by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2013: Preview, Free Practice and Qualifying Reports from MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

I. Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2013 Preview

The final race of the 2013 Formula One World Championship takes place at Interlagos in Sao Paulo on Sunday 24 November.

• At 4.309 km, the Interlagos circuit is the second shortest track of the season after Monaco

• The historical probability of Safety Car deployment is 70%, with four of the last five Grands Prix featuring the Safety Car

• Only twice in the past ten years has the Brazilian Grand Prix been won by the driver starting from pole position

Nico Rosberg
“The weather forecast for Interlagos looks interesting this weekend and if it does rain, that would be a good opportunity for us as our car is generally quick in the wet. I´m really looking forward to the weekend and everyone at the team is hoping for a great result to end the season on a high. It would be fantastic to achieve second place in the Constructors´ Championship to give all of the team here and back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth an early Christmas present!”

Lewis Hamilton
“It´s difficult to believe that the final race of my first season with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS has come round already as this year seems to have flown by. We know what we have to achieve this weekend in Sao Paulo and everyone is so fired up to have a good weekend and to be in that second place in the Championship on Sunday afternoon. I had a good race in Austin and it felt great to get that under my belt before the end of the season and I´m really looking forward to Brazil. Interlagos is such a unique track in its location and layout, and I have some great memories from previous races there. The passion of the Brazilian fans is amazing and it´s fantastic to see their support over the weekend. We´ll be hoping for a smooth weekend but it´ll be interesting to see how the predicted weather develops.”

Ross Brawn
“Sao Paulo is always a very special place to bring the Formula One season to a conclusion. The passionate Brazilian fans at Interlagos make for a wonderful atmosphere and the races can certainly be entertaining. The early forecast looks for a mixed set of weather conditions for the weekend which will make our job tougher but that´s the challenge we all thrive on. Our team had a solid rather than spectacular weekend in Austin which nonetheless improved our position relative to our competitors in the fight for second place in the Constructors´ Championship. Our aim for this weekend is to maintain that second place with a strong showing from Nico and Lewis, and it goes without saying that we would all be delighted if that goal could be achieved.”

Toto Wolff
“We know that races in Interlagos can be unpredictable, both because of the circuit layout and also the weather conditions. So there is no question of complacency or thinking the job is already done. We will work in our usual calm, efficient way to deliver the potential of both cars and secure second place in the Championship. Like always, we will be racing hard to score the maximum number of points possible and end our season on a high.”

II. Friday's Free Practice Report: The Silver Arrows on top after first day at Interlagos

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished today´s practice sessions at a wet Interlagos circuit in P1 and P5 respectively.

• The drivers completed a total of just 48 laps today, just over half a race distance, in wet conditions at Interlagos.

• With further rain forecast, the priority was to save sets of fresh wet tyres for sessions later in the weekend.

• Both drivers were able to set competitive times in the wet conditions on both types of wet tyre.

Drivers - Car No. - Chassis No. - Practice One - Practice Two
Nico Rosberg - 9 - F1 W04 / 03 - 14 laps, 1:24.781, P1 - 12 laps, 1:27.306, P1
Lewis Hamilton - 10 - F1 W04 / 04 - 13 laps, 1:25.230, P2 - 9 laps, 1:28.147, P5

Weather - Wet
Temperatures - Air: 19-21°C / Track: 20-24°C

Nico Rosberg
“Today I had a good start into the weekend, and I was very quick in the rain even though we don´t really know about the fuel levels of the other teams. Therefore we need to read the time sheets with some caution. But generally I have higher hopes now that perhaps we can give Red Bull a hard time this weekend. We all know that the weather plays always a big role here at Interlagos and can catch you out. We were not able to run that much but the track feels really great and it was great fun to be out there and find the limit in these difficult conditions.”

Lewis Hamilton
“The conditions were tricky out there today and it´s a real shame for the fans that they didn´t get to see more action on track. Of course, it´s frustrating for us drivers to be sitting in the garage for so long but I really feel for everyone who has made the effort to come here to the track. We were able to get some running during the two sessions and that will be useful as the conditions for the rest of the weekend look pretty much the same. I´m struggling a little to get the feel of the car in the wet, and that´s really been the same for me with our car all season, so we have some work to do overnight to see where we can make improvements. I´d really prefer a dry weekend but that´s out of our hands.”

