F1: Brazilian Grand Prix Race Strategies For The Interlagos Track
The Brazilian Grand Prix race weekend kicks off tomorrow and features the last sprint race of the 2022 season. With the race season coming towards a close, we are looking at the most likely strategies teams will be going with this weekend.
Although Max Verstappen has already taken the win for the driver’s championship this year, the battle for second and third continues between Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc. There is a similar situation in the constructor’s championship with Red Bull taking the win at the Austin Grand Prix, but Mercedes and Ferrari are still battling it out for second and third. For the majority of this season Ferrari have dominated Mercedes, although Mercedes have seen some late-season improvement and Ferrari have struggled with power unit issues.
The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace track, more widely known as the Interlagos track, was one of the first tracks on the F1 line-up to race anti-clockwise. The driver’s start their lap on a short straight into turn one. After going through the Senna S is the long straight into turn 4. The driver’s then wind through the in-field section which has some interesting changes in camber before coming back up through the banked last turn.
Tyre provider, Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola, has spoken about the upcoming race in terms of what teams will be thinking about the tyre strategies. He said:
“The three compounds in the middle of the range for a circuit where we expect a lot of overtaking.
“Formula 1 heads to Interlagos next weekend: the shortest lap of the year after Monaco and Mexico. It’s a historic track run anti-clockwise, which alternates some quick sections as well as medium-speed sequences of corners, such as the famous ‘Senna esses’.
“There aren’t any big demands on the tyres in terms of traction and braking because it’s a very flowing layout, and the lack of slow corners means that the teams are able to control the degradation on the rear tyres.
“Brazil will host the “Sprint” also this year, the last of the season, and it will be particularly interesting with this car package to see what will happen on the track and, once again, the key role of the different strategies that can be used: in 2021 the grid on Saturday was equally split between drivers starting on the medium and the soft tyres.
“Despite the short length of the track, there’s normally plenty of overtaking. Just think of Lewis Hamilton who was the protagonist of a comeback that brought him to victory from 10th place, using a two-stop strategy. So the new generation of cars and tyres seems set to provide us with another thrilling race this year.”
All of the driver’s that finished on the podium did two-stop strategies in the 2021 Grand Prix, however there were varying strategies across the grid. Hamilton finished the race on a set of hard tyres as well as Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas who finished second and third, respectively. A major consideration for teams is the weather as it is very unpredictable in Brazil. Currently, the forecast is for rain so this is sure to change strategies.