|Circuit||Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
|Distance||305,909 km / 190,124 miles|
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Already yesterday, in qualifying, it was clear that the SF70H was quick and well prepared. Today, we got the confirmation that we have a very good car at our disposal. The result of this race is also down to the great job carried out by the team, both here at the track and back in Maranello, not forgetting the drivers who, on the day, know how to step up to the mark. Now we look ahead to the next challenge in Abu Dhabi, still determined to give it our all, right to the very end.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I think this was one of the most difficult races of the season, there was no time for mistakes. My start was not perfect, but enough to beat Bottas off the line. Then, Valtteri was always very close and we had the same pace, but I pushed very hard and managed to pull a gap. This win is very important for me and for the team. After such a long time it’s been great to achieve it. I’m happy for the whole team, because it has been through a tough couple of weeks, with long nights, hard work and a big support from the factory. I dedicate this win to all of them, to the guys here and to those who’ve been working in Maranello. It’s been very hard for us, but today is a great day and I want to thank my team and our tifosi. Hopefully we’ll have a good race in Abu Dhabi!”
Kimi Raikkonen: “My start was pretty average, I had some wheelspin and I was happy I did not lose any places. The first fifteen laps were a bit tricky with tires, but after the pit stop I was happy with my car. I expected that improvement, because I knew that with the soft tires I would be really strong. It was easy to keep up with the guys in front and at the same time look after my tires. At some point I tried to push and I got closer; I felt I had a lot of speed but today in these conditions there was no way to pass. It was a bit frustrating, but when Hamilton was behind me I could see him closing up, but I had a good car and I was pretty confident that if I was not making any stupid mistake I could keep him behind. I held him quite easily, he never really had a good chance to get me. Obviously we could have finished one place up, but it’s a great result for the team. The car has been pretty strong all weekend. We have been strong almost everywhere this year, obviously in a few races we had some difficulties, but as a team we can be proud. We are building ourselves for next year.”
Behind the win and double podium, a great job by the team
Sao Paulo –Scuderia Ferrari has taken another win, its fifth of 2017, after what was an exciting Brazilian Grand Prix, perfectly managed by the drivers and the team. It was held in hot conditions, with air temperature at 30 degrees, while the track almost hit 60, so it was vital to look after the car components and especially the tyres. Getting both drivers to the podium clearly shows that Ferrari never gives up.
Seb’s lightning start was the key to victory, as he took the lead going into Turn 1. Kimi held third, but immediately there was chaos further back with several incidents. The Safety Car came out and the drivers had to come through pit lane so that the track surface, which had already hit a very high 54 degrees, could be cleaned of debris. Five laps went by before the race was on again, with the lead positions unchanged. DRS could now be used, but Seb had a lead of over a second. The heat meant that everyone was managing their pace so as not to overheat the tyres, while waiting for the pit stop window. Second placed Bottas initiated the run of stops, coming in on lap 28, trying for an undercut on Vettel, who pushed flat out to maintain his advantage. He emerged from the snaking pit lane still ahead and immediately pulled out more of a lead. Kimi also pitted, nimbly popping out ahead of Ricciardo and Verstappen. At this point, both Ferraris were lapping in under the 1’13” mark.
Hamilton had started from pit lane and did not make his pit stop until lap 44, when Seb led the GP again, controlling his advantage over Bottas. Kimi put in his best lap of the race to fend off Hamilton, which saw him close on Bottas. The final stages were very close, but Seb and Kimi both held on, to bring the total to date in this 2017 season to five wins and 19 podium finishes.
Vettel victorious, with Raikkonen also on the podium in third
Interlagos, 12 November – Sebastian Vettel won today’s Brazilian Grand Prix, held at the Interlagos circuit. It is Scuderia Ferrari’s 229th Formula One win, the fifth this season for the team and for Seb. Kimi Raikkonen also made it to the podium having finished third. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers started the race on the Supersoft tyres, making a single pit stop to switch to the Softs. There were three key moments: the start with Seb managing to get ahead of Bottas; the pit stops, carried out perfectly by the team and Kimi’s defence of third place, when under attack from Hamilton in the closing stages.
