Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit, including predictions, a track guide, qualifying and sprint results.
After a two-week break, the Formula 1 season ends with a double header, starting with the Brazilian Grand Prixwhich also includes the third and final sprint weekend of the year.
Max Verstappen may have already wrapped up his second world championship, but he will be aiming for a fourth straight win in Sunday’s race
Verstappen is currently 136 points ahead of the rest of the field, underlining the dominance he enjoyed in 2022.
After winning his 14th race of the year at the Mexican Grand Prix, the two-time world champion broke Michael Schumacherthe record for most wins in a single season.
The Dutchman will be looking to add to his trophy cabinet in Brazil, but the third sprint weekend of the season could help other drivers rise to the challenge of winning Sunday’s Grand Prix.
After finishing in third place in his home race, Sergio Perez will try to climb on the top step of the podium for the third time this season.
In addition to Perez, the Ferrari duet of Charles Leclerc and carlos sainz are the only other riders on the grid to have won a race in 2022, and they will be looking for an improved weekend after the Prancing Horse struggled with the altitude in Mexico City.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has already had a memorable week after being made an honorary citizen of Brazil in an official ceremony.
On the track, the seven-time world champion will be looking to win a race for the first time this season after being tight in the United States and Mexico with back-to-back second places.
george russell has struggled lately, failing to finish on the podium in the last four races, but will be looking for a better result this weekend as mercedes look to close the 40-point gap with second-placed Ferrari in the constructors’ championship
In midfield there is another battle between two teams, with Alpine currently seven points ahead of McLaren in the fight for fourth place.
As for Sebastian Vettelthe Brazilian Grand Prix will be his penultimate race before he retires from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace at Interlagos is one of the shortest circuits currently on the Formula 1 calendar, and over the next few days it will host a sprint weekend.
While overtaking proved difficult in Mexico, Interlagos should provide drivers with overtaking opportunities.
The circuit contains a long-throttle section, while the middle sector will test the cars’ agility and cornering ability.
There will be two DRS zones this weekend, the first starting at turn three, while the second activation point is located towards the start of the pit straight.
Brazil also held a sprint race last season, which was won by Valtteri Bottaswho at the time was a Mercedes driver.
Three drivers from the current roster have already won the Brazilian Grand Prix, including Vettel, who has won it three times.
Last year’s win around Interlagos marked the third time Hamilton had stood on Brazil’s top step, while Verstappen was victorious in 2019.
Sainz will be looking to enjoy another memorable weekend at the circuit where he claimed his first podium finish three years ago.
Ranking of drivers
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 416
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 280
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 275
4. George Russell (Mercedes) – 231
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 216
6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 212
seven. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 111
8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 82
9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 71
ten. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 47
11. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 36
12. Daniel Ricardo (McLaren) – 35
13. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 24
14. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) – 23
15. Spear Stroll (Aston Martin) – 13
16. Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 12
17. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) – 12
18. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 6
19. Alexander Albon (Williams) – 4
20. Nyck de Vries (Williams) – 2
21. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0
22. Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0
1. Red Bull – 696
4. Alpine – 153
6. Alfa Romeo – 53
seven. Aston Martin-49
8. Haas – 36
9. Alpha Tauri – 35
ten. Williams – 8
We say: Max Verstappen will win
Although a sprint race could result in a mixed starting grid, we believe Verstappen will continue his dominance to claim a fourth straight win.