The penultimate race of the season takes us to the historical track of Interlagos.
Driver’s Eye: Sergio Perez
Sergio: “Racing in Brazil is always special because it’s the home of my hero, Ayrton Senna. The circuit is filled with history and on race day the fans show so much support. There’s a special atmosphere in the city during race week and we are lucky to visit some amazing restaurants too – I love the food there.
“Interlagos is a really fun track: a proper Formula One classic. It’s a short lap with a good flow but you need to be precise in every corner, otherwise your rhythm is compromised. There are many interesting corners but a really important one is the final left hander before the uphill run to the finish line. You need to carry good speed through it and onto the straight in order to attack the first corner going into the next lap.
“The circuit is a real drivers’ track: it’s fun to drive, but it’s pretty bumpy. It reminds me a bit of a karting circuit in some ways. You need a car that is stable at the rear, with not much understeer, so that you can make the most of all the changes of direction in the middle sector. The weather can also be interesting: it can be very warm and humid and it rains often, and I enjoy this unpredictability.
“We had a couple of difficult races in Austin and Mexico, where we didn’t maximise our potential. We’ve missed out on good points, especially in Mexico. I’m still aiming to finish as “best of the rest” in the drivers’ championship and I need a strong weekend to make up the points we have missed recently.”
Driver’s Eye: Esteban Ocon
Esteban: “I really enjoy racing in Brazil and it’s just a fun weekend. The atmosphere on the grid is special: the fans love Formula One and you can feel the legacy of Ayrton Senna everywhere. There is so much passion from the people, from the moment we land to the moment we leave – we get so much support.
“The track itself is one of my favourites because you have all type of corners. You need a good car in the high-speed sections – a car you can trust – but at the same time you need a car that doesn’t slide around in the low-speed corners. This is very important, especially not to compromise the final part of the lap.
“I have good memories of racing at Interlagos. In 2016 I was in the points in a Manor for most of the race and only got passed on the last lap. It was a tough race because of the wet conditions. There is usually a risk of rain during the weekend and if we get some this year it would probably make things a bit more interesting.
“I felt really disappointed after the Mexico race. When you have a quick car and your race if effectively over on lap one it’s so frustrating. I've learned from the experience in Mexico and will work hard to get back in the points this weekend. We need it for the championship because it’s still a close fight with McLaren – and it’s the same in the drivers’ championship. We will keep fighting until the end.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO
“After a disappointing outcome in Mexico, there’s even more emphasis on the final two races. We still have our eye on sixth place in the championship, but it’s a much bigger challenge now. We are 15 points away from our target and overcoming this deficit won’t be easy. We will certainly give it our best shot, continue working hard, but we will need to deliver perfect weekends and perhaps benefit from some good fortune along the way. Whatever happens, it’s going to be an interesting race this weekend in Brazil.”