutjahr started racing in the late 1960s with Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Lotus and Porsche, then March in Formula 3. In the early ‘70s he became President of the Automobile Club Berne and organised numerous events. He acted as President of the organising committee of the Swiss GP at Dijon between 1980-82. Between 1980-2005 he acted as President of the Commission Sportive Nationale de l’Automobile Club de Suisse and in 2005 he became President and board member of the Auto Sport Suisse motor sports club. Gutjahr is President of the Alliance of European Hill Climb Organisers and has been steward at various high-level international competitions. He was the Formula 3000 Sporting Commissioner and has been a Formula One steward since 1995.
PRESIDENT OF THE SPORTING COMMISSION OF THE AUTOMOBILE AND TOURING CLUB OF VENEZUELA
Italian-born Vincenzo Spano grew up in Venezuela, where he went on to study at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, becoming an attorney-at-law. Spano has wide-ranging experience in motor sport, from national to international level. He has worked for the Touring y Automóvil Club de Venezuela since 1991, and served as President of the Sporting Commission since 2001. He was president for two terms and now sits as a member of the Board of the Nacam-FIA zone. Since 1995 Spano has been a licenced steward and obtained his FIA steward superlicence in 2003.Spano has been involved with the FIA and FIA Institute in various roles since 2001: a member of the World Motor Sport Council, the FIA Committee, and the executive committee of the FIA Institute.
FORMER F1 DRIVER, LE MAS AND CART WINNER
Mark Blundell raced for McLaren, Tyrrell, Ligier and Brabham in an F1 career that encompassed 61 grands prix between 1991 and 1995 and included three podium finishes. He is a three-time winner in IndyCars and won the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in 1992, driving for Peugeot. While still occassionally seen behind the wheel of a racing car in endurance events, the 21st Century has seen Blundell forge a second career as a TV commentator and analyst. He first appeared as a driver steward in F1 at the Spanish Grand Prix of 2011.
Brazilian GP Championship Standings
Brazilian GP Championship Standings
Brazilian GP Formula One Timetable
& FIA Media Schedule
Practice Session 1
Practice Session 2
Practice Session 3
Followed by unilateral and
Followed by podium interviews and press conference
ADDITIONAL MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES
All drivers eliminated in Q1 or Q2 are available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session, as are drivers who participated in Q3, but who are not required for the post-qualifying press conference. The TV pen is located in the paddock behind the FIA garage and near the staircase leading to race control.
Any driver retiring before the end of the race is available at the team’s garage/hospitality. In addition, during the race every team will make available at least one senior spokesperson for interview by officially accredited TV crews. A list of those nominated will be made available in the media centre.