Brazilian Grand Prix 2013: Prediction, Preview and Drivers to Watch

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2013

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 22:  Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Scuderia Toro Rosso drives during practice for the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 22, 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

This year's Formula One season reaches its curtain-call climax in Brazil on Sunday, where Sebastian Vettel receives his parade after sealing the drivers' championship earlier in the term.

Beyond that, we already know Fernando Alonso will be second on the podium, but a gap is still to be filled for the bronze finish.

Sao Paulo's drama might be lessened by the predetermined outcomes, but by no means do the gloomy South American conditions make for any less drama.

Looking ahead to Sunday's action, we profile exactly which drivers will be worth keeping an eye on during this weekend's meet, with a prediction of who'll emerge as victor.


Drivers to Watch

Fernando Alonso

Last year, Fernando Alonso managed to place second in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix despite starting seventh on the grid, meaning hopes should be high considering he starts Sunday's race in third.

The Spaniard has remained in Sebastian Vettel's vapour trail this season and has already sealed his spot at second for the drivers' championship standings, but he has an opportunity to finish 2013 on a high.

Alonso hasn't claimed a podium spot since finishing second in September's Singapore Grand Prix but returns to a track that's given him some joy in the past.


Nico Rosberg

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 23:  Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP drives during qualifying for the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 23, 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Nico Rosberg's pursuit of F1's big guns this season has been admirable, and on numerous occasions the German has found himself not far off the pace of Vettel and Co. at the head of the pack.

Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix went well for Rosberg this weekend, and the 28-year-old starts in second on the Sao Paulo grid.

Sky Sports News confirmed the driver's earlier success in qualification:

If the way he coped with the wet weather on Friday and Saturday are anything to go by, Rosberg should be able to handle the South American clash, but the question is weather his car can. 


Felipe Massa

Returning to his native Brazil, Felipe Massa will have the biggest support of any driver this Sunday, as the Ferrari man attempts to build on 2012's third-place finish at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

This will be Massa's last race for Ferrari before moving on to Williams at the end of the season, and the fates might smile kindly on the driver before he makes the move.



Vettel, as he so often has in recent years, managed to wrestle back control in qualifying to start at the top of the grid on Sunday, and again it's hard to see past the German onslaught.

Last time out, the 26-year-old became the first driver ever to win eight consecutive races in a single season, and he'll go on to further assert his record with a ninth in succession in Sao Paulo.