Seb and Kimi confident for the race after tight qualifying battle
Interlagos, November 11th – Scuderia Ferrari has been a regular on the front row of the grid, including taking two pole positions, since the last Singapore Grand Prix and Brazil was no exception today as Sebastian topped the time sheet right up to the last run in Q3 and lost pole to Bottas by a mere 38 milliseconds, while Kimi lined up right behind his team-mate. Tomorrow, in what are expected to be warmer and dry conditions, the 71-lap race promises to provide fans with lots of excitement.
“We have improved since Friday, and that’s the important thing” said Seb. “I was happy with my car today, but in my last run, I was perhaps a bit too shy in braking for the first corner. I had a better run at the end of my out-lap, so there was probably more grip than I expected there. In the last sector, I knew I could make up for some of the lost time, and I did, but it wasn’t enough. However, it was very close, and we’re usually even closer in race conditions, so my motivation is high for tomorrow and I’ll being aiming for a win”.
“The feeling with the car was good most of the time” commented Kimi, “but somehow the laps were always a bit tricky, with everybody trying to get their free space. When the tyres switched on well, then everything was easier, but with the traffic in the out-lap it was not always the case. Some sets were feeling better than others purely because of having a bit better out-lap. It was a bit hard to trust them and not get a front lock-up at the first corner. Overall the car itself was nice to drive when the tires worked, so it’s a bit of a shame. It was not the most straightforward qualifying but in the end it was a decent result. I think we did a solid job today, we can consider it a good team result. For sure there was more to get, but the race is tomorrow and it’s going to be long. For the start we’ll try our best, the first corner is quite tight, so we’ll try to make a good start and see what we can get”.
Sebastian ahead of Kimi in Interlagos
Interlagos, 11 November – Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix ended with a second and third place for the Scuderia Ferrari drivers. Sebastian Vettel posted a time of 1’08”360 to line up ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen whose best lap was a 1’08”538 on the starting grid for tomorrow’s race. Both SF70Hs ran the Soft and Supersoft tyres over the three qualifying sessions, which were held under cloudy skies that produced a few drops of rain towards the end.
Kimi and Seb third and fourth fastest
Interlagos, 11 November – Come the end of the third and final free practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third in 1’09”326 and Sebastian Vettel was fourth in 1’09”339. Both drivers completed 20 laps each, with a work sheet aimed at qualifying on the Supersoft compound for the Finn, while the German also ran the Medium tyres.
Qualifying, which should be a dry session, is due to start at 17h00 CET.
Seb and Kimi just under the 50-lap mark
Interlagos, November 10th – Both practice sessions at the Autodromo Carlos Pace turned out to be quite uneventful, as despite the ever-present threat of rain, drivers only had to contend with a few intermittent and harmless drops during FP2. Scuderia Ferrari drivers jumped at the opportunity to rack up the laps of the 4.3 Km circuit, working mostly in preparation for Sunday’s race, which is supposed to be run in dry conditions. Sebastian covered 48 laps and Kimi 45.
“I think that in the end we ran more than what we expected as it didn’t rain”, Seb commented. “It was nice to be able to do a lot of laps today. We need to find the right balance and this should help us get the pace for the qualifying session and the race, but I still think it won’t be easy to defeat our main competitors. We’ll see where we get tomorrow”.
“It’s only a Friday”, said Kimi, “and as always, we keep trying different things to learn from them. The tires will play a key role here as usual, the performance will depend on how they work and how long they will last. I felt some vibrations at the beginning of my stint, but that’s quite normal to have sometimes in the car: usually it comes from tires and different sets. We don’t know what the temperatures will be over the rest of the weekend, but we cannot change them anyway and it will be the same for everybody”.
The third and final practice session will start tomorrow at 11 AM local time. There is a high chance of showers.
