Red Bull drivers preview for the Brazilian GP

Daniel Ricciardo: "I can’t honestly say what the secret is to getting a good lap at Interlagos because I’m not sure I’ve ever really nailed it! "

Sebastian Vettel: "In Sao Paulo I have taken part in races which we will always remember, for different reasons. Like in 2009, when we almost took the title in the last race of the season. In the end it wasn’t enough and Jenson Button became world champion. I was very disappointed, but it was also an important experience for me.

On the positive side we knew that we fought until the end and gave everything we could. 2010 was my first year on the Sao Paulo podium: a truly unforgettable race and thinking about Brazil 2012, I spun on the first lap and found myself at the back of the field.

Suddenly the title seemed so far away. I worked myself back up through the field position by position and at the end it was unbelievable: we were World Champions again. In 2013, the title was already secured, but as it was my ninth win in a row, I will always remember this race. In Sao Paulo we drive anti-clockwise and the track has severe bumps.

One of the best chances to overtake is the first chicane, the Senna-S. You have to be careful here, especially at the start as it’s very tight. The left-right-left combination looks a bit like a screwdriver and you are going downhill, so you have to be patient with the steering. 

Daniel Ricciardo: I know fans love Interlagos because it provides such interesting races, but it’s never been a favourite track of mine. It’s a short lap and ideally I like something with a few more corners. But it’s got a brilliant atmosphere and if you don’t enjoy that, you’re doing something wrong. I can’t honestly say what the secret is to getting a good lap at Interlagos because I’m not sure I’ve ever really nailed it!

I’ve been OK but it hasn’t yet given up its secrets. I think the best approach is to not look beyond the next corner. It pays to be ultra-precise with your track positioning and your braking: you have to concentrate on the turn that you’re in, rather than thinking too far ahead because for most of the lap the corners are individual events rather than part of a sequence.

Obviously the time of year we go to Brazil and the location means that there’s a really good chance of a wet race. At some venues that’s a real game-changer but at Interlagos the character of the track doesn’t change in the wet – it poses all the same challenges but with a few added variables thrown in. 

Joe Robson and Chris Gent – Number 1 mechanics about the grid in Brazil

Why is the grid at Interlagos special?
JR: It has got quite a carnival atmosphere, because the stands are very close to the track and the crowd have sat in the grandstands for quite a while to see the support races. The Brazilian fans are always very enthusiastic when the Formula One preparations finally start on the grid. It’s a great atmosphere.

Is it tougher to work on the Interlagos grid than other races because of the crowds or is Monaco the trickiest?
JR: It’s got its own challenges because there is quite a steep hill on certain sections of the grid. So if you are in the first five slots on the grid, the car tends to roll backwards and you need to manage that with your equipment. Also the grid is not particularly big and access to it is either over a very high pit wall involving some steps, or the grid-trolleys and generators have to go all the way to the bottom of the pit-lane entry, which is a long walk. But all grids offer different challenges and can be difficult to handle.

What’s been your most embarrassing moment on a GP grid?
JR: The worst one was probably having to wear a horrendous ginger wig and a Scottish hat for David Coulthard’s last race in 2008!

Why is the grid at Interlagos special?
CG: I think it’s quite a special race. Normally the last one of the year and you get a lot of celebrities there. It’s very busy and the crowd is amazing there as well.

Does the atmosphere make it more tense? Can you still just get on with the job?
CG: It can be a bit tense, because it’s very busy on the grid and you have to watch out for a lot of people around there, but you can still get on with your job.

Is it tougher to work on the Interlagos grid than other races because of the crowds or is Monaco the trickiest?
CG: Maybe Monaco is the trickiest, because it is very narrow and there are a lot of celebrities, so a lot of people walking about and you have to be careful not to damage the cars.

What was the first race you ever went on the grid at?
CG: That was Barcelona 2006. It was special as it was my first race and I was quite nervous, but it was great and I really enjoyed it.

Who is the biggest celeb you’ve seen on the grid?
CG: That would be Prince Harry in Silverstone.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Interlagos
Drivers Jenson Button , David Coulthard , Sebastian Vettel , Daniel Ricciardo
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Preview
Tags red bull