Featured 2017 Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    2017 Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix.jpg
    Welcome to the official discussion thread for the 2017 Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix.

    One of the most beautiful and spectacular racing circuits in the world, a final home farewell for Grand Prix great Felipe Massa, high potential for rain and a newly crowned World Champion. The 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix has all the ingredients for a potentially classic race this coming weekend.

    Can Ferrari end the year on a high? Will Massa perform heroics in front of the home faithful one final time? Will Hartley show his WEC title winning form in Formula One at last? All to be decided over the course of the coming three days of track action at Interlagos...

    Session Reports:

    Enjoy the race and comment away!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  2. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE PART ONE: DRIVERS – Felipe MASSA (Williams), Lance STROLL (Williams), Marcus ERICSSON (Sauber)

    Felipe, here we are again, and once again we know this is a swansong. Do you mean it this time?

    Felipe MASSA: Yeah! Actually this is my second retirement race in Brazil, but this time it’s the last one for sure in Formula One, so definitely really looking forward to another amazing feeling to race at home and really enjoying the track that I grew up at here for my last time in a Formula One car. So, really looking forward and really hope that we can have a nice race and a nice result to finish it off.

    What’s been the highlight of this bonus season for you in Formula One and how do you see the Williams team going forward from this point?

    FM: Not amazing highlights to be honest. So the way we started the season it was not the same way we finished the season. Definitely the car was more competitive at the beginning than at the end, so development-wise it was not great, I would say, this year. But I think I definitely enjoyed driving the car after all these rules were changed from last year to this year. I think it’s a lot of fun to drive these cars, a lot more downforce, I definitely enjoyed it a lot. Unfortunately, I was a little bit unlucky in some races that I would have scored massive points but I couldn’t, not because of my fault but because of some issues we had in the car. I expect maybe a season that would have been a little bit more competitive than how we were. But I definitely enjoy, having fun by driving the car. I’m happy that I’ve been able to take the best out of this car when I didn’t have any problem. So it was a season that I definitely enjoyed. It would be nice to remember this season, I mean the way you drive this car, for my career some years in front, nice to come back and remember this way you are driving this car.

    And the second part of the question about where the Williams team goes forward from here?

    FM: I think it’s definitely important to change a little bit some ideas for the car, but I think that’s the way Williams is doing for next year. So having a car that’s a little bit more different – the way they are developing the car, the way they are working the car – so I really hope they can achieve that from next year to the future.

    Thank you very much, Felipe. Lance, in the points at four of the last six grands prix and now into the top 10 in the drivers’ standings. Some great runs, lots of great starts, but would it be fair to say that qualifying is where you are going to be putting the bulk of your effort in preparing for 2018?

    Lance STROLL: Yeah, it’s been a good run. We’ve scored quite a few points in the last few races. I’m really happy about how that’s gone. For sure, qualifying we still need to adjust a few things. It’s mainly been little mistakes here and there and not being able to capitalise on our full potential. But I think with time and experience and analysing bits and pieces we can improve in that and I believe that with the people I’m working with and the team that we can address some of those issues and definitely improve on them in the future. But definitely when it comes to races and the points we’ve scored, I’m extremely proud of the job we’ve done and we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing.

    You will have a new team-mate next season. What profile are you looking for: someone young, someone experienced, or should the team take a gamble?

    LS: It’s up to the team at the end of the day. My job is to drive my car. I mean I was hoping for Hamilton, but he’s not really available these days. I’m just kidding. It’s completely up to the team. Like I say, my job is to drive my car and they’ll take care of the rest.

    Marcus, you’ve out-qualified your team-mate at the last three Grands Prix but you’ve yet to get that breakthrough point. It looked like it could be on in Mexico; you were in positions for many laps until the breakdown. This race worked out pretty well for Sauber last year so have you targeted this weekend for the result?

