F1: Brazilian Grand Prix weather prospects

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarThursday, October 30th, 2008

 
 

Roll up for the spectacle of the Brazilian with arguably the most realistic shot at the world championship since Ayrton Senna trying to secure victory at his home race despite a seven-point disadvantage.

(That is, if you accept that Rubens Barrichello’s only plausible chance would have been to lock Michael Schumacher in the toilet over the course of several races.)

And, this being Brazil, the weather could easily be as big a player as either Felipe Massa or title rival Lewis Hamilton. Especially as light rain to heavy showers are forecast across the entire race weekend. Check out the BBC’s five-day forecast here >>

Or get another view here:

The showdown is set for the Autódromo José Carlos Pace race track – more manageably known as Interlagos after the suburb it is based in, which is part of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city but not its capital (that’s Brasília).

It is not actually located between lakes, but between two large reservoirs called Guarapiranga and Billings, which built in the early 20th century to supply water and electricity to the fast-growing city.

And it’s liable offer a rough ride for two reasons. It’s got plenty of ups and downs, and plenty of bumps – the very thing to upset the delicate balance of a Formula One car. And it is famously left-handed – drivers travel round anti-clockwise, which is rare, thus risking a crick in the less-developed side of their necks.

Unpredictable weather is another factor with the 2003 event seeing rain so heavy that parts of the track had running water crossing them, until the race was eventually called off, leaving Jordan’s Giancarlo Fisichella with his first victory.

It might be home field advantage for Massa but McLaren is the constructor that has won most victories at this circuit, with 11 victories to its name.

So, who will triumph? Will it be homeboy Massa, or Hamilton, whose car suits the circuit? Or will the weather put paid to both their hopes?

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