ORANGEARROWS PREVIEW Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo (Interlagos) After two tough flyaway races, the Formula One circus travels to the other side of the world, to Brazil, for the final long-haul Grand Prix before the start of the European season.
ORANGEARROWS PREVIEW Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo (Interlagos)
After two tough flyaway races, the Formula One circus travels to the other side of the world, to Brazil, for the final long-haul Grand Prix before the start of the European season. Interlagos, in the city of Sao Paulo, hosts the 2002 Brazilian Grand Prix; round three of the Formula One World Championship.
Built in 1940, Interlagos has been on the Formula One calendar since the World Championship began back in the fifties and owes much of its success and history to its country's drivers. The crowd had much to cheer for with local heroes Carlos Pace and Emerson Fittipaldi racing in the seventies and Ayrton Senna in the eighties and nineties. Renowned for excellent racing and an electric atmosphere, OrangeArrows driver Enrique Bernoldi will enjoy being the local boy again.
Lap Distance: 4.309km
Race Distance: 305.909km, 71 laps
2001 Winner: David Coulthard, McLaren
The Interlagos circuit a demanding one, made up of fast corners and long straights, with a combination of slow corners in the infield section that often forces a compromised set up for the cars. Unusual for running in an anti-clockwise direction, it will put extra strain on the drivers’ neck muscles as every other track (bar-Imola) runs the opposite way. Changeable weather is always a factor over the weekend as the bright skies can change to thunderstorms in a matter of minutes.
Enrique Bernoldi's racing roots began at an early age and it is hardly surprising as he was surrounded by the Brazilian Formula One greats such as Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna. Starting in kart racing, his career took off at just the age of nine at the local track. In his first year taking part, Enrique won the local karting championship and, seeking a greater challenge, he moved to Sao Paulo to take on Brazil's best kart racers. In three years, he had won two Sao Paulo Championships and two national Championships defeating rivals such as Helio Castro-Neves and Tony Kanaan.
"I will always enjoy the Brazilian Grand Prix as it is in my home country but the flip-side is that there is greater pressure to perform in front of the home crowd. I was having a good race in Malaysia before I had to retire so I am really looking forward to having a full run in the A23 as the pace is there for us to challenge for points. The track itself has a good mix of corners and a few overtaking spots and can be demanding due to the bumpy surface."
"Interlagos is a good circuit for me as I have had some good experiences there and many happy memories. We are making good progress with the A23 and should have another step forward for Brazil. After Malaysia we can look forward to challenging for a top ten position in qualifying. More than anything I am looking forward to getting a good start!"
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director
"The team is really looking forward to Brazil. Obviously after the difficulties we had in the first two races, we're keen to get out and show our true potential. We only really got a glimpse of it in Malaysia, but the pace is clearly there. I know that both drivers enjoy racing at Interlagos and it's Enrique's home Grand Prix so that will give him an extra boost as well as to the team. We should be aiming for another good qualifying position with the speed that we have and that should put us in good stead for the race."
The OrangeArrows team had problems starting in both of the first races this season. In Melbourne, both cars stalled on the grid and in Sepang, Heinz-Harald's car had a launch control failure, which meant his car had to be started in the pit lane. The OrangeArrows team has been working very hard to solve these problems as Mike Coughlan, Technical Director explains.
"In Melbourne with the cars sitting on the grid, the power consumption from the battery to the car exceeded the power being generated with the engine running at idle. That meant that the car ran the battery flat, causing the problem. After Australia, we did a number of grid simulations to check the systems and we know we've sorted the problem. Heinz-Harald's 11th place on the grid was wasted due to the launch control problems we had with his car. Once we had reset all the systems and sent him back out, he actually had a lot of pace. We calculated, running at the pace he was, he would have been in sixth place and picked up a point, so that was obviously particularly painful for us, but goes to show the A23 has great potential."