After achieving his first points finish for Williams in Austin, Valtteri Bottas hopes to follow up that performance this weekend…
After achieving his first points finish for Williams in Austin, Valtteri Bottas hopes to follow up that performance this weekend.
Pastor Maldonado: “Brazil is one of the most enjoyable races of the season and I always look forward to coming back. It may not have the same impressive infrastructure as some of the newer circuits, but the atmosphere is amazing and the track is very historic and usually leads to very interesting racing as there are a couple of good overtaking opportunities.
The circuit layout is technically challenging and you need to find a good balance when setting the car up between the medium-low speed corners in sector two and the long straight as you exit Turn 12. The track surface is also very bumpy so you need a car that can react well to this. Heavy rain is also common and if you react quickly and are on the right tyre at the right time, you can make up a lot of places. This will be my last grand prix as a Williams driver after three seasons with the team so it will be an emotional race, and hopefully I can have a good weekend and finish on a high.”
Valtteri Bottas: After a strong performance in Austin where I picked up my first points for the team, I think we will have a good opportunity to finish in the top 10 once again in Brazil. The weather is often quite variable at Interlagos which gives teams a chance to play with their strategy and make up places if we see rain during qualifying or the race. I drove in FP1 last year and I have done a lot of work in our simulator which correlates well to the actual track so I’m feeling well prepared.
The circuit is anti-clockwise, so has more left handed corners than right handed ones, which is different to most tracks and you need a car that has good downforce and is good in long corners. There is normally a different atmosphere to this race as it’s the final one of the season and historically the races are very entertaining, so I’m looking forward to racing here and hopefully finishing my first season in Formula 1 with a good result that will give us confidence going in to next year.
Xevi Pujolar, chief race engineer: We head to the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, more commonly known by its former name, Interlagos, for the final race of the season. It is a challenging track that is known for its long top-speed section up the hill and some high speed turns with lack of run-off area. Despite only being resurfaced a few years ago, the track remains quite bumpy, therefore good ride quality is required to achieve the performance in the grip limited sections. The bumpiness and the anti-clockwise nature of the circuit combined together make it a difficult race for the drivers.
“The circuit has two high-speed sectors, a fast corner combination at the end of the long straight and the twisty infield section that requires a lot of grip, good ride quality and stability. The second sector is very technical and the other sectors are driven by speed. The compromise between downforce and drag is therefore key to getting a good laptime. After an improved performance in Austin, the team are aiming to continue this momentum to finish the season with another points finish.