Brazilian Grand Prix preview

Formula One’s tour of the Americas concludes this weekend with the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace is one of the last old school circuits. It was shortened considerably in 1990, but remains untouched since. Even more surprisingly, these days, it lies in heart of Sao Paulo, home to 18 million people and the third biggest city in the world.

Nico Rosberg took a relatively easy win last time out in Mexico, capitalising on his pole position and the fact that it proved difficult to pass at the returning Rodriguez Brothers Circuit. It was Rosberg’s first win since Austria in June and seemed to revitalise him moral, which was at a distinctly low ebb after the US Grand Prix where an unforced error allowed teammate Lewis Hamilton to take the win and secure the championship.

Strange as it may seem, Hamilton has never won in Brazil in eight attempts, though he did clinch his first title there in 2008. Much as he would love to win in his hero Ayrton Senna’s home country, especially in the year he matched Senna’s win and title tally, it could well prove difficult this weekend. He has been suffering with a fever and delayed his flight out on medical advise.

Of the rest, Ferrari and Williams are likely to pose the biggest threat to Mercedes; at the very least they will scrap among themselves for a podium position. Whether or not Red Bull can fight at the front largely depends on the weather. It’s relative lack of straight-line speed won’t help on the long run from Turn 12 to Turn 1, but as we saw in the US, a damp track levels the playing field. Daniel Ricciardo will run an updated engine, but has to take a grid penalty for the privilege.

The Brazilian Grand Prix takes place on 15 November.

Drivers’ Championship standings after 17 races

  1. Lewis Hamilton — Mercedes — 345 points
  2. Nico Rosberg — Mercedes — 272
  3. Sebastian Vettel — Ferrari — 251
  4. Valtteri Bottas — Williams-Mercedes — 126
  5. Kimi Raikkonen — Ferrari — 123
  6. Felipe Massa — Ferrari — 117
  7. Daniil Kvyat — Red Bull-Renault — 88
  8. Daniel Ricciardo — Red Bull-Renault — 84
  9. Sergio Perez — Force India-Mercedes — 68
  10. Max Verstappen — Toro Rosso-Renault — 47
  11. Romain Grosjean — Lotus-Mercedes — 45
  12. Nico Hulkenberg — Force India-Mercedes — 44
  13. Felipe Nasr — Sauber-Ferrari — 27
  14. Pastor Maldonado — Lotus-Mercedes — 26
  15. Carlos Sainz Jr. — Toro Rosso-Renault — 18
  16. Jenson Button — McLaren-Honda — 16
  17. Fernando Alonso — McLaren-Honda — 11
  18. Marcus Ericsson — Sauber-Ferrari — 9
  19. Roberto Merhi — Marussia-Ferrari — 0
  20. Alexander Rossi — Marussia-Ferrari — 0
  21. Will Stevens — Marussia-Ferrari — 0

Manufacturers’ Championship standings after 17 races

  1. Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team — 617 points
  2. Scuderia Ferrari — 374
  3. Williams Martini Racing — 243
  4. Infiniti Red Bull Racing — 172
  5. Sahara Force India F1 Team — 112
  6. Lotus F1 Team — 71
  7. Scuderia Toro Rosso — 65
  8. Sauber F1 Team — 36
  9. McLaren Honda — 27
  10. Manor Marussia F1 Team — 0

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By Only Motors

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