Grand Prix 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

And so the F1 bandwagon roles south from Mexico and reaches Sao Paulo and the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. A final reminder of what a great F1 track looks like before the season reaches its final stop in yet another concrete utopia built in the vision of Herman.

I've made no secret of the fact that I love this track and in particular the first set of turns. Known as the 'Senna S' as any vaguely S shaped set of corners was named across the globe in Senna's honour, at least this set of turns gives credence to that title. Off the line, drivers are faced with a down hill left hand turn with a good deal of camber before switching to a right and change of camber then a long sweeping left. Unlike Mexico where you could take no part of a corner and come out quickly on the other side, here you tend to slither off down hill and keep going and going across a long grass field.

For the championship battle, Nico continues to do just enough to do enough for the title. This must frustrate the living daylights out of his team mate who, even though he is demonstrably quicker than Nico, has no control over his own fate should his team mate keep finishing second. Of course, should Nico win here then it's all done and dusted.

For Hamilton, this track remains one of very few on the list of circuits he's not yet beaten. It still holds special memories of course as it is the place where he thrillingly tied up his first World drivers crown and few can forget that moment. There's no reason at all why he can't win here this weekend and keep the pressure on Rosberg but even over the last few years when Hamilton has been at his absolute best in terms of pace and driving, Rosberg has managed to win this GP twice. This year it has to be win or bust for Hamilton.

All the focus will be on the two silver cars at the front of the grid so instead of looking at the rest of the field, pretending I'm some sort of F1 reporter and trying to review and predict the outcomes down the grid, I'm actually going to focus on one driver.

For one driver on the grid, the other man on that fateful day for Hamilton, this track certainly holds mixed feelings. For the 15th and final time, Felipe Massa will be taking to the grid at his home GP. A native of Sao Paulo this has always been a homecoming for Felipe but with such a bitter taste. For around 30 seconds, before Hamilton pounced on a struggling Timo Glock, he was the 2008 World Champion. Joy turned to heartbreak in front of the worlds camera's. The first Brazilian to win his home GP since the late great Ayrton Senna had been denied the world championship in the space of a few hundred yards. You could point to his exit of the pit lane in Singapore towing half of his fuel rig behind him as the moment he lost the championship, or the moment a few races later when he was comfortably leading when his engine let go with just 3 laps left, but neither will be remembered as much as that Brazilian race.

And so it passed that Brazil 2008 was the final win of Massa's career. His performance in 2009 was still strong but ended with an horrifying head injury in a freak accident. After that, I'm sure most will agree, he was never the same driver. Culminating in 'that message' at the German GP where he was reminded about the speed of his team mate. The fact that on that day, at that time, Alonso was faster than him is not the point, it's the fact that his friend and race engineer, Rob Smedley had to tell him of that fact in a not very coded message witnessed by the whole of F1, that was the hammer blow. The last few years at Williams have brought 5 podiums and 1 pole but this season, in the face of a poor car and falling points returns, he's decided to call time on his career.

So farewell Felipe baby, the 30 second world champion. When it comes to winning races, your name is on the same list as so many other great Brazilian drivers, you should be proud of a long, and on balance successful career in F1. It's slightly worrying that, as it stands, the only representative from Brazil on the grid next season will be Felipe Nasr. Somehow, I think it will be a few more years before a Brazilian driver emulates Massa, Senna, et al and stands on the top step of their home GP.

What ever happens this weekend, let's hope it's a great race.
Red bull threw away 2nd place maybe even 1st with that stupid pit for inters when everyone else was predicting heavy rain in 5 minutes. guess what the rain got heavy after 5 minutes.

Idiotic. Fire someone.
Even of it was when the cars went past it must have been on the track at some time. Assuming that Ericsson did not purposely crash it in a safe place.

From what I saw the tractor unit was behind the armco all the time and the crane reached over the rail to pick up the car but I'm open to correction.
Great race the couple of red flag did make it tad ridiculous considering the last 40 laps. Teams having utter brain fade going on inters in that rain 1st 20 laps didnt help themselves needed more grip/tread not less. But isnt there an argument for wet races to be Survival of the Fittest, supposed to be the 22 greatest drivers in the world

Massa made everyone emotional, very touching moment for 1 of the most popular guy in the garage :bawl:

Take a bow Max Verstappen as put on his thread. truly special drive up there with greats drive in f1 history, If RBs stuck it out on wet before massa crash like Mercedes did. Verstappen or Riccardio Couldve won that, but that lottery of wet gps you have to be on right tyre at the right time
Hamilton is now the 2nd highest GP winner ahead of Prost


I can't fault Rosberg for that but it just seems the luck has been with him since the summer break.. this was a race where Verstappen should have got 2nd and a miscalculated strategy cost Max
Anybody else tired of this season yet? It seems to go on and on and on. If Rosberg wins the championship, that means the last 5-6 races really matter nothing. Bring 2017 already!
Every qualie session this season has left me a bit meh. I then start to watch each race with high hopes and this one didn't disappoint. Yeah it was a Mercedes 1-2 but the rest of the field more than made up for the lack of action at the front.
From what I saw the tractor unit was behind the armco all the time and the crane reached over the rail to pick up the car but I'm open to correction.

I am sure that any driver who hits just the crane will be happy to know that.:D
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