    Marcus ERICSSSON: Yeah, I mean we always go into a weekend aiming to try and score points. I think Mexico was a really good weekend for us and we’ve had quite a few good weekends now in a row. Very unfortunate I think in Mexico with the Safety Car, it came out with absolutely the worst possible timing for us, before that we were running in the points for the whole first part of the race. It was a good feeling and it was a good opportunity for us but we were just unlucky with the safety car. But then we had the breakdown as well. Hopefully here it’s new opportunity that we can take advantage of. This track should not be worse for us than the last two. We’re looking forward to it. We still need to obviously maximise what we have. It’s still a handicap with the old power unit so it’s going to make it more difficult. But as we’ve shown on the last two weekends, if we get everything right on the car side we can still take the fight to some of the midfield cars, so that’s what we need to do again this weekend and then we see here in Brazil everything can happen with the weather. Usually the races here are very eventful and that’s why we need to take the opportunity.

    Well, you mentioned the weather. It looks like we could have some rain again this weekend. One of the talking points is that the organisers have cut some more groves into the surface. So tell us about this place in the wet and what those grooves might do?

    ME: I think it’s a fun track to drive in the wet. Obviously we saw last year that it does get a lot of standing water, so that’s the only problem really. So if that’s helped a bit this year I think it will improve. Like I said, it’s a fun track to drive both in the dry and the wet. I wouldn’t mind a bit of mixed conditions during the weekend, I think that would spice things up


    Q: (Lucas Santochi – Pole Position) Lance, in this your first year, what you do feel that Formula One has different, that you feel like ‘oh, this is difficult, I have to work on this’, and how you felt about this during the year? And Felipe, if you can say some words about his evolution?

    LS: Formula One is very different in many ways from any other category. There is a lot more activity going on off the track and the car itself is very different to drive, so technically, driving the car, working with the engineers, working with the team, the weekends are a lot more loaded than any other category. There is a lot more going on everywhere, so you have to put your attention on so many little details that in other categories you don’t necessarily do as much. And then, like I said, off the track there are so much more going on, so many media activities and commitments that you have to take part in. So I would say just that the weekends are generally very loaded. But it’s becoming easier and easier every single time. The more experience I have and the more weekends I get under my belt it starts to become second nature more and more every single time. It’s just part of the process of learning and settling into Formula One, but those are the main things – the activity off the track and just driving the car and getting used to these kind of cars to drive. They’re quite a handful in a fun way, in a good way. So I would say those are the main things.

    And Felipe, your comment on how Lance has developed? He’s been a bit like you were to Michael Schumacher when you were together.

    FM: Yeah, I think definitely the way he started until now he had a big development, which is pretty normal. In Formula One everything is different to every other category. You need to learn, you need to understand the car, you need to understand the tyres, when you need to make the perfect lap. Even if we have the sessions on Friday and then on Saturday morning, sometimes it’s not enough because you’re not having new tyres all the time, and then you get to qualifying, you have new tyres and straight away you need to do a very good lap time, otherwise Q1, especially the way you are fighting with three or four teams for a couple of tenths, if you don’t do a lap time straight away maybe you can even not pass into Q2. So that shows the intense battle you have in Formula One. But I think the way he started, the way he is now, he’s just learning and getting better and better and improving. Definitely he understood much quicker the way he needs to drive in the race, because he did many good races and the qualifying for sure is coming. He has a good teacher as well, so… maybe next year he can qualify closer to another driver that he’ll race.

    Q: (Arjan Schouten – AD Sportwereld) Question for Felipe, going on the farewell tour, what’s your view on the future of Brazilian Formula One racing – because it looks like we have a year without for the first time since 1969…

    FM: Yeah. I really hope Formula One stays forever in Brazil. So definitely Brazil is a very important country for Formula One. So many titles, so many drivers, so many Brazilian drivers raced for Formula One since the start, so I really hope Interlagos stays for a very long time in Formula One and anything I can give to help, not racing any more, I can do, so definitely it is a very important race. It is true that we are suffering not an easy moment in Brazil, financially, but I think it’s a very important event for São Paulo, it’s a very important event for Brazil Formula One and y’know, for me it’s very difficult to answer – but I really hope Brazil stays for a very long time in Formula One.

    Q: (Andres Lopez - Motorlat.com) Question for Felipe, this will be your last GP at Brazil as an F1 driver. What is your best memory here in this track?

    FM: I think the best memory is my first victory, in 2006. It was like a dream come true for a Brazilian that was always dreaming to be in Formula One, especially in this track, then you get to Formula One and you manage to win. I won two races here, three pole positions, I think it’s the track I’ve been more times in the podium. So… but I definitely… the victory here 2006, it was like a dream come true, that I will never forget. It was definitely the most incredible day that I had in my career, winning the home grand prix for the first time, 2006

    Q: (Silvia Arias – Parabrisas) Felipe, I would like to know, in the future do you expect to drive in a different category, to compete in a different category – and which one will it be?

