Brazilian GP - Hot times in Brazil
Interlagos, 23 November – He won a few days ago in Austin, Texas and Lewis Hamilton is still the man in form as the F1 circus has headed south from North to South America for the final act of this year’s thrilling championship. He was fastest in both sessions and ominously, Sebastian Vettel, the series leader and his Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber, have been second and third in both.
Even if Fernando Alonso was not totally happy with the set-up of his car, his performance was still good enough to end the day in fifth spot, behind his team-mate Felipe Massa. One expects the Brazilian to go well here at his home city and he was happy with his pace over a long run, enjoying a trouble free time, apart from a harmless spin at one point. Michael Schumacher completed his final Friday not just of the season, but of his illustrious career, by rounding off today’s top six in the Mercedes.
It’s fair to say everyone in the paddock was shocked to find that it was pretty cold in Austin last week and here, at the much more familiar venue of Sao Paolo, it has to be said that track temperatures well over 50 degrees Centigrade came as a bit of a surprise. It certainly made life complicated, particularly from a tyre point of view: here we have the same Hard and Medium tyres that were used in the USA Grand Prix, but on a track surface that is in any case more abrasive and grippy than the brand new tarmac in the States, so degradation is going to be much higher. How much of an effect that might have on Sunday’s championship shoot-out is arguable, because currently heavy rain is forecast, something that unlike today’s heat, is certainly not a surprise for Sao Paolo in November. And as Fernando said yesterday, it will take some special circumstances to get him home one point ahead of Vettel and circumstances come any more special than rain. However, before then, tomorrow the F2012 will need to be at its best in the dry to deal with qualifying. It’s going to be a tough one and starting a wet race from the middle of the field is never the safest option.