F1: Brazil Preview

Nico Rosberg will be hoping for a third straight win in Brazil
(Photo from: www.dailycarblog.com)

After a two week break, the Formula 1 World Championship heads to the Interlagos circuit in Brazil for the penultimate round of the season, where, if permutations go his way, Nico Rosberg could claim his maiden World Title.

Brazil has played host to Formula 1 since 1972 with the race being held at Sao Paulo for all but ten years, in which the Jacarepagua circuit in Rio played host to the Grand Prix. Until 2003 the Brazilian Grand Prix was traditionally held at the beginning of the season however in 2004 the calendar saw drastic changes and a slot at the end for Brazil.

Interlagos is a driver and fan favourite and despite its rather simple layout it proves a real test for drivers due to it being an anticlockwise lap.

Leading up to the Grand Prix there have been many driver announcements which have shaped the midfield teams. The first announcement came on the 23rd of October when Williams finally confirmed that Canadian teenage Lance Stroll would partner Valtteri Bottas in 2017. Stroll, who’s the son of the billionaire businessman Lawrence, becomes the youngest driver on the grid and the second youngest in the history of F1, only behind Red Bull man Max Verstappen.

The second driver announcement came on Wednesday when Renault confirmed that the team would continue with Brit Jolyon Palmer for the 2017 season. Palmer, who joined the then Lotus team in 2014, has signed a one year deal with the French manufacture and beats teammate Kevin Magnussen to the drive. The announcement ends all the speculation regarding Renault drivers for 2017 and sees Palmer partner German Nico Hulkenburg in 2017.

A third driver announcement quickly followed as Force India revealed that Frenchman Esteban Ocon would partner Sergio Perez in 2017 following his promotion to F1 earlier this year. Ocon beat teammate Pascal Wehrlein to the drive, who has inquired to why he was not chosen, and has signed a “multi-year” deal with the team. Similar to Palmer, Ocon beat a whole host of drivers to the hotly contested seat and it will be fascinating to see how he gets on compared to his hugely experienced and very highly rated teammate.

However the driver changes did not stop there as Haas confirmed this morning (Friday) that Kevin Magnussen would join the American outfit replacing Esteban Gutierrez penning his own multi-year deal. The Dane revealed that he had been offered a contract by Renault, though it did not commit to him long term. The move leave Gutierrez currently without a drive with only Manor and Sauber left on the grid with seats available.

The final piece of news leading up to the Grand Prix is that Lewis Hamilton has changes his helmet design this weekend in a one off homage to his hero Ayrton Senna.

It will be a fascinating weekend, and weirdly one Hamilton has never won, something he must change on Sunday to have any chance of realistically taking the championship fight to Abu Dhabi.