Blistering fast lap times can be partly attributed to the V6 engines.
Jenson Button says that at Interlagos, the turbo engines have more power than any of the V10s or V8s with which he experienced the circuit before.
Due to the high altitude of Sao Paulo normally aspirated engines used to lose a bit of performance. That has contributed to the fastest lap times seen at the track for a decade.
Button talks about increase in times
“Normally we lose about 15% of power, we're losing very little now,” said Button. “So we've probably got the most power we've ever had in my era of F1, even with the V10s, because you lose 15%, around Sao Paulo. There's a bit of that. Also because the surface is new, it's got a lot of grip. Traction here is the best traction we've felt for a long time, since we had [exhaust] blowing. It's good.
“When I first drove the circuit with the new asphalt I didn't like it at all, because I thought it took away from it – it was like driving around a completely different circuit, with the way the asphalt worked. It's rubbered in a bit now. It's different still, it doesn't feel like the old Interlagos, which is a shame. I had quite lot of fun driving the car, and it's good to see us finally improving lap times from a few years ago.”