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    INSIGHT: Brazilian Grand Prix: Your Questions Answered James Vowles answers your q...

James Vowles answers your queries about the Brazilian GP

Sarah (@elmoelmer89) asked on Twitter:

How are you feeling?

James Vowles: "The rollercoaster of emotions you feel during the course of a Grand Prix year are so difficult to explain and describe.

"They start all the way back in February when you have this embryo of a car you're working with in testing. And, as you go from race to race, some races give you this exhilaration - this huge outburst of joy when you win - and others feel like you've been punched in the gut when you lose, especially relative to an adversary such as Ferrari.

"All of that builds up across the year and when you get to a race like this one where the Constructors' Championship has been decided, it's an outburst of energy that you have from within you.

"We were all shouting, and all of that emotion just came out in one go. You have goosebumps on your hands, you feel almost a little bit detached from your body, and it is an incredible feeling - one that I've never felt anywhere else outside of doing this at this level in Grand Prix racing.

"So, to answer your question: amazing! But we're also realistic - tomorrow we've still got to get back to work because we want to do this again next year."

Ron (@roncharls4) queried on Twitter:

What is the status of Lewis' engine for Abu Dhabi? Is there a possible penalty?

JV: "If we just go back a little bit and look at what happened in the race, after the first pit stop with Lewis we noticed quite a significant problem, which required a huge amount of input from a number of sources.

"We have a team back in the UK at Brixworth who work alongside us on the intercom, and we have a huge team trackside working together diligently to understand what we can change on the engine to get to the end of the race.

"They did a fantastic job. It wasn't one change - it was a huge number of changes across a 40 - 50 lap period, where they were working with Lewis to adjust various componentry and get that Power Unit to the end of the race. They did a fantastic job.

"The net result of that, though, is that the engine has sustained some level of damage - but we don't yet understand what. It has to be inspected and understood before we can make any decision going forward to Abu Dhabi."

Tomasz Stasiak (@tomek.st) commented on Instagram:

Why did you pit Lewis so early? Why didn't you follow Max strategy?

"The lap that we came in was the first lap that Verstappen would have had some free air behind him. Magnussen had just dropped out of what we call the 'pit window' - so if Verstappen was to stop on that lap, he would come out in free air, with a good chunk of time before he caught Grosjean and would be able to undercut us.

"We had just stopped Valtteri the lap before, and his out-lap was very, very strong, so we knew that the Medium tyre relative to the SuperSoft was already much faster. The result of it was: do we brave it for another few laps and hope that Red Bull are going long? Or do we take the decision now that we know the Medium tyre is faster, we know it will make it to the end of the race, and therefore we keep a hold of that position.

"We erred on that side. Lewis stopped, was eight tenths faster immediately on that Medium tyre coming out of the pit lane, and looked to be in good shape, pulling Verstappen back into his pit window in a safe region of three to four seconds.

"Lewis did a good job getting through Grosjean and again through Leclerc. But from that point on onwards, as mentioned, he was struggling with a poorly Power Unit and we were really struggling to do everything on track that was required. Our race wasn't with Verstappen - it was with Ferrari that day and we were trying to make sure that getting to the end of the race remained our main priority throughout all of that.

"Lewis did a fantastic job. He raced Verstappen as hard as he could - but he was disadvantaged. When Verstappen came out on new Softs he had a tyre advantage - but that alone wouldn't have been enough. We also had a poorly Power Unit, so Lewis wasn't able to defend in a straight line."

RNB44 (@RnbRnb7) asked on Twitter:

Car looks quick but tyres giving up after 10 laps whilst Red Bull managed another 20 laps. Does the team know what the problem is?

JV: "The issues we had in Austin and the issues we had in Mexico were not related and neither is related to the issue that we had in Brazil, all three are independent issues working the tyres in different ways.

"We don't understand everything about why we were poor in Brazil relative to Red Bull but Ferrari were equally poor, in fact Vettel I would say worse than us. As we go forward what we are doing as a team is we bring all of the data together and we generate huge amounts of data from these racing cars now, and try to understand all of the details that caused us to struggle or not and build a picture for what we would like to try and change for Abu Dhabi and learn from our mistakes.

"The next part of that is Red Bull, why could they go longer than us. We could've gone longer with Lewis, we had a concern about being undercut relative to them but we easily could've gone at least another five laps longer and maybe further again.

"My concerns aren't whether or not we could've gone longer or not, it's that Red Bull were extremely impressive, certainly at the beginning of the race. They were scything through both Ferraris, Valtteri and really all the way to the back of Lewis, at a point where we were all having to manage the tyres quite extraordinarily. That is where the Red Bull in Brazil was mighty."

@omarrob78 sent us this question on Instagram:

Why was Bottas struggling throughout the race compared to Lewis?

JV: "Valtteri had a very strong qualifying putting him third and a really good start, getting ahead of Vettel and holding onto that second position.

"From then onwards Valtteri knew that his job was to hold the Ferraris behind for the Constructors' Championship and he did that fantastically.

"The Red Bulls were extraordinarily quick, but we had already briefed him that is not where our race was that day and where Verstappen was fighting aggressively against him, Valtteri did his upmost but didn't have all of the tools you normally would in your arsenal on the Power Unit in order to defend.

"Valtteri's Power Unit had a problem in Mexico, and the result and knock-on from that is we have to be careful about what we are doing. This Championship is about not having DNFs. If we do have DNFs it could compromise the Constructors', losing a position to the Red Bull won't.

"And that's what the target was and Valtteri knew it and he did a fantastic job given the amount of reduction in power tools that we would normally give him at his disposition."

T Wolff asked on Instagram:

What did the pit wall make of Shov's dancing on the podium?

JV: "The starting point is this... 10/10 for effort. He really put his heart and soul into it. And that, that you can tell.

"Samba dancing is all about passion, it's about bringing the emotion that you can inside the music out, it's about rhythm, it's about co-ordination.

"None of those were present, but as I said, the fact is he really gave it his all and that, we appreciate."

8:09

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