F1 Paddock Notebook – Brazilian GP Saturday
– In a typical day in Interlagos, where four seasons were felt in the space of three hours and a tense qualifying took place, he did it
again. Lewis Hamilton got his 82nd pole position, but this time he wasn’t really sure he had done enough when he crossed the line. “I
was a bit nervous because the lap wasn’t perfect,” Hamilton said. “I always had some difficulty in this track, it’s so technical.”
– With the Ferrari engines giving an extra boost in the altitude of São Paulo, the red cars were able to run an alternate strategy, going through Q2 with the Soft tyres and getting rid of the fast-degrading Supersofts. Hamilton said he felt a bit exposed going into the race: “If I can stay in front at the start, I could try to manage the tyres and run longer in the first stint, but it depends on the track temperature.”
– Again, getting the weather right will be key for the race. The teams tackled qualifying thinking it should be warmer and dry on Sunday, but the forecast changed and now rain is possible for the race. A good advice could be to listen to the rivals. “The rain always comes from the lake” is a classical line from Brazil’s equivalent to Murray Walker, Galvão Bueno. That means that if the clouds gather in the Senna S direction, it should rain quickly. But if the dark clouds come from the famous Junção, maybe it won’t even rain at all.
– Coming back to Vettel, he nearly compromised his race with an incident at the weighbridge, destroying it. The German was in a hurry in order to be at the track before the rain worsened. After more than two hours, he escaped any penalty, but not a €25,000 fine. At least now we know how much does the FIA scale cost…
– And the good news is that recently a second one was bought – precisely to speed up the weighing process during qualifying – so the technical delegate Jo Bauer won’t be without his favourite toy for the rest of the weekend!
– Qualifying had another controversial moment when Lewis Hamilton got close to Sergey Sirotkin, making a move exactly at the
same time the Russian was overtaking him. This wasn’t even under investigation and even the Williams driver said Hamilton didn’t
deserve any penalty, as he was on his outlap. The German media showed the footage during the post-qualy interview and tried to make Nico Hulkenberg say Lewis deserved a penalty, with no success: “If it’s not his hotlap, that changes everything.”
– As for Renault, the team has struggled for pace so far this weekend, but Carlos Sainz was not so concerned about the race for fourth place
in the Constructors because “Sauber is saving us”, his hope being Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc will be quick enough to steal points from Haas.
– Leclerc was one of the protagonists of the day when, in tough conditions with the rain increasing in the end of Q2 and a flat-spotted tyre didn’t follow the team instruction to pit, had a final go and set a faster time, going through to Q3 as a result. “I was the most surprising lap of the season, no doubt about it”, he said.
– But the man who is promising to steal the show tomorrow starts in 11th. Daniel Ricciardo said we can expect one of his great recovery
drives this Sunday. “I will go for it because I have nothing to lose”, he said with that assassin smile.
– Hamilton has now hit double figures for pole positions each of the past four years. This also marked the first pole Hamilton has scored in a season after clinching the title. He is still yet to win a race after doing so early in a year, though.
– Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon are the only drivers who will drop positions on the grid. Ricciardo falls from P6 to P11, while Esteban Ocon drops from 13th to 18th.
– Marcus Ericsson scored the best qualifying result of his F1 career, taking P7 for Sauber, beating his previous best of 10th. He will start P6 tomorrow as a result of Ricciardo’s grid penalty. Ericsson also outqualified Sauber teammate Charles Leclerc for the fourth time this year.
– McLaren suffered its fourth double Q1 drop-out in five races, giving it the worst qualifying record through that period. By comparison, Williams has only lost both cars in Q1 three times in that spell, with Sergey Sirotkin reaching Q2 today for the team.
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November 11, 2018 at 02:14AM