Brazilian Grand Prix 2015 Preview: Start Time, TV Times, Weather, Schedule, Odds
Formula One makes its one and only annual visit to South America this weekend for the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Set to be held at the short but sweet Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, this will be the 43rd world championship event to be held in the country. Of those, Interlagos—built in 1940—has hosted all but 10.
Alain Prost is the driver with the most wins in Brazil, but five of them came at the Jacarepagua circuit in the 1980s. Michael Schumacher leads the way in the list of Interlagos victors with four wins, while of the current crop, Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa are top of the pile with two apiece.
Hamilton has a chance to change that as he bids to bounce back from a disappointing weekend in Mexico. The title race is over, but the rivalry between the two Mercedes drivers appears to be burning just as brightly as ever.
Hopefully they and the rest of the field can give us another Interlagos classic.
Read on for a full preview of the weekend ahead, including a circuit map and detailed guide, TV times, session times, tyre and DRS information, current standings, weather and odds.
Current Drivers' and Constructors' Championship Standings
The drivers' championship is decided, but there's still a fight on to claim second place. Nico Rosberg's victory in Mexico saw him reclaim the position and gave him a handsome cushion over non-scoring Sebastian Vettel, but the four-time world champion isn't quite out of the running.
Another interesting battle for the fourth, fifth and sixth positions is also worth keeping an eye on—as is the duel between the Red Bull drivers.
The current top 10 drivers are:
The finishing positions of Mercedes and Ferrari are now set in stone, and—unless something truly remarkable happens—we can say the same for Williams. Red Bull need to score an absolute minimum of 71 points to overhaul their British rivals.
With only 86 left on the table, that's not going to happen.
But they do at least look secure in their current position, as do Force India. The fight for sixth between Lotus and Toro Rosso is the only one that looks likely to see any movement in the final two races.
The current constructors' championship standings are:
Data sourced from the official F1 website.
Interlagos is situated in the Socorro district of the city of Sao Paulo. It lies on high ground between the Billings and Guarapiranga reservoirs, and its name reflects this—"Interlagos" roughly means "between the lakes."
The circuit's seldom-used official name is Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. Sao Paulo native Carlos Pace (he dropped the Jose when racing) may not be the most famous Brazilian driver in sporting history, but his only F1 race win came at this circuit—or at least, on its old, longer layout—in 1975.
He died two years later in a plane crash, and the circuit was renamed in his honour. B/R's Matthew Walthert looked back on Pace's victory as part of our buildup for this year's grand prix.
Featuring a variety of interesting corners and some of the most impressive elevation changes of the year, Interlagos is a favourite of many fans and drivers. The crowds are always passionate and loud and the unpredictable weather often adds a touch of uncertainty to the weekend.
Turns 1, 2 and 3
A lap begins on the pit straight, as all laps do, with the track sloping quite steeply uphill before levelling out on the approach to F1's best chicane—the left-right Senna S.
The drivers brake hard from over 330 kilometres an hour (when they have DRS) and turn in gradually as the track begins to head downhill, eventually meeting the late apex of Turn 1 at around 110 kilometres an hour.
After taking a generous helping of kerb on the inside, they get their cars straightened up, feathering the throttle through the right-hander of Turn 2. Once they're through, the accelerator is pinned to the floor all the way through the long, fast left of Turn 3 (Curva do Sol) and out onto the back straight.
Turns 4 and 5
The cars reach speeds—again, if DRS-assisted—of around 330 kilometres an hour for the second time in the lap before it's back on the brakes for the slow- to medium-speed left of Turn 4 (Descida do Lago).
The track drops away sharply after the apex and the drivers get back on the power as quickly as they can. Turn 5 is an easy, flat-out left-hander, and it leads out onto a short straight.
Turns 6, 7 and 8
The track continues downhill initially before starting to rise as it leads into the infield. The drivers brake and turn simultaneously for the tricky, medium- to high-speed right of Turn 6 (Ferradura).
This is the first part of what is considered a double corner, taken in one smooth arc; the second part is the uphill, medium-speed right of Turn 7.
The outside kerbs are usually ignored because the braking zone for Turn 8 arrives as soon as the cars exit the corner. This slow, tight, slightly banked downhill right-hander is taken at less than 100 kilometres an hour.
Keep an eye out for drivers cutting this corner—many take so much kerb on the inside that their outside wheels barely touch the "official" racing surface, indicated by the painted white line.
Turns 9 and 10
The track continues heading downhill—Interlagos is a spirit level's worst nightmare—and into the slow left-hander of Turn 9 (Pinheirinho). A relatively straightforward 180-degree corner approached and taken at low speed, it sends the cars back uphill.
The drivers only have time to accelerate to a shade over 200 kilometres an hour before braking for the very tight and slow right-hander of Turn 10 (Bico de Pato). You'll see a lot of front-right lockups into here, but they rarely cost the driver any time.
At the exit, it's back on the throttle—and back downhill.
Turns 11 and 12
There are a lot of good corners at Interlagos, but purely in terms of looks, the top prize has to go to Turn 11 (Mergulho). Its name literally means "dive" or "diving"—a very accurate moniker for this flat-out, very steep downhill left.
