The 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship moves to Brazil for its penultimate round, with a thrilling race and title showdown anticipated.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is the new championship leader, with 231 points, having moved ahead of his four rivals by winning the compelling inaugural Korean Grand Prix two weeks ago.
That race resulted in a no-score for former championship leader Mark Webber, of Red Bull Racing, who retired on lap 18 but remains in second place, with 220 points. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel also failed to score in Korea. Despite dominating the race he retired after an engine failure with less than 10 laps to go. He now lies fourth in the championship, with 206 points. McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button — who clinched the 2009 world title at this race last year — remain in the title chase: Hamilton lies third with 210 points, while Button, on 189, must finish at least second at Interlagos to have any hope of retaining his title. The constructors' title, meanwhile, has been opened up by the double DNF of Red Bull Racing — the team's first since the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. The team still leads, on 426 points, but McLaren have 399 points and Ferrari 374. With 129 Constructors' points still available, and a margin of only 52 points between Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, all three teams will be looking to score heavily in Brazil.
This year's Brazilian Grand Prix is the 38th edition of the race, which first joined the Formula One calendar in 1973. The relatively short Interlagos circuit is popular with drivers and is noted for its challenging layout and frequently bumpy surface. It has been the venue for many dramatic races over the years and fickle local weather conditions have on many occasions contributed to unpredictable results.
CHANGES TO CIRCUIT SINCE 2009
A two meter wide strip of artificial grass has been laid behind the kerb on the exit of turn 4, replacing the grasscrete.
New negative kerbs have been installed on the exit of turns 5, 7, 11 and 12.
The grass between the end of the kerb on the exit of turns 7 and 8 has been replaced by an artificial product.
All white lines on the track edges, in addition to any coloured areas in the run-offs, have been painted with a suitable non-slip product.
FAST FACTS: BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
The Interlagos circuit is one of five in Formula One to run anti-clockwise, the others being: the Korea International Circuit, Turkey’s Istanbul Park, Singapore’s Marina Bay and the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Autodromo Carlos Pace is a shortened version of the original 8km Interlagos circuit that hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix from 1973 to 1977 and in 1979-80, with minor modifications. After a ten-year gap during which the Brazilian Grand Prix was held at Rio’s Jacarepagua circuit, (which also staged the race in 1978) the ‘new’ Interlagos returned to the F1 calendar for 1990. It has hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix every year since.
Native speakers of Spanish or Portuguese have been on pole position for the past eight Brazilian Grands Prix: Juan Pablo Montoya (2002); Rubens Barrichello (2003, ’04, ’09); Fernando Alonso (2005); Felipe Massa (2006-8).
The first three Brazilian Grands Prix were won by Brazilians: Emerson Fittipaldi for Lotus, then McLaren in 1973 and 1974; followed by the late Carlos Pace in 1975, driving for Brabham. Other Brazilians to have won their home race include Nelson Piquet (1983, Brabham; 1986, Williams); Ayrton Senna (1991 and 1993, both McLaren) and Felipe Massa (2006 and 2008, both Ferrari). Argentine Carlos Reutemann won three times (1977-78 and 1981) and Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya won twice (2004-5).
Notable Brazilian Grands Prix include:
- 2008: Lewis Hamilton becomes the youngest-ever Formula One World Champion, but only by passing Toyota's Timo Glock for fifth place two corners from the chequered flag. Race winner Felipe Massa had been 'World Champion' for approximately 20 seconds.
- 2004: Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya takes the team’s last win to date after a race-long duel with McLaren's Kimi R?ikk?nen.
- 2003: In monsoon conditions, Giancarlo Fisichella in the underestimated Jordan-Ford takes his first Formula One win.
Qualifying: All drivers eliminated in Q1 or Q2 will be available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session as will drivers who participated in Q3, but who are not required for the post-qualifying press conference. Where? At the back of the FIA garage.
b Race: Any driver retiring before the end of the race will be available for media interviews after his return to the paddock. In addition, all drivers who finish the race outside the top three will be available for media interviews immediately after the end of the race. Where? At each team’s individual garage/hospitality or alternatively at the back of the FIA garage.
During the race every team will make available at least one senior spokesperson for interview by officially accredited TV crews. A list of those nominated will be made available in the media centre.