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.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Hamberg

If Rosberg wins the title he would be a deserved world champion BUT clearly the best drivers this seasons has been either Hamilton, Ricciardo or Verstappen most of the time

this race Rosberg got absolutely whooped by Hamilton and would have been by Verstappen had Red Bull not called the wrong strategy

By default because such is the superiority of the Mercedes the worst place he can finish is 2nd. I look back to Malaysia as a turning point as Rosberg got hit by Vettel without a puncture at the start and got 3rd and Hamilton was winning comfortably until the engine went which was a massive 28pt swing

Another stat Rosberg has yet to win a wet race which is a true test of a driver's ability

Other than that Rosberg will break the record for the most grand prixs participated to be world champion if he does pull it off
 
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Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
In Malaysia had Rosberg not been hit by Vettel he would have won the race; it cost him 10 points.

During one of the free practice sessions (second I think) Rosberg asked the team if he could do another fast lap; they advised against it, warning him about the wear on the engine. Yesterday he knew that he was unlikely to win the race, in the final stint he was driving conservatively, ensuring that he had enough space behind to have a soin yet saving the engine.

If Rosberg does win the WDC it will partly be because he has been good at handling his resources.

P.S. That overtake by him on Verstappen at Silverstone was excellent, he reeled him in then chose his spot and went past. It was neat, tidy and clinical which is probably why there was no great song and dance about it.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Great stat i found from someone on twitter than the 40 years its been down to a title decider in even years all but 3 times 1992 2002 & 2004, which i found quite strange but interesting

I given him alot of stick all season as you would as rivals, After yesterday, I'll be the 1st to congratulate Rosberg on becoming world champion.:goodday::thankyou::1st:

That was the twist & Lewis's chance to get it back in his own hands, not that he should have had to rely but red bulls poor strategy calls finished him as rosberg could've been 4th but verstappen & riccardio extra stop fof inters. Rosberg has driven prost like, no risk & only doing whats needed (who once said winning at the slowest possible speed??). yes he couldve won yesterday & taken the championship but in that weather he could misjudged it/bin it or got taken out the driver didnt see him in the spray all of a sudden, he's felipe massa & he thinks of what couldve been for the next decade. if im pragmatic then it good because it will much mean more to rosberg than a 4th for lewis, we will probably see a better motivated lewis next year with something to prove
 
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F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
I don't know what race you were watching this weekend but no, just no.

you misunderstood me, i was talking hypothetically in championship terms & how he taken the least risk of option in these closing races ie winning at the slowest possible speed. everyone knew if he won on sunday he would have been world champion
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
What on earth were Red Bull doing? The gamble on inters was extremely optimistic for any of the teams but they had a great position and didn't really need to gamble. They could've won this with a 1-2.

And did Ricciardo really have a puncture or was that a little creative to try and escape the closed pit lane punishment? I guess we'll never know.
 
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Wombcat

Podium Finisher
Great stat i found from someone on twitter than the 40 years its been down to a title decider in even years all but 3 times 1992 2002 & 2004, which i found quite strange but interesting
1978 was decided at Monza, with two races to spare.
1980 was decided at Canada, with one race to spare.
I don't know about all the other years, but anyway the twitterstat you read is incorrect.
 
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