Ross Brawn
“That was an interesting day which could well be relevant for the rest of the weekend - certainly for tomorrow and perhaps even for Sunday. The balance of the car wasn´t too bad on either the intermediate or the full wet tyres but, in common with our rivals, we don´t have any data on how it will be in dry conditions. Overall, it was a useful and straightforward day in the context of preparations for the possibility of a wet qualifying session or race.”

Toto Wolff
“We had two decent sessions today, which further confirmed the tendency already seen this season that our car performs well in mixed conditions. However, the forecast is so inconsistent that we need to ensure we have the right compromise for both wet and dry as we cannot assume it will be a wet race. So we will be working hard overnight to make sure we are in good shape whatever the weather.”

III. Saturday's Qualifying Report: Downpour affects performance as Nico Rosberg comes P2 and Lewis Hamilton finishes 5th

Nico Rosberg will start from the front row for the Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow with Lewis Hamilton qualifying in fifth place.

• Nico´s second place starting position marks the team´s 16th front row of the season and Nico´s seventh in total

• Nico ran the following tyre strategy: Q1, new inter; Q2, new inter/new inter; Q3, new x-wet/new inter

• Lewis qualified in the top five for the 17th time in 19 races this season

• He ran the same tyre strategy as Nico during the three wet parts of qualifying

Drivers - Car No. - Chassis No. - Practice - Qualifying 1 - Qualifying 2 - Qualifying 3
Nico Rosberg - 9 - F1 W04 / 03 - P19 - P3 1:25.556 - P4 1:26.626 - P2 1:27.102
Lewis Hamilton - 10 - F1 W04 / 04 - P11 - P1 1:25.342 - P5 1:26.698 - P5 1:27.677

Weather - Wet
Temperatures - Air: 18-19°C / Track: 19-21°C

Nico Rosberg
“That was a very demanding qualifying session today with really tricky conditions and a long break before the final session. I´m really pleased to have achieved second place on the grid and a big thank you to the team for their work; we did everything right today. My target was to give Sebastian a hard time so I was surprised that the gap was so big in these conditions. I lost time in the last sector compared to him which was down to a lack of KERS power when you do two consecutive quick laps. Being on the front row gives us a great opportunity in the race but the most important thing is to stay in front of the Ferraris.”

Lewis Hamilton
“Naturally I´m a little disappointed with fifth place as Nico´s position shows there was clearly potential for more today. Wet sessions haven´t been too good for me this year and, although we made some changes going into qualifying, I´m struggling to get to grips with how the car works in these conditions. It´s getting better but there is still so much to learn. However we´ve got everything to play for in the race tomorrow and I hope to have a good fight out there and make some progress forward. Our aim of course is to finish ahead of the Ferraris and hopefully score enough points to secure our second place finish.”

Ross Brawn
“Qualifying sessions like that always offer plenty of potential to trip over and the team did a very good job today. To have both our cars in the top five is a good overall result after such an unusual afternoon. Nico has managed to get the car exactly where he wants it in terms of wet set-up this weekend and was very comfortable out there; Lewis hasn´t quite found the same sweet spot but still delivered a strong lap to get into the top five. None of us have done any running in dry conditions this weekend so, if it does dry out tomorrow, it will be an interesting experience for all of us. That brings the potential for surprises and we will handle them as they come and seize every opportunity that comes our way.”

Toto Wolff
“A wet qualifying session is one where it´s far easier to get things wrong than to get them right so it´s pleasing that we managed to get things pretty much right this afternoon. It was a very tricky session and the team did a good job to deliver second and fifth places, although we must analyse why Lewis did not manage to put his second lap together and if, perhaps, we were a little too conservative with our timings. But it´s always easy to be smart in hindsight and the important thing is that we will start from strong grid positions tomorrow. So overall we can be happy with a good team performance.”

~ Official photos and reports courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS ~

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