Free-for-all at iconic Brazilian GP

2017-11-08 06:00

FOR all the innovation that Formula 1 continues to deliver, there are some things in the sport that, untouched by too much change, remain and embody the very essence of the sport.

One such example is the Brazilian Grand Prix and the famed Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

Decade after decade the Interlagos-based circuit has delivered on everything a Formula 1 race should be.

Through the scorching temperatures and rain-soaked afternoons, the Brazilian fan’s euphoria for F1 has always been palpable.

And it has, since 1973, delivered some of the most dramatic and memorable races in the history of the sport.

There have been many highly emotional Brazilian Grand Prix throughout its history, but none more so than Ayrton Senna’s majestic 1991 win in the McLaren after which he was so physically exhausted that he had to be extricated from the cockpit.

In the decades since, there’s been no let up on the drama with several of the most theatrical moments coming in the 21st century.

In 2005 Fernando Alonso became, at the time, the youngest world champion and two years later, in 2007, Kimi Raikkonen won his world title in what had been, arguably, one of the most fascinating championship battles of all time.

A year later thousands of Brazilian hearts sank as Lewis Hamilton snatched the title from local favourite Felipe Massa, literally, on the last corner of the last lap whereas the 2012 Grand Prix marked the final race of the great Michael Schumacher’s storied career.

The circuit, at roughly 4.3km, isn’t a long one and a lap time below 70 seconds is likely, especially for qualifying.

Besides having the iconic, and tight, Senna S as turn one, its three sectors stand in contrast to each other.

A straight and several medium to high-speed corners dominate the first part of the lap, while the middle sector is the more technical section before it’s capped by Junção, the final climb up the hill to the start/finish straight.

Despite not having a Brazilian world champion since Ayrton Senna, the fans have shown a fanaticism for the sport and especially other Brazilian drivers as fervent as you’re likely to see anywhere in the world.

One driver responsible for inspiring said passion is Felipe Massa.

The Williams driver has announced his retirement at the end of the 2017 season, making this weekend his final Brazilian Grand Prix.

Though never a world champion, Massa has inspired countless fans, colleagues, and contemporaries with his incredible talent, generosity, passion and sportsmanship. Obrigado Felipe.

The fact that most positions in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships have been settled just adds a further element to this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

No longer do teams such as Force India have to impose team orders on Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

Now, they’ll be free to race and bang wheels to their hearts’ content and this directive, pretty much, goes for everyone up and down the pitlane too.

While the forecast predicts a dry race weekend, the weather for the Brazilian Grand Prix has always been, at best, uncertain.

One thing that is a certainty, however, is that there has rarely been a dull Brazilian Grand Prix and it shouldn’t be any different this year.

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