Brazilian GP preview: Newly crowned Hamilton to chase Constructor’s title at Interlagos

The F1 Championship travels to South America this weekend (9-11 November) for the Brazilian Grand Prix at the Jose Carlos Pace Circuit at Interlagos (Sao Paulo) for round twenty and the last-but-one race of the year.

Lewis Hamilton will race for the first time as this year’s world champion after conquering the title at last Mexican Grand Prix. But the Briton from Mercedes is not done winning races and he will now be pursuing the Constructor Championship Title for his team. If Ferrari wants to stop this from happening (or at least postpone it until the last GP in Abu Dhabi) they have to add on 14 more points than their German rivals. 

Besides the fight for the Constructors Title, there are many other reasons to be excited about this race. The passion of local fans, for instance, infused with the ever-present memory of local hero Ayrton Senna, creates a vibrant, magical atmosphere at the Brazilian Grand Prix 

This race is a classic in the F1 calendar and one of its most eagerly awaited events. It is synonymous with excitement and passion and this year it might come with a bit of rain too. The land of Samba has also hosted the decisive title race in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.

The Constructors’ Title

Mercedes have all the odds in their favour to win the Constructors Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix. They are 55 points ahead of Ferrari in the standings which means they need to accrue 43 more than the Italians to seal the deal. They also count with the very best drivers to help them achieve the feat, Lewis Hamilton and his Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas. The Briton has declared he is coming to Interlagos feeling the same competitive pressure as before to win the Constructors Championship:

“I’m in the frame of mind that I still have races to win and the job isn’t done yet,” said the five-time champion. “Right now, the focus is on making sure we secure this title in the next two races for the team.”

As far as the financial reward, the winning team will be in for a 10-million-euro prize to be split between the 900 employees of the Scuderia, approximately 11.400 euros for each member of staff. 

Ferrari, their main rival at the Brazilian Grand Prix, will have to deal with a depressed Sebastian Vettel who hasn’t won a race since the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August and with Kimi Raikkonen who is going through a great moment but might be distracted by his new adventure with Alfa Romeo-Sauber. 

The fight on the midfield

Further down the grid, Renault and Haas will continue their battle to become the best team of the midfield, behind the reigning Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Currently, it is the French team that holds that coveted fourth position after both of Haas’ failings at the USA and Mexican Grand Prix where the American team finished out of points. 

The French Scuderia has 117 points, 30 more than their USA rivals. Still, nothing is decided as the consistency of the drivers from Enstone could be compromised by the unreliable mechanics of their cars. Hass, on the other hand, has a great Ferrari engine and so their success hangs on – and that’s the main issue- the performance of both its drivers: Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean. 

Below them, the battle for the eight position is taking place between Alfa Romeo Sauber and Toro Rosso. The Swedish team from Hinwil currently holds the place in the standings with 36 points, three more than their rivals form Faenza. Both teams also have Force India (currently seventh with 47 points) within range. The Constructors’ Championship has big financial implications for the teams as their funding, and sometimes their very survival relies on their success on the track. 


The third place of the Drivers’ Championship

At the Drivers’ Championship, there are still a number of positions up for grabs. One of the fanciest ones is the third podium position currently being fought out between both Finns of Mercedes and Ferrari. Raikkonen holds the place at the moment but with just 9 points more than his Silver-Arrow compatriot with whom he has had a few showdowns this season already.  

After his victory in Austin, the Scandinavian driver from Maranello has a slight advantageBottas, however, should also look down where Max Verstappen, at just 11 points’ distance, is trying to push through. The Dutch driver and winner of the Mexican GP is on a winning streak having won four podiums over the last five races. 

Another key battle is that for the seventh place, or what it is to say, the winner of the second tier of the competition. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) has 69 points, 12 more than Sergio Perez (Force India) and 16 above Kevin Magnussen. 

Sebastian Vettel will also be keen to put an end to his winless strike at the Brazilian GP. 

The Spaniards, scrapping for points

Both Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz will attempt to gain some much-needed points after finishing empty-handed in Mexico. The driver from Asturias has managed no points in the last three races and has not changed positions since the Singapore GP, where he finished in seventh place. 

This will be the last-but-one F1 race for the Spaniard and he will be keen to make it memorable. 

Meanwhile, his friend from Madrid would also like to draw some good sensations in Brazil before inheriting the seat of his admired compatriot.  Alonso (10º) and Sainz (12º) are just five points apart with French driver Esteban Ocon (Force India) in between

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