It’s the last race of the year, eighteen races complete and just one Grand Prix to go. Thankfully, the season finale will be held at a decent racetrack, which should produce an eventful race. We’ve got elevation changes, unpredictable weather, and more importantly, enthusiastic fans, meaning that the Brazilian Grand Prix should be a party to send the 2011 season off in style.

Event Schedule

It’s the final opportunity for our drivers to make a good impression if they’re not sure of a race seat next year – with the young driver test fresh on everyone’s minds. We know that Robert Kubica won’t be back in the Renault/Lotus for the start of 2012, and we also know that HRT have sewn up one of their seats with the experienced Pedro de la Rosa.

The battle for second place in the driver standings still rages, with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso likely to take the fight to the finish. In the constructor’s fight, it’s all between Sauber and Toro Rosso as this last race will finally sort their positions once and for all. Team Lotus will continue to be on tenterhooks hoping they can cling on to their tenth position.

Session Timetable
Date Day Session Time (GMT)
25 Nov Friday Free Practice 1 12:00
Free Practice 2 16:00
26 Nov Saturday Free Practice 3 13:00
Qualifying 16:00
27 Nov Sunday Grand Prix 16:00

The Weather

The long range weather forecasts show the sun sitting behind clouds going into the weekend, and gradually getting worse until there is the potential for lightning and thunder on Sunday.

Friday, 25 November

  • 23℃
  • Low: 14℃
  • Humidity: 64%
  • Moderate conditions

Saturday, 26 November

  • 25℃
  • Low: 16℃
  • Humidity: 74%
  • Cloud cover

Sunday, 27 November

  • 22℃
  • Low: 18℃
  • Humidity: 80%
  • Storms likely

Circuit Map

Sidepodcast F1: Interlagos Circuit Map

Credit: FIA

Interlagos Circuit Map

The Circuit

Circuit Data
Name Interlagos
Location Brazil
Timezone GMT +0200
First Race 1972
Laps 71
Length 4.309 km
Distance 305.909 km
Start / Finish Offset 0.030 km

The Interlagos circuit is one of the few that is run anti-clockwise, which – although it doesn’t make too much difference to the action that you see on track – can cause an extra challenge to drivers and teams. It’s the end of a long season and reliability, and tired mistakes, are starting to become a factor, so there could be an extra element of chaos in Brazil this weekend.

The circuit is a favoured one by drivers, with both long straights requiring excellent top speed, but also twisting corners that demand great downforce. Data provided by Williams suggests the average safety car per race is 0.9, which I would have thought to be higher.

Red Bull have won the last two races here, which is an ominous start, but Ferrari have also shown well, taking victory at the previous three events. Felipe Massa particularly enjoys the circuit, and has plenty of emotional memories to spur him on.

2010 Results
Session Driver Team Time
Free Practice 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:12.328
Free Practice 2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:11.968
Free Practice 3 Robert Kubica Renault 1:19.191
Qualifying Nico Hülkenberg Williams 1:14.470
Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:33:11.803
Fastest Lap Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:13.851

Tyre Compounds

Sidepodcast F1: Soft and medium compounds

Soft and medium compounds

It’s worth noting that this weekend the Friday drivers will have two sets of experimental hard tyres in preparation for the 2012 season. The tyre is a lot softer than the current hard compound.

In the race, the soft tyres (yellow sidewalls) are a new version of this year’s rubber, one that was tested out by the young drivers last week and earlier in the year during the German Grand Prix.