Kamui Kobayashi says he is looking forward to returning to Interlagos, the scene of his F1 debut for Toyota last year.
The Sauber driver said:
In 2009 I drove my first ever Formula One race in Brazil when I stood in for Timo Glock at Toyota. I didn’t expect much because I didn’t know the Interlagos track and I hadn’t driven an F1 car in dry conditions for eight months.
It was a difficult situation for me, but I just believed in myself and my goal was to make no mistakes and finish the race. It’s a nice track which is physically very demanding. In the 2009 race it was tough for my neck, especially in the last corner which is extremely long and has high g-forces. The track is also quite technical, but for me the main aspect was the physical one. Of course, this will not be a problem again this year.
The weekend was very special for me in every respect. The weather conditions changed constantly, and it was almost impossible to work on the set-up. We just changed tyres time and time again, and I tried to complete as many laps as possible in practice. I’m very much looking forward to my second Brazilian Grand Prix.
Team mate Nick Heidfeld has had mixed experiences at the track, including a bizaree incident with the medical car in 2002:
I have many special memories from Brazilian Grands Prix. In 2001 I achieved my first podium in F1 with Sauber. It was in the rain and it was unforgettable and emotional.
In 2002 all of a sudden there was a medical car on the track, which wasn’t supposed to be there. The fractions of a second when I was hoping the driver would not step out of the car’s door he had just opened seemed to me like an eternity. I wouldn’t have had a chance of avoiding hitting him. Luckily he didn’t get out.
Technical director James Key explained the difficulty of getting the set-up right on the track ahead of next week’s race:
The C29 will be the same specification it has been in previous events, but we obviously have several set up options to consider.
One of these is the downforce level. In Interlagos you either gain on the straights or in the corners of the windy infield section, so we will have to strike the right compromise. Because of this we will have to watch our top speeds, but also the balance and grip level of the car in the second part of the lap.
Our car’s strength should be to deal with the front tyre wear. Regarding the mechanical set up, we will have to consider the track’s bumpy surface and also watch for a change of direction and good front end grip, with traction being important at the end of the lap into the uphill section.
2010 Brazilian Grand Prix