In the dry, it's relatively easy—in the wet, it's anything but.
The track bottoms out at the exit and the short straight heads sharply uphill and into the braking zone for the tricky left-hander of Turn 12 (Juncao). This is arguably the most important corner on the circuit as it leads out onto the long, curving pit straight.
Turns 13, 14 and 15
With the throttle pedal firmly nailed to the floor, the drivers speed uphill through the easy left-handers of Turns 13 and 14. The track levels out briefly before heading downhill through the banked Turn 15, then it rises again as the drivers head over the finish line and onto another lap.
The pit-lane entry is on the inside of Turn 15, and the exit is on the back straight between Turns 3 and 4. However, the speed limiter only applies until the line before the sharp corner on the inside of Turn 1—the rest of the exit is taken at racing speed.
Tyre Selections and DRS Zones
Interlagos was resurfaced ahead of the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix. The new tarmac offers up reasonable levels of grip and tyre wear as last season's race proved—the most common (and winning strategy) was three stops.
However, this was in part down to high race-day temperatures—not expected in 2015.
Pirelli is supplying the yellow-marked soft and white-marked medium compounds for this weekend's race. The tyre company's race preview states the rear-right tyre takes the most punishment around the anticlockwise circuit.
Of the two supplied compounds, the soft is expected to be quicker by around 0.9 seconds per lap—a considerable amount on such a short circuit. But the medium will of course be more durable, so the teams will experiment in practice to determine which is the better race tyre.
There will be two DRS zones at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The first will have its detection point between Turns 1 and 2 in the Senna S. The activation line will be at the exit of Turn 3 and the zone will end with braking for Turn 4.
The second zone's detection point will lie just after Turn 13—the first of the flat-out corners on the pit straight. The activation point is in line with the pit-lane entry, just before Turn 15, and the zone will end at Turn 1.
Sao Paulo has a humid subtropical climate with warm weather all year round. November lies in mid-spring and sees average daily highs of around 25 degrees Celsius. Rain falls approximately one day in every three, and when it comes down, it can be very heavy indeed.
Interlagos is famed for its unpredictable weather, and the forecast for the weekend ahead is typically mixed and uncertain. The highest temperatures—at or above 30 degrees Celsius—are expected to be on Friday and Saturday, but there's a possibly of rain on both days.
Sunday looks more likely to be dry, but the skies will be overcast and temperatures are set to be below the long-term average.
BBC Weather—which has a special forecast for the racetrack itself—will have the latest.
Lewis Hamilton is closing in on two full seasons spent as the favourite for every single race. Despite his win in Mexico, Nico Rosberg has not dislodged his rival, while Sebastian Vettel is in his usual spot as third favourite.
The top 10 favourites are:
The safety car has featured five times in the last three races, and it's 4-11 for an outing in Brazil (2-1 for no appearance).
It goes without saying that trouble-free runs for the top men will result in points finishes, but the midfield drivers are set for another tight battle. Sergio Perez is 5-11 for a top-10 result, followed by Nico Hulkenberg at 1-2, Max Verstappen at evens, Carlos Sainz Jr. at 11-10 and Romain Grosjean at 6-5.
And in Mexico, Nico Rosberg became the second driver in 2015 to record a hat-trick of pole, fastest lap and the race win. He's 14-1 to repeat the feat in Brazil, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton 11-2. Sebastian Vettel is next at 125-1.
All odds sourced from Oddschecker.com and correct at the time of publication.
Brazilian Grand Prix TV Schudule and Session Times
As always, the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend will consist of three free practice sessions, qualifying and the race.
The session times are as follows:
|Practice 1||Friday||10 a.m.|
|Practice 2||Friday||2 p.m.|
|Practice 3||Saturday||11 a.m.|
All times given are in Sao Paulo local time (BRST, UTC-2). The official Formula One website has a useful tool on its homepage to convert them to your own time zone.
|Session||Day||Session Start||Sky Start||BBC Start (ch.)|
|Practice 1||Friday||12 noon||11:45 a.m.||11:55 a.m. (Two)|
|Practice 2||Friday||4 p.m.||3:45 p.m.||3:45 p.m. (Two)|
|Practice 3||Saturday||1 p.m.||12:45 p.m.||12:55 p.m. (Two)|
|Qualifying||Saturday||4 p.m.||3 p.m||3:10 p.m. (One)|
|Race||Sunday||4 p.m.||2:30 p.m.||3:20 p.m. (One)|
In the United States, live coverage is provided by the NBC network on NBCSN, CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra (SLE). The times for U.S. coverage are as follows (all times EST):
|Session||Day||Session Start||NBC Start (ch.)|
|Practice 1||Friday||7 a.m.||7 a.m. (SLE)|
|Practice 2||Friday||11 a.m.||11 a.m. (NBCSN)|
|Practice 3||Saturday||8 a.m.||8 a.m. (SLE)|
|Qualifying||Saturday||11 a.m.||11 a.m (CNBC)|
|Race||Sunday||11 a.m.||10:30 a.m. (NBCSN)|
The title race may be over, but there's still a lot to race for, and Interlagos usually produces decent racing.
Enjoy the weekend!
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