Brazilian GP: Brawn GP preview

The Brazilian Grand Prix, Round 16 of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place on Sunday 18 October at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in the city of Sao Paulo. Known as Interlagos from its location between the two man-made lakes...

The Brazilian Grand Prix, Round 16 of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place on Sunday 18 October at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in the city of Sao Paulo.

Known as Interlagos from its location between the two man-made lakes that provide water and electricity to Sao Paulo, the track first hosted the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1973. The 4.309km circuit is the highest of the year at 800m above sea level and one of only four anti-clockwise circuits on the current Formula One calendar.

The track's inner city location, combined with the passion of the Brazilian fans, makes Interlagos one of the most atmospheric venues of the year and the involvement of Brawn GP's local hero Rubens Barrichello in the title fight will only add to that.

Brawn GP will be sponsored by the Brazilian brewing company Cervejaria Petropolis for their home race with the Itaipava and TNT Energy Drink brands featuring on the Brawn-Mercedes car and the helmets of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.


Q. What are the main challenges of the Interlagos circuit?

"With the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships still to be decided, the Brazilian Grand Prix should be a fascinating and exciting weekend for the fans at the circuit and viewers around the world. Interlagos provides a great challenge for the teams and drivers with the high altitude location and the notoriously bumpy surface as two of the key considerations when setting up the cars for the weekend. The reduced atmospheric pressure causes a loss in engine power and aerodynamic performance while the cars have to run with an increased ride height to cope with the bumps which are particularly noticeable in the braking area for Turn 4, the Descida do Lago. Interlagos is a great venue and the lap is characterised by long straights with flowing left-hand corners and a twisty infield section. The changes in elevation give the circuit an almost three-dimensional feel and the electric atmosphere from the Brazilian fans always makes for a spectacular occasion. The weather has been known to play its part in races at Interlagos over the years so we will be keeping a close eye on the forecast for the weekend. Brazil will be an important race for the team and our drivers and we're looking forward to getting the track action underway."


Q. Are you looking forward to your home Grand Prix at Interlagos?

"The Brazilian Grand Prix is always a special weekend for me and I am very proud of my home race. I was born very close to Interlagos and used to visit the circuit as a young boy and began my karting career there when I was six years old. I really enjoy having my family and friends around for the weekend and it's fantastic to race in front of the Brazilian fans and receive so much support over the weekend. The circuit has become almost like a second home to me over the years but it still retains a real sense of challenge. Our car should suit the layout of the track this year and you really need to have full confidence in your set-up to maximise the quick corners, the tight infield section and the bumpy surface. Interlagos has some great corners such as the Curva do Laranjinha and there are real overtaking opportunities into the S do Senna at the start of the lap and under braking for Descida do Lago at the end of the back straight. I will be giving it my all this weekend to achieve the best possible result here in Brazil and hope the fans enjoy a fantastic weekend of racing."


Q. What are your thoughts ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend?

"This year will be the first time for a while that we've been to Sao Paulo for the Brazilian Grand Prix when it hasn't been the final race of the season but it's still going to be such an exciting weekend. There's always a great atmosphere at Interlagos and the Brazilian fans are so passionate about motor racing and particularly Formula One. Interlagos is quite an unusual circuit and it's an enjoyable challenge for the drivers. The anti-clockwise direction, changes in elevation and bumpy surface all keep your attention fully focused and the high-speed left-hand corners add an extra physical challenge. It's an important race for me and for the team in terms of the Championships and we will be working hard to get the best results possible from the weekend. It's going to be a challenge but one that we are all looking forward to."

-credit: brawn gp

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Mercedes , Brawn GP , CIP