Brazilian GP: Force India preview

The Brazilian Grand Prix held from 16 - 18 October will be the penultimate race of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship. Held at the classic Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, it usually produces a charged,...

The Brazilian Grand Prix held from 16 - 18 October will be the penultimate race of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship. Held at the classic Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, it usually produces a charged, scintillating race that can see championship hopes fulfilled or dashed.

The Force India Formula One Team will be looking forward to this event following an ultimately disappointing Japanese Grand Prix in which Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi finished just out of the points. With Interlagos being a low to medium downforce track the team hopes to capitalise on the strong performance of the VJM02 on this circuit configuration and add to its World Championship points' total.

Team Q&A

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal

There are just two races left in the championship now - what will the aim be for this final part of the year?

We will be giving it everything we have. Brazil should suit us, our car has performed well on tracks with a similar configuration, and now we've got the taste for points we want to get some more. BMW are 11 points ahead of us in the constructors' championship so if Tonio and Adrian push hard we could at least close that gap. It's going to be difficult but we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by making this our aim.

Have you been satisfied with the team's performance during the double header in Singapore and Japan?

We expected it to be very tough in Singapore but we had high hopes for the Japanese Grand Prix. To a certain extent we got there as we qualified well, ran towards the front of the field and raced with larger teams. However of course we missed out on points again so ultimately it was frustrating we could not capitalise on this. Based on this form I am however very optimistic we can make up ground in Brazil. Adrian and Tonio both know the track and the car is at its peak so I'm confident we should again be Q2 or higher and again racing for the points.

Driver Q&A

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01)

How did you feel about the results of the Japanese Grand Prix? I'm actually pretty disappointed with the results of the race as I really thought this was our chance to get some more points. All weekend it was looking good, from practice through to qualifying and it was so good to be back at the front in qualifying. The penalty didn't help but I still thought that we could have got into the top six. Unfortunately the coming together with Heikki [Kovalainen] early on really compromised the result but I had a good battle with Fisichella so again we showed we are competitive.

What are your thoughts looking forward to Brazil?

Japan was a bit of a missed opportunity so I'm definitely looking forward to getting to Brazil. Interlagos is a great track, not that long, but with a lot of camber and undulation that makes it a bit like a rollercoaster - particularly with the bumps. There's a twisty section and then that long, uphill straight that needs a set-up somewhere between Spain and Belgium so there's a chance we could perform well there. I'm feeling confident about going well there.

Tonio Liuzzi (car 21, VJM02/04)

How are you looking forward to the Brazilian Grand Prix?

I'm definitely optimistic about this next race in Brazil. Japan was pretty tough because of the rain and the lack of track time on Saturday due to our gearbox problem, so we were always fighting an uphill battle. I am now really looking forward to Brazil. I like the circuit and I've been pretty fast there in the past so with the combination of this confidence and the car performance I think we could be really competitive. I'm looking forward to being in a strong position.

And how do you feel about Interlagos as a track?

It's a good circuit, perhaps not one of my favourites, but it has a lot of up and downhill sections with a lot of banking so it's interesting to drive. The Brazilian crowd is also wonderful and the atmosphere pretty much unique. It's a fantastic event.

Force India Brazilian Grand Prix points of note:

Although Adrian races under a German licence and holds a German passport, he is half South American on his father's side. Dad Jorge Sutil was born in Uruguay and moved to Germany to play violin with the Munich Philharmonic orchestra. Adrian speaks fluent Spanish and some fans from Uruguay are likely to make the short journey up to Sao Paulo to support him.

The Japanese GP was Adrian's 50th Grand Prix. He made his debut at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix. So far he has scored six points, secured one fastest lap (Italy 2009) and has started on the front row once (Italy 2009).

Tonio has raced in two Brazilian Grands Prix, finishing 16th in 2006 and 13th in 2007.

Brazilian Grand Prix: View from the pit wall with Force India's chief engineer, Dominic Harlow:

Interlagos is the third anti-clockwise circuit in the calendar, and situated in the city of Sao Paulo around 800m above sea level. This altitude means a normal atmospheric pressure of around 930mb and so a loss of nearly 10% of an F1 cars aerodynamic and engine performance.

The layout features a relatively tight infield section with gradients unsighting some of the corners, for example the double right Ferradura, combined with a long curved flat-out section uphill from Juncao, probably the most critical corner on the lap.

It's quite testing mechanically as the circuit can be bumpy and the apex speeds low in places, but sectors 1 and 3 require a lower drag set-up between somewhere like Barcelona and Spa. It's always an exciting race with a football stadium atmosphere, and we're looking forward to another race where we believe the VJM02 should perform well.

-credit: froce india

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Adrian Sutil
Teams Force India