The Brazilian Grand Prix, which takes place at Sao Paulo's 4.309km/2.677 mile Interlagos circuit, is the final event of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship. Kimi Raikkonen: "My memories of last year's Brazilian race are of course mixed...
The Brazilian Grand Prix, which takes place at Sao Paulo's 4.309km/2.677 mile Interlagos circuit, is the final event of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship.
"My memories of last year's Brazilian race are of course mixed having been so close to victory, and hopefully this time I will be able to take a good result to end the season with. I think that following Japan, everyone is looking forward to getting back to the normal schedule, although it was nice to have a day off!"
"The key feature of the race is that we run in an anti-clockwise direction. This does of course place different physical pressures on us, as the forces as we corner are on the opposite muscles. We tend to run with a set-up compromise at Interlagos to try and be quick in the twisting infield and long, sweeping start-finish straight."
"This section of the track is uphill, making qualifying position even more important as the further down the grid you are the steeper the slope to start from, which is of course not ideal. After the race, I will be going on a delayed honeymoon with Jenni, before getting back to testing towards the end of November."
"With two real overtaking opportunities, the Interlagos circuit usually sees exciting racing. The main one is the first corner, if you slipstream along the straight you can pass under braking into the left hander. The race itself tends to be physically quite tough, one of the main causes being the very bumpy surface. It has improved over the years but still causes major vibrations in the car, which can unsettle it and as a consequence your reflexes also need to be 100% for the whole race."
"Car set-up is also heavily influenced by this particular characteristic, as we need to ensure it rides well over the bumps and it has high levels of grip. The race is always great fun, because of the fanatic atmosphere the 'paulistas' create, I am looking forward to racing there and hope we can secure a positive result."
"There is no denying that Brazil will be a weekend of mixed emotions for me, as it has been a great nine seasons with the team. I believe I have the pace, desire and ability to be competitive, and as I have stated I am not ready to retire. I am continuing to try and get a drive next year, but if I don't then I'll try the following year."
Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, West McLaren Mercedes:
"The whole West McLaren Mercedes team is working towards finishing the 2004 season on a high with a strong performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix, to provide some extra motivation as we move into the off-season. As last year's event demonstrated, Interlagos always provides for interesting racing. Hopefully the race will be dominated by the track action, rather than the weather as in Japan."
"Due to the surface characteristics of the track, which are bumpy and abrasive, set-up is even more crucial and the circuit is notoriously hard on tyres. Work away from the Grand Prix has been continuing apace at the McLaren Technology Centre and on the test track, both in terms of preparation for Brazil and maintaining our current impetus into the winter season, as we start to work more aggressively on our build-up to Melbourne in just over four months."
"Of course Brazil will also see David's last outing as a West McLaren Mercedes racing driver. He has always been 100% committed and has done a great job for the team for the past nine years."
Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"The Interlagos circuit has really special challenges. Because of the bumpy surface, several fast lefthanders and the slow and twisty infield it's a demanding task to find the optimum set-up here. Due to the high grip level the track is hard on the tyres. 56 per cent of a lap are run with full throttle which is below average."
"The race in Brazil will be David's last race for us. We thank him for his efforts during the nine years he has started for our team. The Brazilian Grand Prix is also our 150th race together -- no driver in Formula One history has ever driven more Grands Prix for one team."