FP2 sees Seb finish fourth and Kimi sixth
Sao Paulo, 10 November – In the second free practice session in Brazil, Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest in 1’09”875, completing a total of 48 laps. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was sixth quickest with a 1’10”117, doing 45 laps.
Both Prancing Horse drivers ran the usual tyre programme, using new Softs and Supersofts, setting their best times of the afternoon on the latter. Tomorrow, the final hour of free practice at Interlagos gets underway at 14h00 CET, with qualifying following on at 17h00.
Kimi 3rd and Seb 6th in FP1
Sao Paulo, 10 November – The penultimate round of the Formula 1 season, the Brazilian Grand Prix, has got underway with the usual first free practice session. The Ferraris are third and sixth on the time sheet, Kimi Raikkonen having posted a best lap of 1’09”744 and Sebastian Vettel doing a 1’09”984. Both Scuderia Ferrari men ran the same tyre programme, using the Medium and Supersoft compounds. The second session gets underway at 17h00 (CET.)
Seb and Kimi “learned from this season” and want to end on a high
Interlagos, November 9th – Rain in the morning, then a warm and sunny afternoon. Sao Paolo weather keeps true to its tradition of unpredictability, which should make the coming challenge even more interesting. With two races to go, Scuderia Ferrari drivers are determined to make the most of them.
“Obviously, time passes and that helps”, Seb comments. “Mexico was a big disappointment, but here it’s a different race and a new challenge that we are looking forward to. For these last two Grands Prix, we want to do everything really well as a team and enjoy the weekends. We don’t stop developing our car and this year we have improved it in order to give us advantages also for the future. Development is an ongoing process and since the regulations don’t change that much, there are many things we can learn from this season and carry over into next year. I really like this track, although not so much the fact that they change the kerbs every year, but it’s not my decision. However, overall, it’s a great place and I am looking forward to racing here.”
“Interlagos is a nice track, a short one with not so many corners,” says Kimi. “Racing is quite tricky here and usually a lot happens. I had some good races and some bad ones, but it’s always been very interesting. The weather can change very quickly and, on track, we’re all very close to one another because of the short lap time. Although both championships are now decided, our aim is still the same; as at any other race, we are here to fight for the win and do the best we can. Then at the end of the season we’ll see where we end up”.
Interlagos, so much history and so quirky
It’s the biggest city in the Americas and almost certainly not the most beautiful. But, for Brazilians and for the world, Sao Paulo is also “the city” of Formula One. Of the 44 editions of the Brazilian Grand Prix held to date (plus the opening non-championship race in 1972) only ten have been taken place at Rio’s Jacarepagua track, with all the others run at Interlagos, a suburb to the south of the city. Half of all Brazilian drivers who have raced in Formula 1 come from the Paulista state: Fittipaldi, Pace (after whom the circuit is named,) Senna, Barrichello and Massa, to mention the best known. The original layout was almost eight kilometres in length, running on past the current Esses, dedicated to Ayrton Senna. The drivers always complained about the condition of the track surface, which also moved around, as it is built on swamp land. Today, it’s a case of the extreme opposite, as the track is just over 4 kilometres and its main straight is just 650 metres long, although the cars are accelerating all the way through its final part.
The Scuderia Ferrari roll of honour in Brazil features the names of Lauda, Reutemann, Mansell, Prost, Schumacher, Massa and of course, Kimi Raikkonen, who, with an adventurous drive in 2007 also took the Drivers’ title: there are some who would assert they spotted a tear when he removed his helmet and balaclava to thank everyone in the pits. A few years ago, the look of the Paulista paddock also changed, with the narrow corridor between the garages and hospitality areas replaced with something more modern and spacious. What remains unchanged are the famous corner names: Bico de Pato (duck bill, because of its narrow flattened appearance,) Mergulho (the dive,) so called due to its sharp drop and Laranjinha (literally, small orange) because, for Brazilians, the “oranges” are inexperienced drivers and this tricky turn is not made for them…