The F1 field heads for Brazil next as the season winds down. Can Lewis Hamilton grab his first win of the season after being granted Brazilian citizenship, or will it be business as usual for Max Verstappen and Red Bull? Darry Worthington previews.
The F1 field heads for the final straight of the 2022 season with the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the only two races remaining on the calendar.
While the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships winners are already known, there’s still an almighty battle going on for the runners-up berths.
Only five points separate Sergio Perez and Charles LeClerc on the Drivers’ Championship standings while 40 points split second-placed Ferrari and third-placed Mercedes on the Constructors’ Championship.
Brazil Grand Prix
Sunday 13 November
Autódromo José Carlos Pace
To Win Race Outright
Max Verstappen 9/20
Lewis Hamilton 57/10
Charles Leclerc 6/1
Sergio Perez 12/1
George Russell 16/1
Carlos Sainz 25/1
Max Verstappen sealed his 14th win of the season last time out, claiming race honours in Mexico. Having opted to start on the soft compound tyres for a quicker start, the Dutchman managed to defend pole position off the line.
He would relinquish the lead on the 25th lap to eventual race runner-up, Lewis Hamilton, but he’d reclaim first place on lap 28 when Hamilton pitted. Verstappen would nurse his car home on a one-pit stop. The Red Bull ace was joined by Hamilton and his teammate, Sergio Perez, on the podium.
George Russell would ensure Mexico would deliver a solid points return for Mercedes as he brought his car home in front of the twin Ferraris with the Brit claiming fourth while Carlos Sainz took fifth and Charles Leclerc claimed sixth.
Daniel Ricciardo had a great time of it in Mexico with the grinning Aussie bringing his underpowered McLaren home in seventh. He was joined in the lower half of the top ten by Esteban Ocon (eighth), Lando Norris (ninth) and Valterri Bottass (tenth).
Track - Autódromo José Carlos Pace
The Autódromo José Carlos Pace hosted its first Grand Prix way back in 1976 and instantly became a favourite amongst drivers and spectators alike. While this is mainly due to the sun-kissed beaches and amazing weather that São Paulo is blessed with, the local fans also play a key role in the Grand Prix’ popularity.
The total race distance measures 305.879 kilometres and comprises 71 laps, with each lap spanning a distance of 4.309 kilometres and made up of 15 corners. There are some extremely long straights which will favour the upper echelons of the field. We’re likely to see a lot of overtaking on these straights, especially with the two DRS zones situated on the longest straights: between corners three and four, and the start/finish straight.
There is plenty of rain about this weekend, with all of the practice sessions, qualifying as well as the main race set by pretty wet affairs.
Last year’s race was won by Lewis Hamilton with Max Verstappen taking second and Valterri Bottas claiming third.
Podium Finish – Lewis Hamilton – Yes @ 57/100
Hamilton delivered the goods in Mexico finishing second to Max Verstappen. It was his second consecutive second-place finish as the Brit claimed the runners-up berth in the United States.
He has a very handy record in Brazil claiming race honours last season and in 2016 and 2018. He’s certainly worth backing for a podium finish here.
To Win Race Outright
Max Verstappen @ 9/20
The Dutch ace claimed his 14th win of the season last time out in Mexico. He has been an all-conquering force and has taken race honours in just under 75% of this season’s races.
He doesn’t have the best record in Brazil, but he did manage to win the 2019 edition of the event. I’m backing him to double his tally at the venue this weekend.