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    São Paulo for the final Sprint of the season

    Scuderia Ferrari arrives at the José Carlos Pace circuit off the back of a third place podium finish for Charles Leclerc and a fourth place for Carlos Sainz in Mexico City.

    Maranello 01 novembre 2023

    For the third and final leg of the Formula 1 World Championship’s American triple-header, the teams head south again to Brazil for the São Paulo Grand Prix and the last Sprint weekend of the year. Scuderia Ferrari arrives at the José Carlos Pace circuit off the back of a third place podium finish for Charles Leclerc and a fourth place for Carlos Sainz in Mexico City. The result sees the Spaniard move up to fourth in the Drivers’ standings. The Brazilian circuit is generally known as Interlagos, as it is located between two lakes, built on clay soil, the instability of which has contributed to the bumpy nature of the track surface.

    Anniversary. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Grand Prix to be held in Brazil, a round of the championship that soon made a name for itself because of the atmosphere and the dramatic moments it produced. The track is just 4.309 kilometres long and starts with a slight climb before plunging downhill at dizzying speeds when tackled on a flying lap on the way to Turn 1, the Senna Esses, named in honour of the three-time Paulista world champion. This section is a good overtaking opportunity and it is followed by the Reta oposta, the first straight where the DRS can be activated up to turn 4. Here the cars test the limits of physics, generating massive G forces as the drivers aim to carry plenty of speed on the approach to the very technical second sector which goes from turn 6 to 11. High downforce is required for this section, on what is generally a medium to high downforce track. Sector three favours a low downforce set-up, with cars once again travelling flat out. The drivers tackle the Junção, sharp left hand bend, as the track once more goes uphill and DRS is enabled for the Subida do Boxes and Arquibancadas, a flat out left hander that leads onto the finish straight. A lap of Interlagos only lasts about 70 seconds but it packs in as much excitement as many of the longest and most complicated tracks on the calendar.

    Programme. The final Sprint weekend of the year features just the one free practice session on Friday, followed by qualifying for Sunday’s 71 lap Grand Prix. Saturday is entirely given over to the Sprint with the Shootout in the morning followed by the 24 lap (approximately 100 kilometre) race. The top eight finishers can score points going from 8 down to 1.


    Friday 3 November

    11.30 (15.30 CET) Free practice

    15.00 (19.00 CET) Qualifying

    Saturday 4 November

    11.00 (15.00 CET) Sprint Shootout

    15.30 (19.30 CET) Sprint (24 laps, 103,356 km)

    Sunday 5 November

    14.00 (18.00 CET) São Grand Prix (71 laps, 305,879 km) 

    Video: Charles takes us on a lap of Interlagos

    It’s time for the last leg of this American triple-header here in Sao Paulo, which features the final Sprint weekend of the season, the third out of the last four Grands Prix. At the past two rounds in Austin and Mexico City, we were outstanding in qualifying, taking pole both times with Charles and securing an all-Ferrari front row last Sunday. But in the races, it has been clear that we are still vulnerable to attack. Nevertheless, we have come away with two podium finishes and scored more points than the others fighting for second in the championship. But at the moment we still trail by 22 points so it’s no easy task that we face. What we can guarantee is that we are fully committed to doing our very best in Brazil. Mercedes will certainly be very competitive, but we must continue to focus on our own performance, to move forward and to do better in every area, especially when it comes to tyre management and race strategy. Carlos and Charles are very motivated, as indeed are the team at the track and back in Maranello. We will keep fighting all the way to the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.

    Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal

    Ferrari Stats

    GP contested 1071
    Seasons in F1 74
    Debut Monaco 1950 (A. Ascari 2nd; R. Sommer 4th; L. Villoresi ret.)
    Wins 243 (22.71%)
    Pole positions 248 (23.15%)
    Fastest race laps 259 (24.18%)
    Total podiums 805 (25.05%)

    Ferrari Stats Grands Prix held in Brazil

    GP contested 49
    Debut 1973 Brazilian GP (A. Merzario 4th; J. Ickx 5th)
    Wins 11 (22.45%)
    Pole positions 7 (14.28%)
    Fastest race laps 8 (16.33%)
    Total podiums 32 (21.77%)

    Three questions to...

