Grand Prix 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Sao Paulo is an enormous city. There are 20 million people in the urban area around the city, which makes it one of the top ten most populated urban areas in the world. To the south, the city is forced into a narrower strip of land between the Guarapiranga and Billings lakes. Between the lakes, as the name suggests, is the area known as Interlagos, containing the Autodromo José Carlos Pace.

At the end of the current Formula One calendar, there are three of the newest circuits in F1; clean, corporate, Tilke. They contrast the fourth circuit, Interlagos. It is unmistakably historic, it has elevation change in a way Tilke could never contrive, it is only 75 seconds a lap and it is fierce. The run from Juncao right the way to the Senna S requires the foot on the throttle for as many consecutive curves as you'll see all season, and it ends with the great Turn One in Formula One.

In the last 10 years, the circuit has offered significant succour to the non-European challengers, with two wins each for Montoya, Massa and Webber. Indeed, it has never seen a victory for Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton, despite them both taking championships here without winning the race, as did Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. The only driver to win the race and the championship on the same day was Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

Mercedes are, as usual, likely to be contesting the win. Hamilton must have extremely mixed feelings about Interlagos, as despite his title win in 2008, he seems to have angered some sort of local deity. His pace around the circuit has never looked particularly bad, but gearbox problems, ill-timed rainstorms and Nico Hulkenburg have cost him the chance to win the race here, with 2009 standing as his only podium. Hamilton has taken victories at a range of jinx circuits this year though, you would not bet against him.

Rosberg, meanwhile, can be proud of an excellent if forgotten performance in 2007 where he beat the BMWs into 4th place, for his best result of the season. He also had the pace on Mercedes team-mate Hamilton at the circuit last year in qualifying, although he relied on Hamilton's collision with Valteri Bottas to beat his team-mate in the end. Both drivers will be looking at setting themselves up for the best possible chance at Abu Dhabi.

Felipe Massa will be hoping to put on a show for his home crowd; of the Brazilian drivers to win in F1 all bar Barrichello have done so at home, and Massa's performances in 2006-08 were matched by his performance as his pace was subsumed under Alonso's title tilt in 2012. Everyone will be hoping that a mixed track like Interlagos may create a close battle between Williams, Red Bull and perhaps even McLaren and Ferrari.

Don't forget that Interlagos is often affected by rainstorms! The rain's appearance nearly ended Lewis Hamilton's title aspirations in 2008, handed Nico Hulkenburg his only pole position in 2010, delayed qualifying in 2009, affected Vettel's run home in 2012 and, of course, gave Jordan their final hurrah in 2003. While I'm sure if there is to be rain, appropriate caution will be demonstrated in the wake of Bianchi's incident, it has been known to joyously shake up many an Interlagos event.

So the penultimate race of the season, a chance for everyone to get into the best possible position for the Ecclestonian hand-grenade of double points to blow the Championship positions apart, and all held at a fantastic racing circuit. Fun, no?
And there in lies the problem. An outstanding and legendary track in Sao Paulo, scene of such outstanding races including Senna's first win on home soil, Hamilton clinching the championship at the last corner and many others, has been deliberately devalued by the double point finish in such a way as to make the result this weekend totally irrelevant.

Instead we have to go to a ****ing dull as dishwater Tilkedrome in the middle of nowhere built next to a "Ferrari World" and chock full of middle eastern billionaires who are most probably looking for something different to do with their cash apart from funding wars.

Thanks a bunch Bernie you geriatric ****
Well I've stupidly booked a holiday and will be flying out over the Brazilian GP and flying back over the Abu Double GP.
Please think of me and keep your fingers crossed the wifi speed is good for downloading Brazil (and no ****er spills the result before I watch Abu), whilst I'm crying into my mojito with the Caribbean Sea lapping at my feet :teary:
3G is pretty good here, but don`t hold out for 4G, if you decide to get a data package, that is. Wi-Fi is pretty much everywhere in Sao Paulo if you stay out of the favelas, which I advise you do if you want to make part II of your trip. Tonight it is raining. We need it. The city is sucking up more water than is falling from the sky. ?-)
Unfortunately it can't be, Rosberg can DNF with a Hamilton win and the title will still go down to the final race.

Was more glad to see a good battle for the win in Austin to have missed the opportunity of seeing the title nabbed, although that would have made things double exciting.
So, it's been raining here non-stop for two days. We need it badly. The city is drying up from two years of seriously low rainfall and 22 million people in the state sucking up water like there is no tomorrow.
Hopefully Hamilton will win the Brazilian GP from pole position after Rosberg, having had to change a gearbox and take a grid drop penalty, gets sandwiched by Perez and Maldonado at turn 2 taking all three out. Then, Rosberg will use a 6th engine for Abu Dhouble and will have to start from the back. Where he will be surrounded by Perez and Maldonado after their penalties from Interlagos...
Well I suppose the good news for Lewis is that he will either win at Abu Dhabi or retire from a winning position...
Ideal Lap (sum best sectors) in the Practice 1:
Pos – No – Driver – Practice 1 Result – Ideal Lap – Flaw
1 - 6 - Nico Rosberg - 01:12,764 - 01:12,742 - 00,022
2 - 44 - Lewis Hamilton - 01:12,985 - 01:12,893 - 00,092
4 - 14 - Fernando Alonso - 01:13,742 - 01:13,315 - 00,427
8 - 7 - Kimi Räikkönen - 01:14,114 - 01:13,545 - 00,569
6 - 38 - Max Verstappen - 01:13,827 - 01:13,561 - 00,266
3 - 26 - Daniil Kvyat - 01:13,723 - 01:13,604 - 00,119
5 - 19 - Felipe Massa - 01:13,811 - 01:13,811 - 00,000
7 - 13 - Pastor Maldonado - 01:14,034 - 01:13,905 - 00,129
9 - 20 - Kevin Magnussen - 01:14,136 - 01:14,013 - 00,123
10 - 3 - Daniel Ricciardo - 01:14,197 - 01:14,126 - 00,071
11 - 99 - Adrian Sutil - 01:14,434 - 01:14,170 - 00,264
12 - 40 - Felipe Nasr - 01:14,522 - 01:14,426 - 00,096
13 - 27 - Nico Hulkenberg - 01:14,678 - 01:14,651 - 00,027
15 - 8 - Romain Grosjean - 01:15,109 - 01:14,656 - 00,453
14 - 1 - Sebastian Vettel - 01:14,902 - 01:14,902 - 00,000
16 - 34 - Daniel Juncadella - 01:16,030 - 01:15,818 - 00,212
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