    FM: Yes, definitely, it’s part of my expectation to keep driving, to keep having fun on the track, so that’s what I have been doing since I was eight years old, and that is my job since a long time as well. So, I think when you’re driving and you’re competing, you really feel the emotion of doing your job, or for enjoying yourself, so yes, definitely I really hope I can find the category that I have fun, like I had in Formula One for very long. So yeah, I will have enough time to think about it, to understand which is a good category to go to, and then we will see.

    Q: (Stephen Wade – AP) Felipe, how do you rate your career? You were very close to being a World Champion at one point; you come from a country with great tradition, how do you rate your career? An eight? A ten? How do you see it?

    FM: I think when you… ten is when you win a championship or maybe even more than that, y’know? So yeah, I would say I had a very successful career. I have a career I thought I never would achieve, when I was a kid, so first of all, Formula One was a dream, and I managed to get to Formula One, I managed to win many races, I managed to fight for the championship until maybe the last metres, and yeah, maybe I was the driver who gets more close to the championship in the history, so I am very proud of my career. If it’s seven, eight, nine, it doesn’t matter. I am very proud for what I achieved, for what I did and I’m so happy for so many things that I learned, so many people that I met, and also really the most important thing is that people respect me and I think that’s the most important thing: have a great relationship with most of the people that I work, and I pass even a few moments together. Definitely I’m so happy for what I achieved, and yeah, still many things to do in life but really finished with my head up, and I think that’s the most important thing.

    Q: (Fabio Aleixo – Folha de São Paulo) Will you do anything different for the public? Because last year after you finished the race… you didn’t finish the race and walked through the pit lane and you could see the people closer. After the race, if you finish, you have anything to do different, maybe walk around the track? Go to the public to say ‘thank you’? Do you have anything in your mind for after the race?

    FM: Well, actually I really hope I can finish in a great position. That’s that most important thing,that it didn’t happen last year, so it happens, another thing that I will never forget. So I think the feeling that I have on the human side, after the race, last year it was something really I never thought I will feel that, I will have that in my career. So, I think what I had last year was definitely more than enough, and the only thing I’m looking forward to now is having a good race, having a good result and I never really planned everything, so if I do this, everything, y’know this will be natural, so we’ll see what we invent to do after what I really hope is a good result.

    Q: (Pedro Enrique Marum – MSN Esportes) Lance, before pre-season you said Felipe would be a mentor to you and then, after pre-season started you said it wasn’t quite like this. Now a season went by, Felipe has mentored you?

    LS: Well, he’s been a great team-mate to have. He has a bunch of experience, he brings a lot of knowledge to the team. I think we’ve understood a lot about the can and how to improve the car throughout the weekends and, for sure, he’s been a great guy to have in the team. I think everyone’s really enjoyed having him at Williams, and he’s had an unbelievable career: many victories, many times on the podium, one point from winning a world championship, so, y’know, definitely an A+ career, that’s for sure.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  3. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE PART TWO: DRIVERS - Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN (Ferrari), Esteban OCON (Force India), Brendon HARTLEY (Toro Rosso)

    Q: Brendon, congratulations, World Endurance Champion, once again, for the second time with Porsche. How did it feel jumping back into a WEC car after the Formula One, and how are you rationalising this very unusual life experience that you’re going through at the moment.

    Brendon HARTLEY: Yeah, it was actually surprisingly tricky to jump back into the car. I thought I was going to feel right at home – it’s been my home for the last four years – but it took a couple of laps for it to feel comfortable again. The seating position’s quite different from Formula One, having a roof over your head, different perspective – but yeah, after five laps I felt back at home. In terms of rationalising things, I guess I’ve tried to not overthink it and I’ve just… yeah… even winning the championship hasn’t really sunk in. I haven’t really had time to reflect. It probably helps that I’m just going from one weekend to the next. I think this is my sixth race in a row. It won’t be until I get home at the end of the year after all the racing’s over that I’ll be able to reflect and fully understand what’s just happened to me. I’m well aware that making my Grand Prix debut and Le Mans victory and World Endurance Championship… I mean they’re all amazing things but at the moment I’m just trying to take one step at a time and try to stay focussed and catch up on as much sleep as I can.

