After an dramatic Mexican Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton clinch his fourth Formula One title, F1 moves on to Brazil with the front battle now looking like a three way fight and the top five constructors settled.

Behind them, the midfield fight between Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas for sixth in Constructors’ standings is still tight.

This weekend however will see another home goodbye for a F1 great, a year on from when he initially intended to retire.

That is amongst various snippets from what could be an exciting Brazilian Grand Prix.

 

Verstappen’s time?

In amongst Hamilton’s title celebrations, it is easy to forget that Max Verstappen won the race.

Bet you didn’t know this stat?

For last two seasons, whoever won Mexico has gone on to win in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. They then became the following year’s world champion.

Could this well be Verstappen’s time if the trend continues this time around?

The young Dutchman seems to love this Interlagos track given his tendency to pull off all sort of sensational moves, so could that stat still be on?

In 2015, he battled Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez hard with one notable overtake coming on Perez at the ‘Senna S’ corner on the outside on lap 32.

Last year however saw him shine in wet conditions, going to parts where no car would even dare venture. He even managed an impressive save after touching the white line at the penultimate corner and sent the car spinning towards the barriers.

 

Verstappen spins at twenty sixteen brazil

Verstappen spinning during 2016 Brazilian GP

With torrential weather forecast throughout the weekend but dry for race day, could this be when Max Verstappen gets his first pole and become the youngest ever pole sitter?

 

 

Time to say FINAL home goodbye

A year on from his initial planned farewell, Felipe Massa is finally saying goodbye to F1.

This weekend however sees him bid another fond farewell to his home fans, having decided to hang up the steering wheel for once and for all.

His home record however is decent with five podiums to be proud of, including 2008 when he won the race but could of been stood there as world champion if Timo Glock hadn’t let Hamilton through to fifth for the Brit’s first title.

A final home podium looks unlikely but hopefully he will fare better than this time last year, when he retired from the race near the pit lane sparking emotional scenes as he walked back to his garage unaware that he would later get a reprieve from retirement.

Felipe Massa emotional farewell

Scene as Felipe Massa returned to pits after retiring from what was thought to be his final home Grand Prix.

 

Down to wire?

Williams are now all but assured of fifth in the Constructors’ Championship but there is a three way fight for sixth.

Six points split Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas F1 coming into this weekend meaning that a huge result for one of these teams will all but assure them of sixth place.

Renault suffered a nightmare weekend last time out with a double retirement to boot on top of all but one failure having a Renault powered engine in them.

They therefore probably will be more conservative in their power levels, given that Interlagos is circa 800m above sea levels making altitude a major issue like it was last time out.

If Haas can take advantage of Renault’s problem and coupled with another Toro Rosso nightmare, they could well be in prime position to snatch sixth place this late on.

The American team however needs to produce a strong car that gets the best out of an increasingly moaning Grosjean, if want that sixth position in the standings.

 

Rain in store?

With this being the Brazilian Grand Prix, the weekend isn’t complete without some rain to spice things up. 

Current weather forecasts at time of writing indicates a dry race but qualifying could be interesting. 

The wet weather is due to hit Interlagos after FP1 with a mix of thunderstorms and heavy rain. 

It will still be around for Saturday so expect a tough weekend in store data wise, ahead of the race. 

Should the current forecast be correct, that brings Nico Hulkenberg, Perez and Alonso into play. 

Those three are proven rain masters.

Perez might not have won a wet race but he showed his quality in several wet races since that maiden podium at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Rain will help reduce the deficiencies in his McLaren Honda at this power track so don’t rule him out for a shock pole.

He has already shown what he can do in the wet after topping Q1 at Silverstone in July, so definitely is one driver to watch out for. 

Fernando Alonso at Silverstone twenty seventeen

Fernando Alonso on a drying track at Silverstone

Hulkenberg seems to enjoy driving in the wet here, given that his only pole came here in 2010. He then followed up with an impressive race leading performance two seasons later, before a penalty for accidentally colliding with Hamilton cost him the win and podium. 

We however can’t rule out Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll after their performances in a wet qualifying session at Monza. 

Either way, qualifying could well be anyone’s for the taking here if it’s a wet one. 

 

 

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