Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2013: 5 Key Storylines to Watch in Interlagos
The Formula 1 circus finally winds down for the 2014 season with the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Whilst Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull may have already sewn up both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles, there is still plenty to play for.
Vettel himself is chasing another long-standing record, many other drivers are out to impress with their very careers on the line and two teams are still battling for a lucrative second place in the constructors’ standings.
Sunday’s race also marks the last for one of the most popular drivers on the grid, and a certain Australian will be trying his utmost to make it a fairytale finish and get one over on his old rival.
Here are the top five storylines to watch out for at Interlagos.
5. The Battle for Second
Red Bull may have wrapped up the constructors’ title some time ago, but for two teams there is still plenty to play for.
Only 15 points separate Mercedes in second and Ferrari in third, and second place in the standings is worth an extra $10.2 million, according to the Concorde Agreement as highlighted by a recent article by Joe Saward in the Hindustan Times.
4. Will Lewis Go Radio Ga Ga?
In order to beat Alonso and cement second place for Mercedes in the constructors’ standings, Lewis Hamilton may have to keep his emotions under control.
The U.S. Grand Prix saw a tetchy radio exchange between Hamilton and his team, with the driver giving conflicting messages during the race. He first asked to be left alone when told of his tyre situation, while later demanding, "you need to give me some feedback, man, tyres, temperatures."
However, Brawn told The Guardian that he had no concerns over the situation and that it was not an issue.
It's not an issue, quite frankly. We are learning to calibrate our input to Lewis and sometimes he jives with us a bit, saying it's too much, and two seconds later saying it's not enough.
From some drivers you won't hear anything, so when you do, you pay a lot of attention. With other drivers, there's a bit more rapport going on. We are just getting used to working with Lewis. I am sure there are different levels of frustration with him. The first level, you just wade through. It's part of building a relationship. It's not problematic.
3. Drivers Under Pressure
With several seats still up for grabs for 2014, many drivers will be fighting tooth and nail to finish the season on a high and impress potential suitors.
Adrian Sutil hinted only yesterday on Autosport that he has already signed a new contract with Force India, but that still leaves one possible race seat, with Paul di Resta not confirmed.
Chasing that opportunity will be Nico Hulkenberg, who still holds out hope of a Lotus drive although he told Autosport his hopes are dwindling fast.
Recently axed McLaren driver Sergio Perez also hopes that either Force India or Sauber will come knocking on his door as he looks to impress in Brazil, according to Autosport.
2. Vettel Chasing Ascari
Sebastian Vettel’s dominant victory in America meant that he became the first man to win eight races on the bounce in a single season—an incredible achievement.
However, the German superstar still has yet another record in his sights, and that is to match Alberto Ascari’s 60-year-old record of nine consecutive race wins on the bounce.
Vettel’s achievement would be all the more impressive as he will have done so in a single season and with many more cars on the grid.
1. A Fairytale Swansong?
Although witnessing yet another Vettel victory would be something to behold, surely nobody would begrudge Mark Webber a fairytale finish on his F1 swansong.
The Brazilian Grand Prix marks Webber’s final race in F1 in a career spanning 12 seasons, during which time he has notched nine race victories.
The popular Australian has not won since the 2012 British Grand Prix, but Brazil would be the perfect time to put that right and notch victory 10 to sign off in style.