The final race of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, Round 18 - the Brazilian Grand Prix, takes place next weekend at the Interlagos circuit in the city of Sao Paulo. A unique and exciting circuit, infamous for its bumps and occasionally...
The final race of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, Round 18 - the Brazilian Grand Prix, takes place next weekend at the Interlagos circuit in the city of Sao Paulo. A unique and exciting circuit, infamous for its bumps and occasionally torrid weather conditions, the race at Interlagos will bring to a close one of the most exciting Formula One seasons in recent years.
As well as being the home grand prix for the Honda Racing F1 Team's Rubens Barrichello, the weekend will also be particularly poignant for the team as it marks the final race for former team owner and title sponsor British American Tobacco after nine years of involvement in Formula One.
The Honda Racing F1 Team hopes to end the season on a high as it continues to close the gap to 3rd place in the Constructors' Championship with an impressive run of form that has seen a points finish in every race since the German Grand Prix. Not only that, but Jenson Button has scored the most points of any driver since his first victory in Hungary in August.
"My home race in Brazil is very special to me and always gives me a little bit of extra motivation. I was born very close to Interlagos and whenever I dream about racing, it's always around this track. The first race that I saw there as a spectator was in 1980, when Rene Arnoux beat Elio de Angelis, and I've wanted to win it ever since. It is frustrating that I've never won at home, especially as I should have won in 2003, but there was a problem with the fuel. I had such a robust car that year, yet it decided to let me down in my home race!"
"The track is physically very tough because it's left-handed and quite bumpy. Some people say it's easy, but that's not the case because you need to have a good compromise between the low and the high-speed corners. You can't concede straight-line speed for extra grip through the slow corners, otherwise you will be overtaken."
"Away from the track, there are many advantages to racing in my home city. I have my family around me and I can go home every night and sleep in my own bed - all of that is a huge plus. The race weekend itself always goes by so fast because it is really hectic but it's one of the most enjoyable weekends of the year for me."
"It's great to be heading into the final race of the season with a run of solid points finishes under our belts. It really goes to show just how much progress we've made in the second half of the season. I know no one is thinking too much about 2007 yet but it's always important to end the season on a high note as it's a great motivator as the team prepares for next year's campaign."
"I think we can expect the same level of performance in Brazil that we have enjoyed in the past few races. The engine was looking strong in Japan and I think the car will be well suited to the track. It's a circuit I enjoy, and it can be tough because of its anti-clockwise layout and notoriously bumpy surface. It should be a great climax to the season."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director:
"Interlagos is a challenging circuit because it is one of the few anti-clockwise tracks on the calendar. Furthermore, the circuit is notoriously bumpy, placing particular emphasis on mechanical set-up, however we expect that this should suit our car. Clearly our second half of the season has been much-improved and we have been competitive in most of the races."
"Jenson has delivered a fantastic string of results of late, and for Rubens, this promises to be an emotionally-charged weekend in front of his home crowd at a circuit where he has always performed well. The latest specification of Honda engine showed good performance last time out in Japan, so there is no reason why we should not be able to continue our current form next weekend and end the season on a high note."