    Q: It sounds like you’re set for a full season of Formula One next year, although obviously not official yet, but now you know a bit more about it, will your experience of working with a major motor manufacture like Porsche, do you think it will help Honda developing with Toro Rosso, taking that whole relationship forward?

    BH: I don't know. What I do know is, from working with Porsche the last years, it made my transition quite smooth to Formula One because it’s a similar amount of people involved; very similar structure in terms of engineering; pressure – I mean driving at Le Mans for Porsche, there’s a big amount of pressure on your shoulders, so I guess all of those things I’ve learnt to deal with, so that was obviously very helpful going to Austin. Obviously there were a lot of other things to learn in Formula One and I’m well-aware that there’s still a lot to learn but yeah, I think the good thing for me is that I’ve been involved in the past also with other Formula One teams and development and the project at Porsche, I was very heavily involved in the development on every level, so at least I have some experience from that point of view, yeah.

    Q: Esteban, Force India confirmed fourth in the constructors’ championship, it’s your first full season but you’ve obviously played a key part in that. What does it mean for you, given the quality of the opposition you’ve faced this year?

    Esteban OCON: It’s been a great season for us. Of course securing the fourth place, it’s an amazing achievement with two races to go. Thanks to the team, I would like to thank everyone. I can’t thank everyone in here but a few key people: Andy Stevenson, Andrew Green, Tom McCullough, Otmar, I would like to thank everyone there for the great season we’ve had. Hopefully we can finish the last two races very well like we did before and start the next one as high.

    Q: Some interesting numbers about you: you’ve out-qualified Pérez at the last four races in a row; you’re the only non-Mercedes driver to start in the top six for the past four races, and you’ve led Pérez for 137 of the last 138 racing laps. So, is that in line with your expectations of yourself at this stage of the season, and how do you move forward from here in 2018?

    EO: Yeah, I’m here to push. I’m here to challenge Sergio for sure, it’s been a very close season with him, fighting with really little margin, that’s what we have been doing so far this season – but arriving a second time on the tracks where I’ve driven before, with the Manor, helps me a lot with my experience, and also finishing all the races has helped me and I feel much more comfortable now than I’ve been feeling at the beginning of the season, so it’s great.

    Q: Kimi, ten years on – we all remember it very, very well from that dramatic day when you won the World Championship here in Brazil, probably the widest smile you’ve had as a sportsman at least. Can you share some special memories of that day?

    Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: It’s a long time ago. Obviously it was a great day but it wasn’t just about the day, it was the whole year. Obviously it ended on that day but there were some great moments, some not very nice moments but in the end it worked out OK and I was very happy with it but – I don’t know – I haven’t really thought about it too much; obviously after that, yes, but not for a while because it doesn’t really change my life today, thinking about it. I don’t really try and make a big story out of it.

    Q: This year, you’ve had a very good car and kept developing it very effectively so where does it go from here for Ferrari? You’ve talked a lot this season about a few fine details here and there which have been the things that have stopped you but tell us a bit about that, where the team goes forward next year and what your personal ambition is in 2018?

    KR: Obviously I want to be fighting at the front every weekend, to be able to fight for the championship next year. I think we started pretty badly – we were not really where we should have been – a personal feeling on my side – we’re not really happy where the setup was and it took quite a long time to figure it out and then since then it’s been better but then we had too many DNFs for many different reasons but I think, as a team, we’ve come a long way from year to year and also from last year, made a good step, obviously not enough for what we want but as Ferrari we want to win both championships. But I think we had all the tools this year, we just need to tidy up things and not make mistakes nor have issues on any side, not from our side as drivers or from the team side. These are just small things which in the end played a big part this year, who won the championship and which way it went but I think we have all the people, we have the tools and we have a great car. There are still two races to go and even though the championships are done we try to do the same work we always do and try to win races and then, obviously, we start from zero next year so hopefully we will be up there.


    Q: (Daniel Fideli – GloboEsporte.com) Brendon, you are used to winning races and championships as an endurance driver and you come to Formula One to race in a car that is not so good and mentally for you, how hard is it for you to come to Formula One and you know that you’re not going to be able to win races and just fight for the midfield?

