F1: 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix Ferrari Preview
Driver Lewis Hamilton and MercedesAMG captured both F1 titles for Y 2017, the final 2 races of the year are yet to run, as attention turns to next season.
Lewis Hamilton will be eager to avoid making any mistakes now, particularly with stiffer competition in the form of both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing as they plot their racing for both championships in Y 2018.
Below are the Key talking points heading into this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, as follows:
Lewis Hamilton looks to tighten up, finish strongly
Mr. Hamilton’s misfortune played a big role in his title defeat to Nico Rosberg in Y 2016, but there is a decent argument for his distractions off-track, the extended celebrations of a third title win and the subsequent downturn in form on-track being a Key factor in swinging momentum in his teammate’s favor.
Mr. Rosberg convincingly won the last 3 races of the year in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi to set himself up well for a title assault in Y 2016, continuing the good form through the early part of the year.
Mr. Hamilton may be currently facing a “storm” back in his native Britain over leaked tax details, but he stressed his focus is on finishing the season strongly even with a 4th world title sewn up.
Ferrari and Red Bull Racing have been strong in recent races, meaning Mr. Hamilton is unlikely to have things all his own way in Brazil. A victory would unquestionably be a solid way to answer his critics and send out an early warning shot to his rivals in the Y 2018 title race.
Max Verstappen had a weak mid-season, suffering a number of retirements due to technical issues on his car and on-track incidents that denied him the chance to fight at the front of the pack on a regular basis.
But things have since turned around, with 2 wins in the last 2 races and a 2nd-place finish in Japan have given young Mr. Verstappen a strong momentum, with his dominant victory in Mexico making him the man to beat in Brazil at the weekend.
Ferrari’s collapse over the Asian races caused its capitulation in the title race, with the lack of reliability robbing us not only of a closer fight for the championship, but also in the races.
Ferrari’s pace looked very, very strong in Malaysia, Japan and Mexico, yet various incidents and reliability issues meant we never got the chance to see just how the team’s SF70H car stacked up Vs MercedesAMG and Red Bulls.
Mr. Vettel may have lost the championship, but he still has 2nd place to protect from Valtteri Bottas, who is 15 points adrift in the 2nd MercedesAMG. A strong end to the year will be Key to ensure he does not finish 3rd in a 2-horse race.
Just as it was 12 months ago, the Brazilian Grand Prix is being talked up as Felipe Massa’s final F1 appearance on home soil, this time it will be.
Another certainty is the grace and gratitude that will flow both ways between Mr. Massa and the fans in Brazil, as seen last year after he crashed out and emotionally walked back up the pit lane draped in a national flag.
2017 Brazilian Grand Prix – Facts and Figures
Track: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace
Lap Record: Juan Pablo Montoya 1:11.473 (2004)
Tire Compounds: Super-Soft/Soft/Medium
2016 Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2016 Pole Position: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:10.736
2016 Fastest Lap: Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:25.305
DRS Zones: T15 to T1, T3 to T4
2017 Brazilian Grand Prix – TV/Stream Times
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Neutral (0.05)||Neutral (0.17)||Neutral (-0.10)||Neutral (0.08)|