Felipe Massa secured a podium last season that sent the José Carlos Pace Circuit into a memorable frenzy.
It may be one of the shortest tracks on the Formula One calendar, but the 4.3km José Carlos Pace Circuit presents a number of challenges to teams. It combines a long sweeping start/finish straight with a tricky infield section so choosing the right setup compromise is paramount.
The high altitude (800m) leaves the power units feeling breathless, and the bumps and undulations keep the drivers on their toes. The Brazilian crowd always give their countrymen a raucous reception and Felipe secured a podium last season that sent the José Carlos Pace Circuit into a memorable frenzy.
Rob Smedley: "We head to Brazil after a good result for the team in Mexico. We are in good spirits, with our main target of securing third position in the Constructors’ Championship still firmly on track. It means we are going to be racing extremely hard to make that happen. Equally as important will be beating the cars that we have been racing against all season.
Brazil should be a good circuit for our cars - it was certainly good for us last year with Felipe on the podium at his home race, and we will look to repeat that. The layout is power and drag sensitive so the efficiency should work in our favour. The hard part will be getting the car to perform well in sector two. We want to get a good result and find ourselves in a position to celebrate securing third position on Sunday evening."
Valtteri Bottas: "I haven’t had the best races in Brazil in the past, but I’m looking forward to fixing that. It’s a very nice circuit to drive, it has a good combination of different types of corners, and it’s good for racing with good possibilities for overtaking. The fans are very passionate and obviously with Felipe being Brazilian there is a lot of support for Williams Martini Racing. Hopefully this time around I can have a good result. We will be looking to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull for an opportunity to be on the podium. That will be the target."
Felipe Massa: "Your home Grand Prix is always the most important race for a driver. For me to race at home where I started my career - first on the other side of the wall at the kart track, then onto the race track - there is always a big expectation to perform in front of your home crowd. I love the track, it’s one of the best tracks for me and I’ve always had good results there. I’m really looking forward to hopefully achieving another amazing result this year.
Last year we managed to finish on the podium. It was a race with so many things happening – I had a five-second penalty and even stopped in the wrong garage - but we still managed to have an amazing race so it’s important to look back on what we did last year to try to repeat it and have a very strong weekend once again. The passion from the fans is amazing. The emotion they have and how close they are to me as a driver, it’s really an amazing feeling to race at home. The experience is difficult to explain."
Williams Martini Racing