    BH: I think as a driver you try and get the most out of whatever the situation is and I know for this weekend I have a firm goal of scoring my first point in Formula One. That would be celebrated, so I think so far from my experience in my two Grands Prix I had a lot to learn and a lot of small goals along the way and from my point of view it doesn’t change much on how I approach the weekend and the team. I can guarantee every single person in Toro Rosso is working their utmost to get the most out of the weekend, whatever is possible, so that doesn’t really change too much.

    Q: (Gustavo Faldon – ESPN Brasil) Kimi, Felipe Massa is retiring; you were his teammate for quite a while. What can you say about him? How was your relationship and do you feel like he helped you win your title ten years ago?

    KR: He’s retiring again, so let’s see if it actually happens or we will see him in the first race next year. I always had a good relationship with him, great atmosphere when we were at Ferrari together. We won two championships for the team as teammates and I think it was a great time. Obviously it was very fast, very good but I wish him all the best if he ends up (not) racing in F1 anymore. We will see what comes in his life in the future.

    Q: (Andrea Lopez – Motorlat.com) Kimi, there are only two races left this season; what is the summary you can make of your season this year?

    KR: I think it’s very simple that we are in the championship, that’s how good or bad it’s been. That’s how it is this year and obviously we need to learn and make better things next year but we all start from zero next year and it depends on many things over the winter and over the testing at the beginning of the year. We will then get some idea of where we are going to be and then we see in the first races what will happen, but obviously the aim is to do better, to fight for wins and championships – that’s, as a team, what we want to do and as a driver I want to do that. This year, for sure, in many ways could have been better but I guess it can always be worse also.

    Q: (Lucas Santochi – Pole Position) Brendon, you talk about how your work with Porsche helped you to approach the Formula One weekend, but what surprised you like ‘this is very difficult, I have to work on this’ and if Esteban can comment about his experience when he came in too last year?

    BH: Sorry, I’m just trying to think what surprised me the most – probably a lot of things. I’d been in the Formula One paddock before, 2008, 2009 – oh, sorry, 2009, 2010, OK. I didn’t make a Grand Prix start but at least I had been in the paddock so there were a few familiar faces already. I guess at Austin, a big shock was the high speed, just in terms of a driving the car, it was quite amazing, these modern Formula One cars, how quick they are in the first sector in Austin, so that was pretty mind-blowing and it took some time to get confident. For the drivers who are driving weekend in and weekend out, they are probably… you always want more grip, you always want more power but coming straight in… that was quite a shock to the system. And other than that, I don’t think there were any huge surprises in terms of difficulties. I knew it was going to be a challenge, I knew putting a Formula One weekend together is tough and I know that the level in Formula One of drivers and teams and everyone – there are some of the highest you can find so I guess in some ways there were no big surprises as I kind of expected that.

    EO: I was very well prepared before arriving in Formula One. I was around in the paddock since 2014 so that has helped me a lot. I have been driving with many different teams in testing and then I went into DTM with Mercedes and I think like Brendon it’s a bit the same way of working, with engineers, sponsors and then going back into the racing. It’s a bit the same level of professionalism. It’s just the specification of the category. I think you have to learn all the details and then be sure you are there when it’s needed.

    Q: (Jens Nagler – Bild) Esteban, there are quite some discussions about the future of Formula One, including a budget cap. Do you think a small team like Force India, assuming you work like you did this year, could have an extra shot at the title with such a budget cap?

    EO: I think that’s a very good question but honestly if everyone had the same budget I think some people would be surprised what Force India can achieve. At the moment, with the budget we have, what we are achieving is amazing, the level of work we are putting in is a lot but at the end the level is there and the performance is on track, so yeah, it would be nice.
  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


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    Paul Jeffrey
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  6. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Mercedes On The Money In Opening Practice
    Brazilian GP FP1.jpg
    The AMG Mercedes team were in sparkling form at Interlagos on Friday morning, dominating the field by over half a second around the sweeping turns of the Brazilian Grand Prix venue.

    Not content with a fourth World Championship secured last event, Lewis Hamilton would again stamp his 2017 authority on the field in FP1, clocking up an impressive 36 laps and ending the first running of the weekend just over a tenth quicker than his Mercedes colleague Valtteri Bottas.

