Grand Prix 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Brazil Nuts About Motor Racing.
While the first thoughts on the arrival of the Brazil Formula 1 weekend are usually related to Ayrton Senna Da Silva it's worth considering that there's a level of fanaticism for motor racing in all its forms in the massive country that is Brazil.
Yes, Brazilians have won eight F1 titles, but with only three drivers. They have won countless other titles, in CART, Indy, sportscars and others; indeed, should the whole spectrum be considered then I contend that the greatest Brazilian driver can only be Fittipaldi, I'll leave you to choose which one.
But back to Formula 1, which is where our hearts lie......
Rio de Janeiro, host of many Grands Prix but sadly not on the current calendar, I was a big fan of this circuit, with its sweepy nature and fast straights which was super in the mid eighties turbo madness. It's a shame that such a great course couldn't have warranted two Brazil races per season and thereby pushed a Tilkedrone (yes, I have meant to spell it like that) off the calendar but at least we have Interlagos to focus the senses.
Sao Paolo is such a city of contrast in many forms that I feel guilty about looking forward to the F1 race, which will ignore the poverty and crime that continues to bubble but it's usually a great race and often determines the Drivers' World Champion. The first half of the circuit provides the drama and I find that Ferradura to the finish line is merely "padding". That's not to say that the lap isn't a challenge for all of its 15 turns, the majority being left-handers and the changes in gradient requiring a well balanced setup with a focus on throttle control to make the most of the opportunities to build and carry speed throughout. Notable memories from the circuit for me usually involve rain and contenders conking out late on but the stand-outs are Fisi's victory in 03 and the crowning of the Lovely Boy as World Champ in 09. Take a look through the write-ups on previous races, it really does throw up intrigue, farce and tremendous racing exploits. This year, it's going to be a scrap further down the championship table, the spoils already having been awarded to worthy Champion Lewis Hamilton.
I begin to ponder on the likely winner at this circuit, which favours high power and low drag.......

My money's on Mercedes, but of course, I'm hoping for any team outside the big 3 to take the win.
Current circuit layout in red, overlaid on original layout:

Apologies to those of you who were hoping for a more jocular intro to the weekend, I thought long and hard about it, but a more formal approach won, it was a close shave though!
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Race Winner
It's the first podium for Sainz in his 101st Formula 1 race.
And it is the first podium for Spain after Chinese 2014 race (-116 GP)
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