    1. Describe the characteristics of the Interlagos track.

    Interlagos is a historic Formula 1 venue. It runs anticlockwise with short straights and several demanding corners, several of them on slopes and the track is narrower than other more modern circuits. All this makes it definitely demanding for the drivers who actually appreciate it for this very reason. Being not far from the ocean, the Grands Prix here are often affected by very changeable weather. 

    2. What demands does Interlagos put on the chassis?

    The track characteristics usually require a medium to high aero downforce level, dictated by the short straights, several fast corners, as well as many slow ones, such as turn 10. The track is also rather bumpy, which can affect car set-up. In terms of braking it is one of the least critical tracks of the year, so the air intakes are configured so as not cool discs and pads too much, in order to keep them at the optimal working temperature. Being a Sprint weekend, simulation work takes on even greater importance as there is only the one Friday morning free practice session to confirm the preliminary preparation work and make any changes that might be required.

    3. And what about you? How did you get to Ferrari and what is the aspect of your work that you are most proud of?

    Scuderia Ferrari is where I completed my university engineering degree. Then, after working on design and quality control in the manufacture of road transport vehicles, I was able to start working in motorsport. The first years were spent entirely working on research and development for Formula 1, when I was able to work on innovation for different areas of the chassis. For the past years, I have focused on coordinating a mechanical design and operation group within the technical department. Every year, I get to see the new car assembled for the first time, the first fire-up, and then see it turn a wheel for the first time before all that season’s Grands Prix and that is what fuels my passion for this job. That same passion, attention to detail and the will to win are the elements we work on every day, passing our experience on to the young engineers as they join our work group.

    Marco Civinelli
    Nationality: Italian
    Born: 6/7/81
    In: Rimini (Emilia-Romagna)

    São Paulo Grand Prix: facts & figures

    3. The number of Sprint events held in Brazil including this Saturday’s, making Interlagos the circuit that has hosted the most. This weekend’s Sprint is the 12th since the format was introduced: there have been two at Spielberg, and one at Silverstone, Monza, Imola, Baku, Spa-Francorchamps, Lusail and Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

    4. The number of time zones in Brazil, the largest South American country. São Paulo is in the time zone of capital city Brasilia, which is four hours behind European time. The other time zones are Fernando do Noronho, which applies just to a few small islands in the Atlantic Ocean (3 hours difference to Europe), Amazonia, in the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondonia and Roraima (5 hours difference to Europe) and Acre, of which the capital city is Rio Branco (a six hour difference to Europe, reintroduced in 2013 after a five year hiatus when it was five hours).
    16. The number of São Paulo-born Formula 1 drivers out of a total of 31 from Brazil, who have taken part in at least one Grand Prix. They include World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna and the very first Brazilian to race in F1, Chico Landi who drove a Ferrari 375 in the 1951 Italian Grand Prix. Also on the list, the Paulista with the most starts of any of his fellow countrymen – 323 with 11 wins – for Rubens Barrichello

    64. The millions of passengers per year who pass through the airports of São Paulo of which there are three: Guarulhos (airport code GRU) known to Brazilians as Cumbica, is the major one and the second busiest in Latin America, handling 43 million passengers per year. Then comes Congonhas (CGH), just eight kilometres from the Sao Paulo city centre, with 21 million passengers. Finally, there’s the Campo de Marte airport which is used only by private jets and light aircraft. 

    4000. The approximate number of Golden Lancehead (Bothrops Insularis) vipers thought to inhabit the island of Queimada Grande in the state of São Paulo. It is one of the most dangerous snakes in the world and its venom can be fatal in under an hour. Given that the island is 90 kilometres off the mainland, it’s clear that it is impossible to survive a bite from this reptile. There is a lighthouse on the island which up until 1900 was manned and the last lighthouse keeper actually died of a bite from this snake which, one night, entered through a window he unwisely forgot to close..

    01 novembre, 2023