The final race of the 2011 Formula One season, the Brazilian Grand Prix, takes place at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo on Sunday 27 November. Located in Interlagos, the historic 4.309 km circuit is the highest of the year at 800m above sea level, and one of only five anti-clockwise tracks on this year’s calendar.
The Safety Car has been deployed in seven of the last ten races in Interlagos, on a total of 11 occasions. Interlagos is the shortest permanent circuit on the calendar with the shortest lap time of any circuit.
DRS can be used over 59% of the lap in practice and qualifying: only Montreal, Spa and Monza have higher values.
For Ross: “The Brazilian Grand Prix weekend is always a lively and vibrant event, and Interlagos is a fitting venue for the final race of this year’s Formula One season. Although our focus at the factory has been on 2012 for some time now, at the race track we are continuing to work hard with this year’s car and make improvements.
We are determined to end the season on a high and continue the run of top six results that we have enjoyed recently, which is the upper limit of the potential of the current car. Interlagos is a very unique track which presents some unusual challenges; the high altitude location, the bumpy surface and the challenging layout all test both the drivers and engineers.”
Norbert feels that: “Brazil is a great venue for a Formula One season finale: our sport has a proud history in the country, and the atmosphere and dedicated spectators at Interlagos are fantastic. The circuit layout usually delivers exciting and unpredictable races. Interlagos is the second shortest circuit of the year and, coupled with a relatively high average speed, this normally makes for an intense race.
The 71 laps around an anti-clockwise layout are challenging for the drivers, and the circuit requires good aerodynamic and mechanical performance in the second sector, and efficient aerodynamics and good engine performance in the first and third sectors.
Seven of the last ten Brazilian Grands Prix have featured Safety Car deployments, so we must factor this probability into our strategies - and even more so with the increase in wheel-to-wheel action this year, thanks to DRS and the Pirelli tyres. In Abu Dhabi, we saw for the first time ever six Mercedes-Benz powered cars finish in the top ten - including in first and third places. Good results for MERCEDES GP PETRONAS and our partner teams are our target at the final round of the season.”