    Despite what is very much an ominous statement of intent from the Silver Arrows up front, plenty of attention would be turned to further down the field in the form of a couple of very promising rookie drivers. British talent George Russell would be making his FP1 debut this weekend for Force India, lapping impressively as he bellied his tender young years to wrap up an outstanding P12, just six tenths off his talented team mate Esteban Ocon in his first run for the Force India team.

    Another impressive youngster would be the hugely talented Charles Leclerc debuting for Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber, lapping the Interlargos circuit 32 times and embarrassing the lacklustre Marcus Ericsson by beating his far more established team leader.

    Other stand out performances from the opening session of the weekend would be a much improved McLaren team, both cars spending plenty of time in the top ten and eventually finishing a very respectable eighth for Vandoorne and tenth place for potential future Toyota Le Mans driver Fernando Alonso.

    Provisional FP1 Results:
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 1:09.202 36
    2. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:09.329 +0.127s 43
    3. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:09.744 +0.542s 32
    4. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:09.750 +0.548s 31
    5. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:09.828 +0.626s 38
    6. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:09.984 +0.782s 32
    7. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:10.102 +0.900s 28
    8. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 1:10.402 +1.200s 26
    9. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 1:10.454 +1.252s 36
    10. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:10.476 +1.274s 24
    11. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1:10.632 +1.430s 42
    12. George Russell - Force India Mercedes 1:11.047 +1.845s 29
    13. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 1:11.188 +1.986s 29
    14. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 1:11.463 +2.261s 30
    15. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:11.467 +2.265s 32
    16. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:11.608 +2.406s 35
    17. Charles Leclerc - Sauber Ferrari 1:11.802 +2.600s 32
    18. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 1:11.898 +2.696s 28
    19. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 1:14.034 +4.832s 5
    20. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 2
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  7. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    No Surprise Up Front As Field Tightens Up in Brazil

    Brazilian GP FP2.jpg
    Mercedes again topped the times, but both Red Bull and Ferrari would offer a little more threat in FP2 as the best of the rest finally looked capable of holding a candle Hamilton and Bottas.

    Despite a very solid opening to the weekend for Mercedes, it would be a rather pleasant surprise to see Red Bull and Ferrari bridge a gap that appeared somewhat unassailable earlier in the day during the second 90 minute practice session in Brazil.

    The gap between first and sixth would be closed to just over half a second this afternoon, giving fans deprived of any decent racing action in recent months something to cheer ahead of the main event this weekend, and with title ambitions for both driver and manufacturer now finished, all that remains is personal pride and gaining the upper hand for the year ahead.

    Ferrari appear to have a strong car over longer runs, with Vettel lapping the most frequently of the top six drivers during second practice, however it is the gap between Mercedes team mates Hamilton and Bottas that will raise the most eyebrows this evening, just under half a tenth separating the two rivals and potentially setting up an entertaining showdown on Sunday - a duel that Bottas very much needs a positive result from if he is to stay in with a shout of keeping his reputation in tact heading into 2018..

    Provisional FP2 Results:
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 1:09.515 42
    2. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:09.563 +0.048s 45
    3. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:09.743 +0.228s 37
    4. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:09.875 +0.360s 48
    5. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:09.886 +0.371s 38
    6. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:10.117 +0.602s 45
    7. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 1:10.306 +0.791s 49
    8. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:10.373 +0.858s 42
    9. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:10.396 +0.881s 39
    10. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:10.655 +1.140s 31
    11. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:10.685 +1.170s 42
    12. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 1:10.695 +1.180s 43
    13. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 1:10.902 +1.387s 38
    14. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1:11.064 +1.549s 44
    15. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 1:11.300 +1.785s 39
    16. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 1:11.422 +1.907s 44
    17. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 1:11.821 +2.306s 54
    18. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 1:11.857 +2.342s 43
    19. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 1:11.989 +2.474s 17
    20. Antonio Giovinazzi - Haas Ferrari 1:12.417 +2.902s 37
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    The Field Closes Up in Brazilian Grand Prix Free Practice Three
    Brazilian Grand Prix FP3.jpg
    Valtteri Bottas ended Saturday morning running quickest of all, separated by a remarkable 0.058 seconds between the two Mercedes and Ferrari cars.

