Vitaly Petrov admits he is hoping for a better race weekend in Brazil having crashed out of the last two Grands Prix.
The Russian driver said:
When you have tough races like Japan and Korea, you can’t wait to get back in the car to forget those bad memories, so I’m really looking forward to Interlagos.
But it’s difficult to know what to expect because I’ve never been to Brazil before and it’s another new challenge for me. It’s a famous circuit because there have been so many great races there, especially in the last few years with the championship being decided. I remember watching these races on television so it will be great to experience it for real.
The short Interlagos track only took an hour to learn on Renault’s simulator, according to Petrov:
After Korea I went straight to Enstone to see the engineers and to talk about Brazil. The team have lots of data from last year, which is useful for learning the track because you can see the gears, the braking, the line, and you can start to understand the lap more.
I also went back in the simulator to help me learn the Interlagos circuit. It only takes an hour to know the track pretty well and to have the confidence to start pushing.
Robert Kubica finished second last year for BMW. He said Interlagos is a difficult circuit to get a good set-up for:
Brazil is a bit of a strange track and it’s really difficult to predict how we will perform. There is a long straight out of the last corner where the f-duct will give us lots of gain and this is also where the power of the engine will be important.
I think that we might have a lottery with the weather because Brazil gets unsettled conditions at this time of year, so it’s likely we will have some wet running, as we did in 2009. When it rains the track has very poor grip and you have to be lucky to get the perfect balance with the car.
It’s a difficult track for setting up the car because of the long straight and the uphill sections of the track. You have to choose between top speed, or running a lot of downforce and gaining through the corners, so it’s very difficult to balance those two things.
The track has a bit of everything – low speed, high speed and it’s kind of an old school circuit so there are quite a lot of places where you can gain lap time. But, as I said before, it’s quite difficult to get everything in the right place with the balance and the car set-up.
You are very near the fans because the grandstands are very close, which makes the feeling on the grid very special. 95% of them are cheering for Brazilians, but it’s still a nice atmosphere.
2010 Brazilian Grand Prix