Picking just one Key Strategic Moment from the Brazilian Grand Prix is difficult as there were so many twists, but the decision by MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS strategists not to respond to provocation from Red Bull Racing won them the race. Red Bull twice switched their drivers onto Intermediate tires, with many teams doing the same, but Mercedes did not take the bait and stayed on wet tires to hold on to a one-two finish. That means Nico Rosberg needs only a podium in Abu Dhabi to be 2016 F1 World Drivers’ Champion.
James Allen on F1, UBS F1 Expert
Massa’s Brazil swansong
Can Williams get him on the podium?
Williams Martini Racing arrive in Interlagos in the midst of a battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship. The weekend also coincides with Felipe Massa’s final race in Brazil, so Williams will be looking to give the local hero the send-off he deserves. Massa has won twice in Brazil with Ferrari and last year both Williams’ cars qualified in the top eight. The team has selected more soft than medium tires, so they could be targeting an aggressive three-stop strategy. However, a Virtual Safety Car or Safety Car can spoil that plan if it falls at the wrong moment.
Massa’s home farewell
How did Williams perform in Brazil?
We looked at Williams Martini Racing this weekend ahead of Felipe Massa’s last home race in Brazil. There was great emotion in both the paddock and the grandstands when he retired from the race, however up until that point the strategy had not worked out. Williams was one of the teams that gambled mid-race on a switch to intermediate tires, but it cost them track position and gave no lasting gain. Instead, the two red flags gave their rivals free tire changes and there was no way for either Williams driver to get back into the points.
Race Strategy Briefing
Lots of incidents
Interlagos is a short lap that tends to produce incident-filled races. Most teams will run a two-stop strategy.
It’s a conservative choice of tires. The mediums should be the preferred race compound.
Good chance of Safety Car
Strategies can be changed quickly on this short lap by Safety Cars, which they often are.
Only for the bold
Interlagos has produced some spectacular overtakes throughout the years, especially into turn one.
A challenge for tires
The key to the race is to look after the right rear tire on this anti-clockwise layout.
Brasil, São Paulo
November 13 | 14:00 local time, 17:00 CET
Brazil became South America’s sole Formula 1 host country in 1998 following Argentina’s exit from the calendar. The amphitheatre bowl setting between two lakes makes Interlagos a great circuit for both driving and viewing. The shortest lap of the year sees a drop through the Senna-S before negotiating the car through a tricky infield section and a power-sapping climb uphill from Juncao to the finish line. The venue boasts a unique atmosphere with party-loving locals and a challenging track that is steeped in history. Interest in the sport peaked during Ayrton Senna’s time in the sport in the 1980s and early 1990s, but its popularity remains even today. Its undulating character and the threat of sudden rain showers has made for some dramatic races, with Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 title win sticking out in the mind as he left it until the last turn to pass Timo Glock for fifth place and win the World Championship. In recent years Nico Rosberg has been dominant here, taking both victories in the last two races.
Circuit length 4.309 km
Race distance 305.909 km
2015 winner Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Pirelli allocation Soft/Medium/Hard
Interlagos is the shortest lap of the season in terms of lap time, at 1m12 seconds, so qualifying and the race have an intense quality about them. It’s a short run from pole to Turn One of just 190 meters and we often see a lot of changes of position through the left/right of the Senna S corners at the start. In 2015, with soft and medium tire choices, high track temperatures dictated three stops and the soft tires were used only for a short first stint, the rest of the race being done on mediums.
In collaboration with James Allen