    While the pace across the top two squads remained remarkably close to the end of the session, Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo would be surprisingly out of contention down in fifth place, almost a full second away from the silver Mercedes of Bottas and just in front of an in-form Fernando Alonso and Force India due of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

    The other Red Bull of Max Verstappen would wind up in ninth place following a disjointed day of running including a late spin, and Carlos Sainz would once again impress in his new yellow Renault colours, finishing out the day in tenth position and again overshadowing his highly rated team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who could only manage 14th in the times just a tenth adrift of the Spanish star.

    Felipe Massa had a productive day in his final Formula One practice session in front of the home faithful, ending up with a solid 1:10.671 which was just enough to keep him on the fringes of the top ten in 12th position.

    Qualification for the Brazilian Grand Prix will take place later this afternoon.

    Provisional FP3 Results:
    1. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:09.281 24
    2. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 1:09.284 +0.003s 26
    3. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:09.326 +0.045s 20
    4. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:09.339 +0.058s 21
    5. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:10.244 +0.963s 14
    6. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:10.288 +1.007s 15
    7. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 1:10.322 +1.041s 21
    8. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 1:10.357 +1.076s 23
    9. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:10.495 +1.214s 9
    10. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:10.599 +1.318s 23
    11. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 1:10.637 +1.356s 21
    12. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:10.671 +1.390s 14
    13. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 1:10.721 +1.440s 19
    14. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:10.743 +1.462s 18
    15. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 1:10.762 +1.481s 20
    16. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 1:10.981 +1.700s 32
    17. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 1:11.085 +1.804s 30
    18. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 1:11.126 +1.845s 25
    19. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 1:11.480 +2.199s 27
    20. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  9. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Bottas to the Fore in Tight Qualifying Session.
    Brazilian Grand Prix Qualification .jpg
    Valtteri Bottas scored a much needed Pole Position in Brazil as his Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton threw the car into the wall on his opening qualifying lap.

    Hamilton would be left a dejected spectator right at the very beginning of qualification in Brazil on Saturday afternoon, making an uncharacteristic error on his very first run that would leave the Mercedes star with a badly bruised ego and heavily damaged car thanks to a hard clout into the unforgiving walls at the Interlargos circuit.

    With Hamilton out early and the form book suggesting Ferrari are closer than usual to the Mercedes team in Brazil, it would be all eyes on the front of the field to see who would secure the coveted Pole Position for tomorrows Brazilian Grand Prix.

    Fortunately for Bottas and his somewhat faltering Mercedes career, the Finnish driver managed to put in a very solid performance when it mattered to clock the fastest time of the day in Q3, lapping the beautiful circuit a fraction faster than championship runners up rival Sebastien Vettel, eventually taking the pole with just three thousands of a second in hand over the #5 Ferrari, who himself was only just under two tenths faster than fellow Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen in third position.

    Coming in as expected behind the top two teams would be the Red Bull cars of Verstappen and Ricciardo a further four and eighth tenths in arrears respectively, closely followed by the impressive Force India of Sergio Perez in sixth and the even more impressive Fernando Alonso in seventh, dragging his McLaren Honda into a position many thought would be impossible on a track that demands reasonable straight line speed.

    Rounding out the top ten would be Renault due Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz in eighth and ninth positions respectively, and finally home favourite and soon to be retired Felipe Massa taking a Q3 top ten position on what looks to be his final home Grand Prix in Formula One machinery.

    Provisional Qualification Results:
    1. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:09.452 1:08.638 1:08.322 22
    2. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:09.643 1:08.494 1:08.360 21
    3. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:09.405 1:09.116 1:08.538 18
    4. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:09.820 1:09.050 1:08.925 18
    5. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:09.828 1:09.533 1:09.330 19
    6. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 1:10.145 1:09.760 1:09.598 21
    7. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:10.172 1:09.593 1:09.617 17
    8. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:10.078 1:09.726 1:09.703 21
    9. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:10.227 1:09.768 1:09.805 17
    10. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:09.789 1:09.612 1:09.841 16
    11. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 1:10.168 1:09.830 17
    12. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 1:10.148 1:09.879 16
    13. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 1:10.286 1:10.116 15
    14. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 1:10.521 1:10.154 18
    15. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 1:10.625 DNS 15
    16. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 1:10.678 12
    17. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 1:10.686 10
    18. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1:10.776 8
    19. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 1:10.875 12
    20. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes DNF 2
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  10. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Another Boring Race Sees Vettel Take the Win Amongst Epic Hamilton Recovery Drive.
    Brazilian Grand Prix Race Report.jpg
    Sadly Bottas once threw away victory in Brazil, leaving Ferrari to secure a much needed boost amidst a fantastic recovery drive from new 4 x WDC Lewis Hamilton.

