2018 Brazilian F1 Grand Prix Preview

It’s all been said and done as far as the 2018 F1 Drivers Championship is concerned. For Ferrari, the Constructors Championship is still up for grabs and the Scuderia hope to usurp the Mercedes team but must first overcome the 55-point deficit that stands between them and 1st place.  

At the last round in Mexico, the Ferraris no doubt improved on recent performances, but despite finishing ahead of both Mercedes, unfortunately it was the Red Bull of Max Verstappen that took top honours. 

Sebastian Vettel took victory for Ferrari at this track in 2017 but let’s not forget that Lewis Hamilton chucked his Mercedes into the wall during Q1 and was forced to start the race from the pit lane, never featuring in race-winning calculations. 

You can expect this year’s edition of qualifying to be a tight affair between Ferrari and Mercedes, but don’t count on the Red Bulls to carry their performance advantage in Mexico over to Brazil.

The Circuit

Laps – 71 

Circuit Length – 4.308kms 

The Autódromo José Carlos Pace lies in the heart of São Paulo with an undulating layout consisting of 15 corners and 2 DRS zones. 

Turns 1 and 2 make up the famous ‘Senna ‘S’, named after Brazilian hero, the late Ayrton Senna, who won his last Brazilian Grand Prix, 25 years ago this year. 

The last 3 seasons have yielded a different winner at this event, with Vettel and Hamilton winning the last 2 respectively. Let’s hope for the sake of an interesting race we get a 4th different winner this time out. 

Brazilian Grand Prix: 3D lap of Interlagos 

Drivers to Watch

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)  

The Fin snatched pole position last year but ultimately couldn’t hang on to the lead in the race, finishing 2nd just 3-odd seconds behind eventual winner Sebastian Vettel. Now that his team mate Hamilton has secured the 2018 driver’s title, Bottas would no doubt be feeling that he is owed a win by the Brit after the team infamously asked him to move over and let Hamilton through for victory back at the Russian Grand Prix. 

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 

Fresh off his emphatic win in Mexico, the 21-year old Dutchman has a spring in his step but realistically, not the machinery to win a dry Brazilian Grand Prix. But if the weather produces rain in São Paulo, as is a possibility with forecasters predicting a 50% chance of showers come Sunday, Verstappen will revel in the greasey conditions. The 2016 edition of the Brazilian Grand Prix was a sordidly wet affair and following a bumbling tyre strategy from his team, Verstappen carved his way through the field in wet conditions to finish on the podium in one of the sport’s more memorable wet-weather master classes. 

2018 Brazilian Grand Prix Betting

Pundits have Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as the race favourite and the German has made it clear he wants to reward his team’s efforts with first place in the Constructors Championship. Having reverted to an older car setup in recent races, the Prancing Horse is definitely the fastest car on the grid and barring any mishaps, will figure prominently in making up the podium places. 

Unsurprisingly, Hamilton is second in betting but historically does not have a good record in races after he has secured a championship, seemingly ‘relaxing’ after adding a title to his belt. 

Valtteri Bottas is not a bad choice on the second line of betting with the possibility of the aforementioned Russian GP team orders saga coming into play, this time in the Fin’s favour. 

Aussie Dan Ricciardo comes into the event on the 3rd line of betting and after declaring post-Mexico that he may not even bother taking part in the final two Grands Prix of the year, it’s fair to say motivation is at an all time low for the petrol-head from Perth. It would take a miracle for Ricciardo to win, but given all the bad luck he’s been on the receiving end of in 2018, surely he’s due for a change of fortunes?