F1 title down to the wire
Vettel and Alonso both contenders
For the 27th time in Formula 1 history, the title will be decided in the last Grand Prix of the season.
Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull will become the youngest triple champion if he finishes ahead of Fernando Alonso of Ferrari in the Brazilian Grand Prix this evening, local time.
Red Bull won the constructors’ title for the third year in a row last week.
A betting man will put his money on Vettel as the odds favour him overwhelmingly with a 13-point lead going into the race.
Alonso still has high hopes and we have seen the unpredictability of the Pirelli tyres and the different engines.
Vettel needs to finish fourth or higher to secure the world championship if Alonso happens to win the Brazilian Grand Prix, which can happen if reliability and weather comes into play.
The Interlagos circuit has been unpredictable in the past, which has disturbed many a team’s strategy. Heavy rains can suddenly give way to sunny, warm temperatures.
Lewis Hamilton of McLaren knows how the track and the race can change in an instant.
In 2008, when he won the world championship, he left it to the last corner to pass Timo Glock and get the points needed to beat Felipe Massa of Ferrari in a nail-biting finish.
The circuit itself is one of few on the calendar that run anticlockwise, and this, combined with its bumpy surface, means it is hard on cars and drivers alike.
The resurfacing of the track in 2007 ironed out most of the worst bumps but the circuit still retains some of its character.
Interlagos has some great corners, such as the Curva do Laranjinha, and there are real overtaking opportunities into the Senna S at the start of the lap and under braking for turn four, Descida do Lago, at the end of the back straight.
The present design of the track dates back to 1990, when the original circuit was shortened for safety reasons from 7.83km to only 4.31km.
Interlagos has a relatively small capacity, for about 70?000 spectators.
That the track was built within a natural amphitheatre has resulted in spectators being offered an excellent view of more than half of the circuit, regardless of where they sit.
Michael Schumacher heads into retirement for a second time, determined to savour his farewell finale with no world title battle weighing on his mind this time.
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