    The race would start in explosive fashion thanks to an opening lap skirmish between McLarens Stoffel Vandoorne and Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen, connecting with each other and ending both drivers races while at the same time causing a half spin and further impediment to Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, recovering from a pre race grid penalty and starting from an unaccustomed 14th place on the grid. Fortunately for Red Bull Ricciardo would avoid any major damage to his car and eventually continue on to an impressive sixth place finish, just 16 seconds shy of young team mate Max Verstappen in the sister Red Bull machine.

    Out front it would be a great opening to the race for Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, executing a near perfect start to leap ahead of the pole sitting Mercedes of Bottas into turn one, a position the German would never look likely to relinquish as he stormed ahead to a much need moral boosting race victory in front of a vociferous Brazilian crowd at Interlargos.

    Sadly opening lap dramas aside, that would pretty much be the end of any kind of on track excitement for the remainder of the 71 laps of racing, with much of the main overtaking done under DRS conditions and the top three drivers remaining status quo throughout the race.

    Of the more interesting on track action would come from Lewis Hamilton, making the most of a superior car the newly crowned World Champion would be in fine form as he sliced his way back through the field, eventually falling just short of taking the final podium position from Kimi Räikkönen and ending an eventful and thoroughly deserving fourth position.

    Home hero Felipe Massa would have a very positive final home race for Williams finishing best of the rest in seventh, fighting in close proximity to old rival Fernando Alonso for much of the race and ending his final home Grand Prix in plenty of style, a fitting tribute to one of motorsports finest ambassadors.

    Sergio Perez (Force India) and Nico Hulkenberg would round out the final points paying positions in ninth and tenth places respectively.

    Provisional Race Result:
    1. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 71 1:31:26.262
    2. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 71 +2.762s
    3. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 71 +4.600s
    4. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 71 +5.468s
    5. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 71 +32.940s
    6. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 71 +48.691s
    7. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 71 +68.882s
    8. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 71 +69.363s
    9. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 71 +69.500s
    10. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 70 +1 lap
    11. Carlos Sainz - Renault 70 +1 lap 0
    12. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 70 +1 lap 0
    13. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 70 +1 lap 0
    14. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 70 +1 lap 0
    15. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 69 +2 laps 0
    16. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 69 +2 laps 0

    DNF - Brendon Hartley HAR Toro Rosso 40 DNF 0
    DNF - Esteban Ocon OCO Force India Mercedes 0 DNF 0
    DNF - Stoffel Vandoorne VAN McLaren Honda 0 DNF 0
    DNF - Kevin Magnussen MAG Haas Ferrari 0 DNF 0
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  11. gamer19


    [reserved space for future comment]
    • Haha Haha x 3
  12. MoerasGrizzly


    • Like Like x 1
  13. ears


    This deck chair is mine.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. AmarildoJr


    Massa was never the same after the spring accident. Just like Piquet.
  15. gamer19


    That reminds me...


    It was in Brazil anyway. :)
    • Like Like x 2
  16. DucMan888


    One of the few must see races for me left on the bloated F1 calender. It brings back memories of Ayrton Senna, the man driving every last drop from the car on all but the final lap where he was acknowledging the crowd at near racing pace and took the checkered flag. Or Hamilton making that pass on the final lap, and the absolute heartbreak for Felipe, in that his first championship. Or most recently Vettel's first turn spin and then fight back to claim his title. Yep, Interlagos is one of the few icons left in modern F1, its a great weekend...FP3 starts in 5 minutes. Have a great weekend my friends.
  17. gamer19


    You, somehow, forgot that fabulous Max driving on very wet Brasil GP in your "best of the best Interlagos moments"... :rolleyes:

    But, luckily... I'm here to remind you. :D
  18. arniesan


    Yes all this and the Halo will destroy it all. :(